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Originally published November 9, 2009 at 6:24 PM | Page modified November 10, 2009 at 10:05 AM

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Lt. governor's son shot by co-worker in Kent; gunman then shot self

he son of Lt. Gov. Brad Owen was wounded in a shooting at a business where he was a minority owner. The owner then shot himself.

Seattle Times staff reporter

The owner of a Kent auto-painting business shot the son of Lt. Gov. Brad Owen on Monday before turning the gun on himself after a workplace dispute. The man is a close friend of Owen's, somebody with whom he often hunts and fishes, the lieutenant governor said Monday.

Mark Owen, 37, the lieutenant governor's son, was in satisfactory condition this morning at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle after being shot in the stomach and wrist.

Carlos Fernandez, 63, president and owner of KBP & Fabrications in Kent, was in critical condition in Intensive Care at Harborview with a gunshot wound to his head.

Mark Owen, a minority owner in the business at 831 Fifth Ave. S., works as bookkeeper there.

"We're elated that Mark is OK, but it is a horrible tragedy because the person who shot my son is also one of my very, very best friends, and it does not look very good for him right now," Brad Owen said at an impromptu hospital news conference.

"How do you comprehend anybody shooting anybody, [much] less your own son by your own friend? That's all I can tell you."

Mark Owen has worked at KBP as a bookkeeper and financial adviser for three years, brought to the business through his father's friendship with Fernandez. Recently, he had bought a minority ownership.

Brian Dirks, spokesman for the lieutenant governor, said the firm recently has faced financial challenges, and there were personal disputes between Mark Owen and Fernandez.

On Monday afternoon, Fernandez became upset after a meeting between the two. They argued and Fernandez pulled a gun and shot Owen, Kent Police Chief Steve Strachan said.

Fernandez then shot himself in the head in front of other employees at the shop, witnesses said.

Kent police, arriving on the scene, found Owen a block away, where a friend was taking him to get help. Many of the firm's employees contacted Monday were still distraught and declined to comment.

Mark Owen is one of six children. He is engaged to be married and has a 6-month-old son. Records show he has a troubled past, with convictions for forgery and grand theft.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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