Violent weekend in Pioneer Square ends with murder on Link light rail train

SEATTLE — One man is dead and another is on the run following a shooting on a light rail train.

The 26-year-old was killed late Sunday night between the Pioneer Square and University Street stations. Officials say the suspect may have jumped off the train while it was still moving between stations.  Now the suspect is nowhere to be found.

But police may actually know what he looks like. There are cameras on board Link Light Rail trains and in the stations.

A Sound Transit spokesman says the operator realized something was wrong when he got a signal that an emergency exit had been used.

“Somebody just exited the train in the tunnel,” said Sound Transit’s John Gallagher. “That is what the police are saying.”

He was asked whether the person got off the train between the two stations.

“That’s where it was,” said Gallagher. “Presumably it was in motion. I don’t have those details.”

He says no security personnel were on board.  

“Did not have security on board that particular train,” he said. “Security personnel arrived within minutes as did King County Sheriff’s officers and SPD.”

Seattle police say they could not save the 26-year-old man.

The link light rail shooting capped a violent weekend in Pioneer Square. Three people were shot in the 100 block of South Washington Street just before 2 a.m. Sunday.  One of them, a man, died.

That Pioneer Square is a hotspot for crime is baffling even to this 30-year-plus-resident and former Pioneer Square business owner.

“We’ve been trying to figure out why there are shootings in this area,” said Tija Petrovich. “Why is it always something at South Washington? This is a local known area for shootings. And it’s very disturbing.”

A server at Nirmal’s restaurant says the timing of the shootings might be a clue.

“I’m sure it probably had something to do with when the bars close at about 2 a.m.,” said Francis Redis.  “That seems to be the case anytime there’s any gun violence around here. It’s always about that time.”

I talked to one of those bar owners and he blames Seattle police. He says there aren’t enough police officers patrolling Pioneer Square.

But I also spoke to another business owner who says he is working with other business owners to deal with the issues.

Meanwhile, all of these shootings are unsolved.  

If you know anything about any of them, you’re asked to call Seattle police.