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North Seattle shooting suspect in custody
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North Seattle shooting suspect in custody

Carolyn Piksa, 46, suspected of critically wounding a 65-year-old man in a Seattle parks department building was arrested at her home Friday, hours after she's believed to have fled the scene of the shooting. (Image courtesy SPD)

A woman suspected of critically wounding a 65-year-old man in a Seattle parks department building was arrested at her home Friday, hours after allegedly fleeing the scene of the shooting.

At a press conference Friday evening, Deputy Police Chief Nick Metz said the department’s intel unit was able to track her to that location by monitoring a cell phone.

Police had been searching for the suspect since around 2 p.m. Friday when the shooting was reported at a Seattle Parks and Recreation building near 80th and Densmore.

The shooting at the Parks and Recreation building in North Seattle prompted the city to shut down all community centers and put nearby schools on high alert.

Metz said they approached the situation as a citywide emergency because the suspect was believed to be a Parks Department employee who had access to a number of city facilities and community centers.

Seattle police identified the suspect as 46-year-old Carolyn Piksa, an employee of the Parks and Recreation Department. The Seattle Times reported that Piksa has been an employee with the city since 1986. She works as an assistant coordinator for community centers.

Police initially characterized the shooting as workplace violence. The motive was being investigated.

After the shooting, Piksa reportedly drove to another city facility where she confronted an employee with a handgun and exchanged words but left without incident, police said. There weren’t immediate details of what she told that employee.

Piksa was arrested in Burien around 4 p.m. Television footage showed SWAT team personnel surrounding the house before police announced she was in custody.

“They used their PA system to call out to the suspect,” said Metz. “She immediately came out of the house without incident. She was not armed when she came out.”

Her Chevrolet pickup truck was found abandoned near Burien before her arrest, police said.

The wounded man was identified as Bill Keller and was at Harborview Medical Center in stable but serious condition with a shot to the chest. At the Friday press conference, Mayor Mike McGinn identified Keller as the executive director of the Associated Recreation Council, a nonprofit group that works with Seattle Parks Department.

Metz said they do not yet know the suspect’s specific connection with victim other than that they both worked with the Parks Department.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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