By Christina Lorella
Late Wednesday morning a gunman walked into Cafe Racer, a music and food venue north of the Seattle campus, and opened fire. Two individuals were fatally wounded at the scene, and an additional three people were sent to Harborview Medical Center in critical condition. Later reports indicated that two of those victims, one male and one female, later died of their injuries.
The gunman, who was described by witnesses as a male in his 30s wearing dark clothing, immediately fled the scene resulting in a city-wide manhunt. Seattle police have searched local homes, yards, and driveways, as well as businesses and restaurants. The Seattle School District ordered the lockdown and closure of nearby Roosevelt High School, Eckstein Middle School and Greenlake Elementary.
Another fatal shooting occurred earlier Wednesday when a woman was shot in what first appeared to be a carjacking incident in a Diamond parking lot at 8th and Seneca in Seattle. The police continue to investigate to determine if there was any connection between the male gunman and the female victim. The gunman, who drove a black Mercedes SUV, fled the scene and is also still at large. Officers later found an abandoned vehicle in West Seattle that they believe was involved in the incident. A black handgun was found sitting on the driver’s seat.
It is unknown if the two fatal shootings are related.
These events come at a particularly poor time for the Seattle Police Department which has been heavily scrutinized for the number of gun fatalities that have occurred in the city over the course of a few months. Last Wednesday, Justin Ferarri, was shot and killed by a random bullet in the Central District as he and his family were running errands. Today’s events mark six gun fatalities in Seattle in one week and 20 deaths by gunfire for the year.