Seattle seems to be going through quite the rough patch. Only a few days ago a man was wounded by bullet near the Space Needle and four houses were implicated in drive-by shootings. Now another shooting spree causes safety concerns. Six people died in Seattle shootings yesterday.
According to authorities, a man simply strolled into Café Racer, an arts café close to the university and started shooting at people. He killed four people in the arts café, another one during carjacking and finally he shot himself. Although the police did not give the media the shooter’s name, Seattle Times learned that he was Ian Lee Stawicki, age 40.
Mayor Mike McGinn said: “Two tragic shootings today…have shaken this city. It follows on the heels of multiple, tragic episodes of gun violence that have occurred throughout the city”.
Wednesday’s shootings were initially considered to be two separate cases. Ian Lee Stawicki died in hospital hours later the arts café shooting. Meanwhile, Seattle was trying to contain the problem and reduce the risk. It was a security alert and lockdown, as Seattle schools and community centers ran by the city were closed. The city’s residents were also advised to avoid going out on the street until the shooter would be found.
The shooter eventually killed himself when he couldn’t escape his chasers. A tweet from the Seattle police department read: “The man detectives believe to be the lone suspect in four murders in two locations shot himself in the head when approached by @SeattlePD”.
Those who knew Ian Lee Stawicki did not look surprised with the fact he was behind Wednesday’s Seattle shootings. His brother, Andrew Stawicki talked with the Seattle Times, and told them he had mental issues. “It’s no surprise to me this happened. We could see this coming. Nothing good is going to come with that much anger inside of you”.
Wednesday’s shootings bring Seattle’s homicides to a total of 21. It’s a staggering death toll considering 2012 already topped 2011’s homicides and it’s not even June.
The sole survivor of the attack at the arts café was the café’s chef. Apparently Ian Lee Stawicki caused some sort of disturbance at the café just days earlier. Plus, it seems people knew he had “psychiatric problems”.