Carnation suspect hopes victims are "at peace"
Joseph McEnroe shuffled into a visiting booth on the seventh floor of the King County Jail this afternoon and said he's sorry six members...
Seattle Times staff reporter
Joseph McEnroe shuffled into a visiting booth on the seventh floor of the King County Jail this afternoon and said he's sorry six members of the Anderson family are now gone and that he regretted cutting contact with his own family.
Dressed in a white jumpsuit reserved for "ultra security" inmates, McEnroe wouldn't talk about what happened Christmas Eve at a rural home near Carnation. There, police and prosecutors allege, he and his girlfriend, Michele Anderson, methodically shot Anderson's parents and brother, the brother's wife and their two young children.
"I'm sorry that they're gone. They were my family, too, you know?" McEnroe, 29, said of the victims. "I hope wherever they're at, they're at peace. That's all I'm going to say about them."
McEnroe and Anderson each were charged earlier today with six counts of aggravated first-degree murder in the deaths of three generations of the Anderson family.
Because his hands were chained to his waist, McEnroe had to hunch over and sit sideways to speak through a telephone in the visiting booth, where inmates and visitors are separated by a thick window. Tall and slim with a goatee and shoulder-length dark hair, McEnroe spoke softly. At times, his eyes appeared misty.
McEnroe said jail officials have placed him on suicide watch: "I was having a very hard time, but no matter how this turns out, I'm going to try and hold on... I decided I'm going to try and stay alive."
He asked about his family — his mother and siblings in Minneapolis and an aunt and cousins in California. McEnroe stopped talking to them five years ago after a financial dispute with his mother.
"I never really realized how much I need my family. God, how did I ever get in this situation, you know?" he said. "Tell them I love them, all of them."
The man who is accused of ending the Christmas Eve killings by shooting 3- and 5-year-old children in the head asked about a cousin in California who was "always like my big sister." Told she now has a 5-year-old daughter, he said, "I hope she's safe."
"This whole thing has made me realize how much I miss them," he said of his family. "It's easy enough to think they don't like you or don't care about you but I wish to God I got in touch with them before this. I would've even been able to visit them. I guess that's not going to happen now....
"You never really realize what life is worth until something like this happens."
Sara Jean Green: 206-515-5654 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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