King County prosecutors say an argument over a baby gate earlier this week ended when a 68-year-old Renton man grabbed a handgun from a bedroom closet and shot his daughter six times, killing her as her toddler wailed nearby.

Wendell Wilson was charged Thursday with first-degree murder, accused of fatally shooting his 38-year-old daughter, Lila Wilson, on Monday afternoon inside their Renton apartment, court records show. Prosecutors further allege the killing was a crime of domestic violence and was committed within sight or sound of a minor child.

Wendell Wilson called 911 just before 5 p.m. Monday and told a dispatcher and later, detectives, that he was responsible for the slaying, charging papers say. He remains jailed in lieu of $2 million bail.

“Wendell Wilson executed his adult daughter over a petty argument about the installation of a baby gate,” Senior Deputy Prosecutor Jason Simmons wrote in the charges.

According to the charges:

Lila Wilson lived with her husband, 14-month-old son, and father at the Brighton Ridge Apartments in the 2300 block of Northeast 4th Street. Police arrived at the residence Monday and found her lying on the floor of the master bedroom, dead from gunshot wounds to her head, face, thigh and abdomen. Her husband wasn’t home at the time.

Officers found six shell casings near Wilson’s body and located a 9 mm handgun, lying in an open case on the patio outside the apartment.


According to Renton police, Wendell Wilson told detectives his daughter wanted to install a baby gate in the kitchen, but he told her it wouldn’t work. He said his daughter got angry and an argument ensued, with both father and daughter yelling at each other and getting into each others’ faces. Police say Wendell Wilson, who somehow sustained an injury to his mouth, told officers the fight over the baby gate escalated and “got crazy.”

“According to Wendell, she was shouting at him and he told me, ‘I just went and got the gun and shot her,’ ” a detective wrote in charging papers.

Police say Wilson called his ex-wife and told her he was “gonna kill Lila,” hung up, then called his ex-wife back and told her he had shot their daughter, according to the charges. The ex-wife told him he needed to call 911, the charges say.