Black Diamond man shot to death

A Black Diamond man who was considered a major player in Seattle music circles was shot and killed Friday night in a small Okanogan County town in eastern Washington.

Police are still investigating the death of 49-year-old Tom Pfaeffle, who died as a result of a single shot fired through a closed hotel door.

According to media reports, Pfaeffle was vacationing with his wife, staying at the Blue Spruce Hotel in Twisp. Twisp Sheriff Rick Balam told a Seattle TV news reporter that Pfaeffle apparently attempted to enter the wrong room at the hotel and the room’s occupant fired a shot through the door, striking Pfaeffle in the chest. Pfaeffle was rushed to a hospital in nearby Omak and died about two hours later.

The shooter was identified only as a 57-year-old Seattle man. He was booked into the Okanogan County jail on suspicion of second-degree murder and reckless endangerment.

Pfaeffle had been professionally active for more than 30 years, working in the recording industry as well as operating the sound board for some of the music industry’s biggest names during live shows. According to his Web site, Pfaeffle had worked as a sound engineer for clients like Nirvana, The Black Crowes, Heart, Aerosmith, Alice Cooper and B.B. King.

His recording studio, The Tank, is in rural Black Diamond. He was also an instructor at the Art Institute of Seattle, teaching audio production.

Details were not immediately available, although it was noted that Pfaeffle and the shooter did not know each other.

The Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office is assisting with the investigation.