Last night at the Twilight Exit, a bar that I love and hang out at in Seattle’s Central District, a man walked in with a gun and shot the bouncer and a woman sitting at the bar. When police arrived, the gunman shot at officers, so one officer shot back and killed him.
Also sitting at the bar last night was Marti Jonjak, a writer for The Stranger, and her friend Alexia Regner. They were sitting right next to the woman when she was shot.
Marti says she saw the gunman come in earlier in the night, but he quickly turned around and left.
“Later on, a really beautiful young woman came into the bar and she was on her cell phone. Then the same guy with the white shirt came in, just a little bit after that. He got right into her face, maybe an inch from her face, and he said, ‘You left my house unlocked and everybody came in and they took all my stuff and they took my flat screen. Why did you leave my door unlocked?’ He was yelling at her and her face was just blank and she wouldn’t look at him and she said, ‘I don’t know you. I’ve never seen you. Someone call 911.’ She was saying it really calmly. Then the bouncer came up behind him and led the guy away.”
Police believe the woman at the bar was his ex-girlfriend. Thirty minutes later, Marti and Lexi said the man returned.
“We heard this popping sound, like a firecracker. We didn’t know what it was at first, but then panic set in somehow. We both got down, we were crouched underneath the bar, but we were in this wedged in corner of the bar where there was no where to go. I looked up and I saw that same young man with a gun. He was standing right over us and I looked to my left and that beautiful young woman was next to me. I saw her long hair. He was standing there and he was pointing the gun at her and I could tell that he was giving her all of his attention so I got up and I ran past him.”
This is where it gets really scary for Lexi, who did not have the opportunity to run out of the bar with Marti.
“I’m, like, crouched under the overhang of the bar and this girl is next to me, standing kind of over me. He shoots her and she falls on top of me and she’s like, ‘No, why are you doing this?’ She looked like she was already going into shock. All he was saying was, ‘Why did you do this to me? They killed my dog, they broke my window, my life is over. My life is over.’ Then he shot her again while she was on top of me. I was trying to crawl away and my shoes got stuck under her so I just left my shoes behind and ran. I was trying to crawl away, but there were barstools in my way. He turned and he looked at me and this other girl that was by me and he said, like, ‘I’m not trying to hurt you two. You can go.’ So we ran out of there.”
When she got to the door, she saw the 30 year old bouncer.
“The bouncer was laying there by the door and he was bleeding. I started to run away and then I turned around because I couldn’t leave him there. This other guy and I, we dragged the bouncer behind the Dumpster. Marti had a phone and was calling 911. We took the guy’s pants off so we could try and put pressure on the wound. It was kind of like on his upper thigh, right on his hip. I ran out to the street because I could hear the sirens and I told the police officers, ‘There is a guy bleeding to death behind the Dumpster. You need to go there right away!'”
Both the bouncer and the woman were taken to Harborview with non life threatening injuries. Like I reported earlier in this story, the gunman shot at officers, so one shot back and killed him.
I asked Lexi what was going through her mind, trapped under a woman who had been shot, as more shots were being fired.
“I was kind of losing it. I thought for sure I was going to get shot. I was like, that’s going to happen. I was bracing myself for that. I was also in panic mode, like, get away, do anything you can. I had adrenaline. My heart was pumping a million miles an hour.”
Lexi and Marti ran out of the bar without their purses and, in Lexi’s case, without her shoes, so neither of them had their house keys or cell phones and then the police confiscated their stuff as evidence. When I interviewed them today, they were at the home of another witness they met at the police station, who was kind enough to let them spend the night at his house.