UPDATE: Suspect, 5 others dead in Seattle shootings
Gunman believed to be responsible for pair of incidents, five deaths
Originally published May 30, 2012 at 12:01 p.m., updated May 30, 2012 at 9:22 p.m.
SEATTLE — A gunman killed five people in Seattle on Wednesday — four at a cafe and another in a carjacking — before he apparently shot himself as officers closed in following a citywide manhunt, authorities said.
The suspect died later Wednesday at Harborview Medical Center, hospital spokeswoman Susan Gregg said.
Police who began scouring the area for the person who opened fire at the cafe near the University of Washington responded a short time later to another fatal shooting near the city’s downtown. They say a man killed a woman in an apparent carjacking and fled in a black SUV.
Police said late Wednesday they believe one man was responsible for both attacks.
“At this time, we feel pretty confident that we have the suspect,” said Assistant Seattle Police Chief Nick Metz.
The Seattle Times identified the suspect as Ian Lee Stawicki, 40, of Seattle, citing unidentified law enforcement sources. Seattle police Sgt. Sean Whitcomb said he couldn’t confirm the name and said police would not publicly identify the suspect Wednesday night.
Andrew Stawicki, 29, of Ellensburg, told the Times he recognized a photo shown on TV newscasts of the alleged gunman as his brother Ian. Andrew Stawicki said Ian Stawicki was mentally ill.
“It’s no surprise to me this happened,” he told the newspaper. “We could see this coming. Nothing good is going to come with that much anger inside of you.”
The latest spasm of deadly gun violence to hit the city worried Seattle’s leaders and prompted police to consider increasing patrols in high-crime areas. The five victims’ deaths bring the number of homicides so far this year to 21, matching the total for all of last year.
Police said residents could expect a heightened police presence in the city for the time being.
Gunfire erupted late Wednesday morning at Cafe Racer, a restaurant and music venue north of the University of Washington. The gunman was described as a man, possibly in his 30s, wearing dark clothes.
Two men died at the scene, and a third man and a woman from the cafe died at a hospital.
One man wounded in the cafe shooting remained at Harborview in critical but stable condition following surgery earlier in the day. Gregg confirmed his name as Leonard Meuse. Meuse’s father, Raymond Meuse, told the Times his son was shot in the jaw and armpit but was expected to survive.
A King County medical examiner’s spokeswoman said her office might be able to release the dead victims’ identifications today.
In a narrative of the day’s violence released Wednesday night, police said it appears the gunman fled to the First Hill neighborhood near downtown, where he fatally shot a woman in a parking lot and stole her SUV.
Police believe the gunman drove the SUV to West Seattle and ditched it, leaving a gun in the car. After officers found the vehicle, they flooded that area with uniformed and plainclothes officers.
Late Wednesday afternoon, a plainclothes detective spotted the cafe suspect and called for uniformed officers and a SWAT team, Assistant Police Chief Jim Pugel said.
As those officers arrived, the man put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger, Pugel said.
During the manhunt, Roosevelt High School, Eckstein Middle School and Greenlake Elementary were locked down, according to the school district.
In the past month, there have been two random killings in the city.
At a news conference, Mayor Mike McGinn said the spate of violence had “shaken” the city.