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Lake City shooting suspect told police he was blackout drunk

The King County Prosecutor’s Office is rushing five felony charges for the suspect in Wednesday’s fatal shooting in Lake City.

Tad Michael Norman did not appear in court Friday. He is being held with no bail. Two of the five charges filed Friday are for murder in the first degree, and three are for attempted murder in the first degree.

After he was released from Harborview Medical Center, Norman, 33, was booked Thursday on investigation of homicide, robbery, and assault.

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According to charging documents filed in King County Court, Norman told investigators that he is a recovering alcoholic, was drinking heavily that day, and had no memory of the shooting. The certificate for probable cause states:

Norman said that he is a recovering alcoholic. He described the nature of his alcohol abuse as blackout drinking, meaning when he drinks he drinks to a point of black out. He said he went to (a store) today and purchased some alcohol including vodka, rum, and wine. He took it home and started drinking around 12:30 p.m. He remembered playing video games on his X-Box, which he said was a common activity for him when he drinks. He had no memory after that until he regained some memory function when he was in the hospital. Detectives recounted a summary of what we believed happened including him shooting three people, carjacking a vehicle and being involved in a serious vehicle collision. Norman said he has no memory of any of that.

Also revealed in charging documents is that there is an additional, previously unknown victim from the shooting. A woman drove a truck through the scene as Norman allegedly was firing upon drivers. She reported that he stepped into the road, aimed and fired at her truck. She swerved to go around him. One bullet struck her windshield. Detectives were able to obtain a bullet from the truck as evidence.

Tad Michael Norman

Norman’s social media accounts show that he is a graduate of the University of Washington who once worked for Microsoft as a senior search engine marketing specialist and as a senior optimization specialist.

He reportedly lives in the area near the shooting. Police said that mental health or substance abuse may have played a role in the shooting.

Police said Wednesday that the shooting in Lake City was “a random, senseless act.” A man began shooting drivers near 120th and Sand Point Way Northeast. He first shot a woman driving a car — she was transported to Harborview Medical Center and is in satisfactory condition. The suspect then shot at a King County Metro bus. The driver was injured, but was able to turn the bus around and drive away, taking his 12 passengers to safety.

“This bus driver truly is a hero,” said Seattle Police Deputy Chief Garth-Green.

The suspect then shot a man in a red Prius before taking the car and crashing it head on into another vehicle. The driver of that vehicle was killed.

There was a standoff with police as the crash scene, but Seattle police officers were able to take the man into custody at 23rd and Sand Point Way.

“He then stayed in the vehicle, we engaged in some negotiation with him to get out,” Garth-Green said. “We were able to break the windows in the car to get a better dialogue … he eventually ended up coming out of the vehicle at which point we were able to take him into custody.”

Chief Garth-Green said that officers have not been called to the suspect’s home in the past and he was unknown to law enforcement.

What is known is that there was a relative with the suspect sometime prior to the shooting. Investigators have spoken with that relative and she is cooperating with police.

“We had a conversation with them,” Garth-Green said. “They said they left the residence, and when they came back, as they were arriving back to the residence, that’s when they actually heard the shots and saw the incident.”

“The suspect who lives in the area, at some point decided to leave his house armed with a handgun …” he said. “At his residence, there are some weapons.”

Additional reporting by KIRO 7

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