Father of gunman says son had mental health problems

SEATTLE — The father of the man who went on a shooting rampage on Wednesday spoke with KIRO 7 Eyewitness News and said his son was mentally ill.

Ian Stawicki, 41, killed five people in a shooting spree at two Seattle locations, police said. As officers got close to Stawicki, he shot himself and died Wednesday night at Harborview Medical Center.

Walter Stawicki, Ian Stawicki’s father, told KIRO 7 reporter Graham Johnson that his son had a negative view of the world.

“I don’t think he was paranoid out to get people, he just thought the world was a dangerous place,” said Walter Stawicki. “I think he was overwhelmed by a lot of ugliness and brutality of this world.

Stawicki thought his son was bipolar and tried getting help for him, but his family gave up.

Stawicki believes his son’s mental health problems intensified in the years before Wednesday’s shooting spree. In 1989, a grenade exploded near Ian Stawicki in a trench during Army training, nearly ruining his hearing.

“He never got out of the base training. He was cut loose. He and the military didn’t see eye-to-eye. He thought it was a loose organization. They thought he was a loose cannon to some degree,” Walter Stawicki said.

Stawicki talked to his son on the phone Wednesday morning, thinking he sounded well. Hours after the conversation, his wife saw a picture of his son on the news and called police.

Stawicki said despite his son’s mental problems, he didn’t think Ian Stawicki would hurt anyone.

Walter Stawicki used to be a gun retailer and said his son has had a concealed carry permit since he was old enough to get one. In a 2008 misdemeanor case, court documents indicated his son had six registered guns. He now thinks his son recently acquired new weapons.