Gunman, 5 others dead after 2 Seattle shootings

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SEATTLE —

A man who killed five people in a bloody shooting spree at two Seattle locations ended an intense manhunt by turning the gun on himself as officers closed in on him Wednesday.

 

The Seattle Police Department identified the man as Ian Stawicki.

 

Harborview Medical Center said he died Wednesday night, as did another victim, bringing the total death toll to six. The lone surviving victim was listed in critical but stable condition.

 

The day's first shooting occurred around 11 a.m. at Café Racer in North Seattle, where police arrived to find five people down inside the business.  Three died from their wounds.

 

Less than an hour later, a man pulled out a handgun and fatally shot a woman in the head during a carjacking at Eighth and Seneca. 

 

The description of the gunman in each case varied significantly, and police did not at first know if the shootings were related.

 

After releasing surveillance photos of the gunman in the café shooting, police closed in on the suspect about an hour later in West Seattle and, as officers approached, the gunman knelt and shot himself in the head, police said.

 

5 shot at North Seattle cafe

 

Three blocks around the café scene were sealed off as armed officers went door to door within about a 10-block radius in the search for the gunman, checking open windows, looking in garbage cans and creeping around bushes.   Residents were told to keep their doors and windows locked.

 

Two men died at the scene.  Friends of the deceased said the men were both in their 40s or early 50s.  One man was described as a sword swallower, fire breather and had a large presence in the burlesque community.  Both men were members of the band God’s Favorite Beefcake, which had played at the Folklife Festival on Saturday.

 

Three other victims, two men and a woman, were taken to Harborview Medical Center in critical condition at Harborview Medical Center.  A woman and another man later died from their injuries.

 

Evan Hill, who lives above the building where the shooting happened, told The Associated Press the cafe was an artists' collective and performance space.

 

"It's the strangest place to think of a shooting," said Hill, who heard four to five shots. He said he ran to his balcony and called 911, but didn't see a suspect.

 

On a street corner across from the cafe, friends of the victims gathered by the ivy-covered wall of an apartment building. Some collapsed in grief. The cafe's owner hugged them and commiserated.

 

Motive not known, but some remember suspect

 

Neighbors told KIRO 7's Deborah Horne that the suspect had been known to people in the area, and one person said he seemed "a bit off." She said the man had argued with people inside the cafe before, possibly with some of the victims who were shot Wednesday.

 

Seattle police still have not commented on a potential motive in the shootings.

 

Woman killed in downtown Seattle

 

Within an hour of the cafe shooting, a woman was shot and killed in a possible carjacking near Eighth Avenue and Seneca Street.  

 

Witnesses reported hearing a man and a woman fighting in a parking lot.  The woman called for help and the man pulled out a handgun and shot her in the head, police said.

 

The man fled in a Mercedes SUV which was found abandoned in West Seattle.   Video from Chopper 7 showed a black handgun sitting on the driver's seat.

 

Meanwhile in West Seattle, police searched the area near the 4100 block of Delridge Way after the SUV in the carjacking was found abandoned.  

 

Assistant Chief Jim Pugel said that about an hour after digital photos of the suspect were distributed to officers, a plainclothes detective in West Seattle saw a man who matched the description of the gunman.  

 

The officer alerted uniformed officers, and as they closed in on the suspect near 37th and Southwest Raymond Street, the man knelt down in the street and shot himself in the head.

 

Seattle gun violence

 

In the last month, there have been two random killings in the city.

 

Last week, a man died when a stray bullet struck him as he and his family drove down a Seattle street. In late April, a woman died of injuries suffered in an apparently random drive-by shooting near downtown.

 

No arrests have been made in either of those fatalities.

 

On Saturday, a bystander was wounded near the iconic Space Needle when he was struck by a bullet allegedly fired by a gang member involved in a dispute with another man, authorities said.

 

Later that night, about 60 shots were fired in drive-by shootings at four houses. No one was hit.

 

Besides the plan to increase the number of officers on patrol in high-crime areas, police are urging people with information about shootings to come forward.

 

At a news conference, Mayor Mike McGinn said the spate of violence had "shaken" the city.

 

"It's going to take our political leaders, coming together, to give our police officers the support and tools they need to do their jobs," McGinn said.

 

City Councilman Bruce Harrell said leaders needed to consider everything -- from changing laws to addressing the culture of violence.

 

"If we are to be honest, there's no easy fix," he said.