Crime Law

Victims in terrifying rampage mourned by community

SEATTLE — Friends and families of the victims who were killed in a shooting rampage on Wednesday are showing their grief with a memorial outside a Ravenna café.

Only one man survived the violent spree that left five innocent people and the gunman dead.

Leonard Meuses, a chef at the café, is in serious condition after undergoing surgery at Harborview.

Gunman Ian Stawicki, 40, shot himself in the head after police closed in on him in West Seattle.

At 10:56 a.m., the first calls for help came from Cafe Racer in Seattle’s Ravenna neighborhood.

At 11:33 a.m., a woman was shot outside the venue Town Hall at Eighth and Seneca Street on First Hill when Stawicki stole her SUV.

At noon, the stolen SUV was found abandoned in West Seattle near Delridge.

At 3:50 p.m., when Stawicki was approached by police in West Seattle, he knelt down on the sidewalk at 37th and Raymond streets, put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger.  He later died at the hospital.

Regulars gathered Wednesday night at Cafe Racer to mourn the loss where their friends were gunned down.  See gallery of images

Two men who were pronounced dead inside the café were in the band known as God's Favorite Beefcake, which performed at the café and played the Folklife Festival on Saturday.

The vocalist, Drew Kariakedes, and bass player, Joe Albanese, were also members of the troupe Circus Contraption before the show closed several years ago.

As soon as the crime scene tape came down, flowers, candles and beer lined the front of the café as people stopped by to talk about the victims.

“(They were) just the most creative, artistic people I've ever met, hands down.  Life was kind of hard on both of them for a long time. They turned it around with music and shared good things with other people,” said friend Jacob Landry.

Kariakedes was called a city treasure by one critic, and was known for his music and comical performances which included sword swallowing and fire breathing.  His stage name was “Shmootiz the Clod.”

"It's so random, it's like getting struck by lightning, you know?  And this place is a wonderful spot, and we've been coming here for years, said Kariakedes' and Albanese's former bandmember, David Gordon.

Albanese was described by his niece as a very talented, fun-loving man who just wanted to make people smile.

A woman who was shot while reading in the café was identified as 37-year-old Kimberly Layfield.  She later died from her injuries, along with 57-year-old Donald Largen.

Layfield was orginally from Georgia.  Family members said she had visited them there last weekend.

"She was actually telling us about the cafe on Sunday when we ate dinner with her.  And she showed us some pictures, and said that she liked to go there and eat breakfast, and those were her friends," said Layfield's cousin, Jaycie Holland, who described her as smart, funny, and sweet.

Layfield's mother, Carol Layfield, said medical examiners identified her daughter by her tattoo.

Flowers also mark the spot where Bellevue woman Gloria Leonidas, 52, was shot on First Hill during the carjacking by Stawicki.

Witnesses said the mother of two was pulled out of her SUV and was kicked and beaten on the ground before she was shot.

According to regulars of Café Racer, Stawicki was a regular and unwelcomed customer who had recently been kicked out for being belligerent and rude.

“He had been acting strangely.  I heard he had been picking fights, and I heard it had escalated somewhat,” said customer Aaron Otheim.

The five victims brought the number of homicides in Seattle so far this year to 21, matching the total for all of last year, and left city leaders wondering what could be done to stop the bloodshed.

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.