A city already anxious about a recent spate of shootings was rattled further when a man walked into an arts cafe near the University District and opened fire, fatally wounding four people. Police say he later killed a woman during a carjacking before shooting himself.
Police obtained crucial evidence as events unfolded that lead them to believe the suspect in the cafe shooting and the shooting of a woman in the First Hill neighborhood were connected.
Assistant Chief Jim Pugel revealed in a news conference the two shootings were connected via specific evidence, but did not yet reveal what it was exactly.
According to multiple reports, the gunman was 40-year-old Ian L. Stawicki.
As police closed in on him in West Seattle, near SW 37th and Raymond Street, Stawicki turned his gun on himself.
Stawicki was brought into Harborview Medical Center in critical condition, where he later died.
The day of violence began when police received several reports of gunfire around 11:00 a.m. at Cafe Racer. When they arrived at the scene, five people were found shot inside the cafe in the 5800 block of Roosevelt Way N.
Two men were found dead at the scene and three people, two men in their 40's and one woman, were critically injured taken to Harborview Medical Center. The woman died after arriving at the hospital. One of the men died a few hours after arriving to the hospital.
The suspect had been seen running northbound on Roosevelt after the shooting. During the manhunt, residents were asked to keep their doors and windows locked and to call police if there was evidence someone had tried to break in to their home. The manhunt prompted several area schools to exercise extra caution and Roosevelt High School went into full lockdown.
About 30 minutes after the Roosevelt incident, police received reports of a woman shot in a parking lot near Town Hall at 8th and Seneca. Witnesses reported seeing a man and woman arguing.
"The man and woman were fighting, the man pulled out a firearm, and shot her one time in the head," Assistant Police Chief Mike Sanford said at the scene.
The woman was taken to Harborview Medical Center where she was later pronounced dead.
Around 12:00 p.m. police recovered the female victim's black Mercedes SUV in 4100 block of Delridge Way SW in the West Seattle neighborhood. They believed the shooting suspect fled the scene in the victim's SUV. A gun was found on the driver's seat.
A manhunt in the Delridge area prompted several schools in that neighborhood to issue a modified lockdown for most of the day.
During a news conference Wednesday afternoon with Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and Pugel, word came down of a third shooting at 37th Ave. SW and SW Raymond St. which turned out to be Stawicki turning a gun on himself.
A detective had spotted Stawicki late in the afternoon and called for backup and a SWAT team, Assistant Police Chief Jim Pugel said. As those officers arrived, Stawicki shot himself, he said.
Andrew Stawicki, 29, of Ellensburg, told the Times he recognized a photo shown on TV newscasts of the alleged gunman as his brother Ian. Andrew Stawicki said Ian Stawicki was mentally ill.
"It's no surprise to me this happened," he told the newspaper. "We could see this coming. Nothing good is going to come with that much anger inside of you."
A King County medical examiner's spokeswoman said her office might be able to release the dead victims' identifications Thursday.
The last living wounded man from the cafe shooting was reported in critical but stable condition late Wednesday at Harborview Medical Center following surgery earlier in the day. Hospital spokeswoman Susan Gregg confirmed his name as Leonard Meuse. Meuse's father, Raymond Meuse, told the Times his son was shot in the jaw and armpit but was expected to survive.
The shootings come just days after what is being called one of Seattle's most violent weekends. One person was killed after seven different reports of gunfire over the weekend, including four drive-by shootings, a home invasion, and an attack at the Folklife Festival at the Seattle Center.
There have been 21 murders in Seattle so far this year, including Wednesday's shootings. There were only three by this time in 2011.
Besides a plan to increase the number of officers on patrol in high-crime areas, police are urging people with information about shootings to come forward.
They also said Seattleites could expect an increased police presence in the near future.
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.
View Seattle shootings - May 30 in a larger map
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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