6 dead in Seattle cafe shooting and carjacking

Credit: KING

Five people were shot at Cafe Racer in Seattle, May 30, 2012.

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by KING 5 News

kgw.com

Posted on May 31, 2012 at 6:08 AM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 10:02 AM

SEATTLE – A man reportedly suffering from mental illness shot and killed four people in a cafe, shot a woman to death as he took her SUV and later shot himself in the head.

Photos: 6 dead in Seattle shooting spree

The shooting was at the Cafe Racer on Roosevelt Avenue, popular for its music and bohemian appeal.

The Seattle Times, identified the suspect as Ian Stawicki. His brother reportedly says that Stawicki suffers from mental illness.

He knelt to the ground and killed himself as police moved toward him to arrest him.

The Seattle Times reported that Stawicki had been kicked out of Café Racer two or three times in recent weeks for “snapping” at people.

His family told the Times that he had a history of mental-health problems and was a very angry man. His younger brother said he was not surprised to learn of the shooting because Stawicki had so much anger inside of him.

Police say two male victims were killed at the scene. Two more men and a woman were taken to Harborview Medical Center in critical condition. The woman and one of the men died at the hospital.

There is one survivor of the shootings still fighting his injuries -- Leonard Meuse, who is a chef at Cafe Racer. Meuse was shot in the jaw and his side, and is in critical but stable condition at Harborview Medical Center.

The Seattle Times identified the woman who was shot and killed in the parking lot at 8th Avenue and Seneca Street as Gloria Koch Leonidas. A Bellevue mother of two daughters, Leonidas worked in the lighting industry.

Victims Drew Keriakedes and Joe Albanese died in the shooting at the Ravenna neighborhood coffee shop. Best friends, the two men were described as influential musicians in the community and members of the vaudeville-burlesque band Circus Contraption. Albanese was also a member of the band God's Favorite Beefcake, which just last weekend played at the Seattle Folklife Festival.

The other man and woman who died in the shooting at Cafe Racer have not yet been identified.

The shooter was seen running away from the scene northbound, armed with a gun. Seattle police released these surveillance images.

Roosevelt High School, Eckstein Middle School and Green Lake Elementary School were placed in either modified or full lockdown, but school was dismissed on time. Greenlake Community Center and Ravenna/Eckstein Community Center were also temporarily in lockdown.

The public was advised to stay out of the area. Residents were told to stay inside and lock their doors and windows. Police continue to search homes in the area.

Evan Hill, who lives above the building were the cafe shooting happened, said the cafe was an artists' collective and performance space.

"It's the strangest place to think of a shooting," Hill said.

One regular at the coffee shop said the man they knew as Ian was told he wasn't welcome in there any more.

"He'd be totally normal and educated and all of a sudden he would just crack - and say insane crazy stuff at a certain point they kicked him out and then this morning they said you are 86'd, you can't be here would you like a coffee to go. He was nice - courteous, walked to the door and turned and then started shooting," said Christopher Assaf.

Police said it appears that about 30 minutes after the shooting at the cafe, the suspect in the cafe shooting fled to First Hill, where he fatally shot a woman in a parking lot, then stole her SUV.

"I heard a gunshot, I looked in the vicinity. The woman was already down," said Thom Merklin, a chauffeur across the street who rushed to the woman's aid. He found her lying on the ground with multiple gunshot wounds in her back.

Officers arrived quickly and began CPR on the victim until medics arrived and transported her to Harborview Medical Center. She was later pronounced dead.

Police say the suspect then drove the SUV to West Seattle.

Within a half hour, police found the black Mercedes SUV, abandoned and with a handgun on the passenger seat, in West Seattle in the 4100 block of Delridge Way SW. Police set up a containment area and scoured the Delridge neighborhood for hours for the suspect.

Police spent the afternoon shutting down streets and searching various West Seattle locations for a suspect in the downtown shootings.

Just after 4 p.m., a plainclothes officer spotted the suspect near 36th Avenue and SW Morgan Street, and called for back-up. As uniformed officers approached the suspect, he knelt down to the ground, and shot himself. Medics rushed the man to Harborview for treatment and he later died.

Deadly week

This is just the latest in a very deadly week - as gun violence escalates in Seattle.

It began last Thursday with the shooting death of an innocent father.

Someone fired a shot and it struck Justin Ferrari as he drove his family in the Central District. The killer has not been found.

On Saturday evening a shooting at the Folklife Festival left another innocent man with a gunshot wound.

In the early hours of Sunday police responded to four drive-by shootings in South Seattle where more than 60 shots were fired. No was seriously hurt or killed.

And later that same morning in north Seattle, a robber with a gun broke into a home with a marijuana grow operation. He shot and killed a man inside

At a press conference Wednesday afternoon, Mayor Mike McGinn said it’s a priority to identify the strategies that are needed to employ to try to bring an end to the wave of gun violence that the city is seeing.

"It's going to take our political leaders coming together to give our police officers the support and the tools they need to do their job, and I'm committed to doing that," said McGinn. "And we will be working with our police to give them the tools they need to focus on violent offenders with access to guns."

"It's also going to take a focus on the laws that make it too easy for people to acquire guns and it's also going to take full partnership with the community to end the culture of violence where young men believe it's OK to attempt to resolve disputes through violence, including guns." 

Story compiled by KING 5's Travis Pittman, Susan Wyatt and Liza Javier, including information from Associated Press

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