Less than two months after a gunman opened fire inside a North Seattle cafe killing four people, it will reopen to the public Friday.
May 30, a day of violence in Seattle, began when a man opened fire inside a cafe in the University District. 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 on Roosevelt Way N.
Two men were pronounced 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.
Before the shooting, Cafe Racer was a known hangout for local musicians, including two of the men who died at the hand of Ian Stawicki, a mentally ill man who had been asked to leave shortly before opening fire.
Seattle Police credited a longtime patron of the cafe as hero. Lawrence had been drinking his morning coffee when he overheard someone ‘politely’ telling Stawicki that he was no longer welcome at the cafe. When Stawicki opened fire, he stepped in and threw stools at the gunman.
During Lawrence’s distraction two, or possibly three, people made their escape, according to Assistant Police Chief Jim Pugel.
The massacre that day claimed one more woman’s life in downtown Seattle, and eventually Stawicki’s life when he turned his gun on himself in West Seattle.
For days, even weeks after the massacre mourners gathered outside Cafe Racer to grieve, holding a vigil and leaving flowers and candles outside its doors.
Now, the doors are opening again.
“The outpouring of love and support from this community was astounding to me. Not only for the loss of our loved ones, but for the love and concern for Cafe Racer itself. It became clear to me that the cafe is more than just a place to pick up a coffee, food or have a drink, but it is a part of the community. The love didn’t just come from the ones we lost, it comes from everyone,” said Cafe Racer owner Kurt Geissel in a news release.
Cafe Racer will officially be open for business and community again on July 20.