Good Samaritan describes holding off alleged killer at Seattle Center
Scott Brown holds alleged Seattle Center stabber David Lee Morris at gunpoint until police arrive. (Eric DeAngelo/Facebook)
When Scott Brown got a concealed pistol license, the first thought on his mind was of hiking.
He goes hiking by himself frequently, sometimes at night, and decided that he needed a pistol to protect himself in case of the worst. He told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson that his worry on the trails was not so much bears and cougars, but people who might be hiding in the dark woods.
“I figured if I had it, why not get the concealed carry license?” he said.
The gun was a protective insurance policy he carried that he hoped he would never have to use.
“I never wanted to ever have to pull it out for anything,” he said. “I was perfectly happy with it there doing nothing.”
But that changed on Nov. 2, when Brown found himself witnessing the Seattle Center stabbing, in which a 29-year-old man stabbed his 28-year-old ex-girlfriend to death in front of their young son at the Armory’s food court.
Brown had been spending time with friends who work at Seattle Center in a back room off of the Armory food court when they heard screams.
“We heard screaming, and it continued, so of course we ran out to see what was going on,” he said. “Seattle Center was in a panic, people were screaming about, ‘Somebody stabbed a bunch of people, somebody got stabbed.'”
The cries were coming from MOD Pizza, where Brown and his friends saw “somebody laying on the ground in someone’s arms” with “blood all over the place.” They ran outside, to where they saw the alleged killer, David Lee Morris, walking away from the crime scene.
“He wasn’t running or anything — he was walking away,” Brown said.
Brown approached Morris from behind, pulled out his gun, and stepped in front of him, walking backwards as Morris strolled onward across the Seattle Center grounds. Brown repeated orders to drop the knife and get on the ground, which Morris continued ignoring.
“I just kept repeating the same stuff, basically over and over; he kept walking forward, I kept walking backwards — I had a lot of room to go,” Brown said. “The further back I went, the closer to the street where the cops were going to come in we got.”
Morris tried to get Brown to shoot him, but Brown did not want to use the firearm unless absolutely necessary.
Although it was only a couple of minutes until police arrived, the walk felt like forever for Brown, face to face with a murderer, not knowing if he or other innocent people were about to be killed. He tried to remain calm, keeping focused on making sure that Morris did not attack him and that there was no one behind Morris to get in the potential line of fire.
“It’s quick, but when that’s going on, it’s an eternity … and sometimes in those situations, seconds count,” he said.
Brown had prepared for the scenario of using his gun, but he said no amount of training could have truly prepared him for the moment of holding back a man who had allegedly just brutally killed his ex-girlfriend.
“The reality is far different from what you imagine in your head,” he said.
As can be seen in the above video, a witness stepped forward to pepper spray Morris, and Seattle police arrived at the scene to arrest him soon after.
With the scary experience behind him, Brown is thinking of the victim, Gabrielle Garcia, her 5-year-old son, the person who was hurt trying to intervene at MOD, and the other Good Samaritan who pepper sprayed Morris, as well as all of the witnesses to the horrible attack. He attended the grief counseling put on by the city and is working to put the nightmare behind him.
Brown’s one consolation is that Morris did not hurt any other people in the minutes between the stabbing and police arrival.
“I have no idea what would have happened — all I know is what didn’t happen,” he said. “Nothing worse did happen … That’s the positive side of that whole ending situation.”