UPDATE: Paulson's alleged killer, Jed Waits, may have written a strange, online-only graphic novel. Details after the jump.
Police say the man who shot Jennifer Paulson may have been stalking her for several years.
When Jennifer Paulson arrived at Tacoma's Birney Elementary School early this morning, she found the man who she had only just recently taken out an order of protection against waiting for her.
After a short confrontation inside the school parking lot, he pulled a semi-automatic pistol and shot the special education teacher multiple times before she could enter the school. Paulson, 30, died at the scene before receiving medical attention.
Paulson's father has now identified the suspect as Jed Waits, a 30-year-old Ellensberg man who police now say was dangerously "infatuated" with her.
Following the shooting, witnesses say Waits fled in a tan sedan. Police eventually tracked him to Fredrickson, where he pulled into a daycare center parking lot and was shot dead after firing off a round at a Pierce County sheriff's deputy.
Waits was said to be obsessed with Paulson.
The Tacoma News Tribune is now reporting that Waits and Paulson were old acquaintances, but were not actually romantically linked. They met several years ago working in the cafeteria at Pacific University. Waits reportedly developed an infatuation with her, and had been stalking her ever since.
According to court documents, Paulson obtained an anti-harassment order in 2008 barring Waits from contacting her or coming within 1000 feet of Birney Elementary. But just last week she told police that he'd followed her after she'd left the school.
Waits was later arrested and booked on charges that he'd violated the order. After being detained by police, he said that he "just wanted to talk to her." He was released on Tuesday after posting the required $10,000 bail.
Ironically, the shooting occurred amidst a renewed debate in the state legislature over a constitutional amendment that would revamp the state's bail laws. House and Senate leaders are currently at odds at how much freedom to give judges to impose, or in some cases, deny bail for people accused of the most serious of crimes.
UPDATE: SeattleCrime points to "A Captain's Tale," a graphic novel written by a guy who calls himself Jed Waits and has an Ellensberg mailing address, just like the shooter.
One of Waits' illustrations.
Waits' About the Author section:
The journey of one lone wanderer...the story of a new century!
Raised an only child borne into this desolate wilderness, Jed Waits has traversed the globe in search of wisdom and elusive insight. Pen in hand and notebook by his side, our intrepid author has set out to explore vast, uncharted realms within the world of the graphic novel.
A published cartoonist and author, Jed Waits has found his calling through his artwork, combining both illustration and words into a graphic novel format.
This is currently his second online graphic novel.