SEATTLE — A man in his 50s was shot inside downtown Seattle’s Westlake Center Tuesday and later died at the hospital, according to Seattle police and Harborview Medical Center.
Investigators say the shooting was reported around 3:45 p.m. at the busy shopping mall. Officers said they discovered the victim on a stairwell inside the Westlake Center entrance closest to Wells Fargo along Fourth Avenue.
Police say the shooter, possibly a man in his 20s dressed in black, took off running and has not been arrested.
Westlake Center was put on lockdown, monorail service stopped, as police searched the building for any additional victims and suspects. None were found, police said.
Employee at candy store inside Westlake Center described going on lockdown & taking 4 customers into a back room.— Michael Spears (@MichaelKIRO7) January 22, 2020
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Witness video sent to KIRO 7 shows medics performing CPR on the victim as he was moved from the mall on a stretcher and rushed to the hospital.
"I was working and all I heard was some gunshots and I came outside and everybody was crowded around the dude,” said one Westlake Center worker.
One shopper, who only wanted to be identified as Taylor, said panic followed as people ran for safety.
“Extremely frantic, with people screaming ‘what’s going on?’” said Taylor. “I’m running out the door and see this dude literally collapse on me, literally collapse in front of my face – he’s got a gunshot here, a gunshot here.”
Police said they were not aware of any people who witnessed the actual shooting and were still investigating a possible motive, including whether it was a random.
KIRO 7 spoke with one Westlake Center worker who described hearing a loud “bang” and then going on lockdown shortly after with four customers inside her store.
“We get everyone escorted into our back room for safety,” said Hayley McLucas. “Manager and I closed the gate, lock it, turn the lights out.”
Investigators spent several hours collecting evidence from the stairwell area where the victim was shot.
“Very busy area, very busy time of day,” said Seattle police detective Mark Jamieson. “At this point, it appears it was contained to just the suspect and the victim in a relatively isolated part.”
The King County Medical Examiner’s Office may release the name of the victim Wednesday, who has not yet been publicly identified.
“It’s extremely scary, especially in a public setting like a mall,” said Taylor.
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