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SEATTLE (AP) — A city already anxious about a recent spate of shootings was rattled further when a man walked into an arts cafe near a Seattle university and opened fire, fatally wounding four people. Police say he later killed a woman during a carjacking before shooting himself.
As officers closed in during a widespread manhunt late Wednesday afternoon, the suspect put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger. He died at a hospital, a hospital spokeswoman said.
The five victims brought the number of homicides in Seattle so far this year to 21, matching the total for all of last year, and left city leaders wondering what could be done to stop the bloodshed.
“Two tragic shootings today … have shaken this city,” Mayor Mike McGinn said at a news conference. “It follows on the heels of multiple, tragic episodes of gun violence that have occurred throughout the city.”
In the last month, there had already been two random killings. A man died last week when he was hit by a stray bullet as he drove, and a woman was killed in a drive-by shooting in late April. No arrests have been made,
Andrew Stawicki, 29, of Ellensburg, Wash., told the Seattle 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.”
A phone number for Andrew Stawicki rang busy when the Associated Press tried to reach him for comment.
Gunfire erupted about 11 a.m. at Cafe Racer, a restaurant and music venue north of the University of Washington.
Police quickly released two photos from inside the cafe, apparently taken from a security camera. One showed a man walking into the establishment, with a woman nearby reading a book and people chatting at the nearby cafe bar. Another photo about a minute later showed stools overturned, and the man standing and holding what appeared to be a handgun.
Two men died at the cafe, and a third man and a woman from the cafe died at a hospital.
Police said it appeared the gunman fled to the First Hill neighborhood near downtown, where he fatally shot a woman in a parking lot and stole her SUV.
He then 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.
A detective spotted the suspect late in the afternoon and called for backup and a SWAT team, Assistant Police Chief Jim Pugel said. As those officers arrived, the man shot himself, he said.
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