Manhunt underway for suspected gunman in Westlake shooting
A manhunt is underway for the gunman in a deadly shooting in the Westlake Transit Tunnel in downtown Seattle. In the chaos, the shooter managed to escape under the watchful eye of surveillance cameras.
Three people were shot on a busy Friday night. One man died and two others were badly hurt. The two men who survived were taken to Harborview Medical Center. One of them, a 25-year-old man, was released overnight. A second man in his 20s is still in critical condition.
Seattle police say the altercation started at Third Avenue and Pine Street but it ended up inside the tunnel.
The shooter, say Seattle police, is a man on the run. He was captured on surveillance cameras fleeing the Westlake Transit Tunnel in downtown Seattle moments after the shooting.
“I was on the phone with my friends,” said a woman, fighting back tears, “and when I heard the gunshots, the phone went dead.”
The scene was chaotic on a busy Friday night.
David Lewis said he offered to help one of the victims, who was bleeding from the leg.
“And I was like, ‘Are you okay, bro?,'” Lewis said. “And he’s like, ‘Don’t go down there. There’s a shooter.'”
Lewis says he ran inside the tunnel to get police to help. He says he never saw the shooter at all.
“The guy that got shot said that he ran the opposite direction or something,” said Lewis. “Said he thought it was a beef between a couple people.”
Just last spring, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best announced the start of emphasis patrols in seven Seattle neighborhoods, including downtown.
In the light of this overcast Saturday, there was plenty of security. In a statement, the Downtown Seattle Association decried the shooting and said this area should be made safer. But most people were taking all of it in stride.
“It’s not unheard of to hear violence happening or seeing police interact with people,” said Jordyn Williamson, who lives on Capitol Hill. “We live in a metro area.”
SPD tweeted out the surveillance video hoping that anyone who knows the shooter will give them a call.
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan released this statement after Friday’s shooting in the Westlake Station Tunnel:
It is awful. We must put an end to senseless gun violence – in our public spaces and neighborhoods, and in our homes and schools. Too many have suffered. Together we must change this culture of violence.
While this incident does not appear to be random, acts of gun violence have a significant impact on our community, especially in a place like a transit station.
Under Chief Best, our law enforcement officials have done a tremendous job to address crime in our growing city and keep our city and transit safe.
The City and Seattle Police Department has been deploying new strategies to address public safety issues downtown including emphasis patrols and targeted operations. We must approach public safety in a holistic manner to most effectively address the root causes of crime and gun violence.
The Downtown Seattle Association released this statement regarding the shooting:
“We are saddened that a life was lost on Friday night in the transit station. More than 80,000 riders use Westlake Station daily, and it should never be a place where someone feels unsafe. Third Avenue needs to be safe and welcoming. Far too often it falls short in that regard, and this is one of the reasons we’ve developed a vision for this important transit corridor. We commend the mayor and Seattle Police for their commitment to placing more emphasis in this part of downtown. The entire city deserves to feel safe.”