Suspects in fatal shooting may have just robbed restaurant

Updated:

Loading
SEATTLE —

Witnesses said the suspects who shot and killed a Seattle man for his cellphone may be the same group that robbed a Greenwood restaurant minutes before.

Police are looking for three suspects after 54-year-old David L. Peterson was found shot to death shortly after calling 911 Sunday.

Dispatchers received the call shortly before 9 p.m. from Peterson in North Seattle as he was being robbed for his cellphone at gunpoint. When police arrived, he was dead.

Peterson's car was parked north of First Avenue Northwest and North 85th Street in Seattle.  Police blocked off the parking lot of Bartell Drugs and part of First Avenue.

While police said Peterson was shot in his car, witnesses told KIRO 7 he died on the sidewalk.

Police said he had a single gunshot wound to his body.

While investigators combed the parking lot for clues, others scoured the area for the gunman.

Police said that three suspects were seen running away from the area and that robbery appeared to be the motive in the shooting.

The suspects are described as a black man who is 20-30 years old, 5 feet 10 inches tall with a thin build.  He was wearing a North Face jacket.  A second black man, described only as short, and a white woman, are also suspects, but no further descriptions were available.

One witness, David Sarmiento, told KIRO 7 he heard some arguing outside before shots were fired.

“I (saw) some people running towards that way,” Sarmiento said, pointing north on First Avenue. “And then I heard the sirens going off and all of a sudden like 10 cop cars (came) flying down here.”

Police said emergency responders tried CPR on Peterson, but they could not revive him. 

Witnesses say before the deadly shooting and robbery, the suspects stole from the Baranof Restaurant a block away. The trio sat at the counter and stole the waitresses’ bank bag of cash. Employees called 911. Minutes later, Peterson was murdered less than a block away.

Detectives said they would like to talk to anyone who may come in contact with the suspects.  Investigators believe they may have been committing even more robberies in the area prior to the shooting.

David Peterson was married to Kimberly Peterson for 22 years. Kimberly Peterson works in the civil division of the King County Prosecutor’s Office. 

Monday night she talked about her husband.

“He was my best friend. He was so smart. He could quote poetry and knew history.”

She said if she ever had a question, he could answer it.

She said her husband worked for 20 years at Sharp Health Care in California in IT Security. The couple moved to Seattle from San Diego two and a half years ago.

Most recently, Peterson was working part-time at Office Depot and going to school online to get more IT certifications.

David Peterson was always on the move. She says he walked every night.  Kimberly Peterson says her husband was always concerned about her safety.

He would often walk her to and from the bus stop when she went to work. The roses he gave her for Valentine’s Day still sat in her living room Monday night.

Anyone with information about the shooting or the suspects’ whereabouts is asked to call the Seattle police tip line at 206-233-5000. Anonymous tips are welcome.

Want to talk about the news of the day? Watch free streaming video on the KIRO 7 mobile app and iPad app, and join us here on Facebook.