Deputies: Worker wrestled gun away from woman in office shooting - KCTV5

Court docs: Vancouver shooting victim said suspect had stalked him

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VANCOUVER, WA (KPTV) -

A woman is accused of shooting a former co-worker, who had once filed for a restraining order against her, inside a government building in Vancouver.

Investigators identified the suspect and the victim Wednesday morning.

Deputies said Deborah Lennon, 46, entered the Clark County Center for Community Health, 1601 E. Fourth Plain Blvd., at 3:55 p.m. Tuesday.

She is accused of confronting Allen Bricker, 45, in his office on the fourth floor. Bricker is an employee of the Veterans Integrated Service Networks, according to the VA.

Lennon produced a handgun, deputies said, and shot Bricker twice in the chest.

Another VA employee, Neil Burkhardt, 31, stepped in and wrestled the gun away from Lennon, according to investigators.

Police arrived and took Lennon into custody.

Bricker suffered injuries described as "serious and significant," according to the Clark County Sheriff's Office. He remained in the hospital Wednesday.

The VA said Bricker is expected to make a full recovery.

Lennon suffered injuries to her face and chest area in the struggle with Burkhardt. She was taken to the hospital in a separate ambulance Tuesday. 

Lennon was released from the hospital Wednesday afternoon. She was then booked in the Clark County Jail on charges of attempted murder, assault, stalking and cyberstalking.

She is scheduled to appear in court Thursday morning.

Court Documents

Lennon is a former employee of the VA and worked in the Community Health Complex. Deputies did not reveal a motive, only saying "the relationship between Lennon and Bricker appears to be that of former co-workers."

According to court documents, however, Bricker had filed a petition for an order for protection on Jan. 11, 2013, saying he was being harassed and stalked by Lennon.

The court filings include numerous emails from Lennon to Bricker with sexually suggestive messages, Bible scriptures, unusual ramblings and, in an email sent Jan. 10, one day before the court filing, she allegedly referred to him as, "My American Hero," and said, "I love you."

In one email, dated Jan. 6, 2013, Lennon allegedly wrote: "Leave your wife and come be with me. I do my best work around you, so really it's a matter of national security," according to court documents. "And buy me that house. I'll buy you some ice cream. REMEMBER. I'm the JUDGE. I love you always, Debbie."

A temporary protection order was granted by a judge. However, neither Bricker nor Lennon showed up for a subsequent court hearing and the case was dismissed two months later.

The VA said Bricker is a 21-year employee of the department, currently serving as his division's chief financial officer. He is also a U.S. Air Force honor graduate and a veteran.

Lennon resigned from the VA two years ago to relocate out of state, according to a VA statement. She had served as a financial auditor.

Shooting Scene

Burkhardt injured his right hand while taking the gun away from Lennon and was hospitalized overnight. Deputies credited Burkhardt with preventing Lennon from causing more harm.

Burkhardt is a former U.S. Marine. He works for the VA as the executive assistant to the department director.

The Clark County Sheriff's Office Major Crimes Unit is continuing to investigate the shooting.

The Center for Community Health houses services for Veterans Affairs, as well as Women, Infants and Children (WIC).

"Everyone just started running one way, just running really fast toward the back of the office," nurse Polina Serebryanskaya told Fox 12.

"I was checking in a patient, and my supervisor runs from the back saying that we have to evacuate, and she just had this look on her face. It was scary," said nurse Lira Kondratyuk.

One witness said he heard the sound of gunshots, then alarms went off, police arrived and he saw two people taken out on stretchers.

"I thought it was a backfire. I wasn't expecting this," he said. "These people are here to help us. You shouldn't bite the hand that feeds you. They do a lot for the community."

Raw video: Scene outside Clark Co. government building
Photos: Police respond to shooting at government building

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