Seattle cafe gunman may have shot self
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
SEATTLE (AP) — Police say the man believed to have opened fire Wednesday at a Seattle cafe, killing three people, apparently shot himself.
Authorities say a man fitting the description of the suspect dozens of officers were seeking was located hours later in the southwest portion of the city. His condition was unclear. Police say the man put a gun to his head as officers approached.
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 in his 30s wearing dark clothes.
Police released two photos from inside the cafe, apparently taken from a security camera.
One shows a man walking into the establishment, with a woman nearby reading a book. Another photo shows stools overturned, and the man standing and holding what appears to be a handgun.
Two men died at the scene. A woman from the cafe died at a hospital.
Police searching for the suspect also had to respond 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.
Authorities didn’t immediately know if the shootings were related.
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 three deaths bring the number of homicides to 19 this year, compared to 21 in all of last year.
Evan Hill, who lives above the building where the cafe shooting happened, said the cafe was an artists’ collective and performance space.
“It’s the strangest place to think of a shooting,” said Hill, who heard four to five shots. He said he ran to his balcony and called 911, but didn’t see a suspect.
On a street corner across from the cafe, friends of the victims gathered by the ivy-covered wall of an apartment building. Some collapsed in grief. The cafe’s owner hugged them and commiserated.
Units of police officers marched by with rifles and shotguns, knocking on doors and checking driveways and yards in the neighborhood of single-family, bungalow-style homes, restaurants and businesses.
During the manhunt, Roosevelt High School, Eckstein Middle School and Greenlake Elementary were locked down, according to the school district.
In the second shooting, the SUV that the gunman fled in was later found, but the suspect remained at large, police said.
In the last month, there have been two random killings in the city.
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