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Four killed in Seattle shooting spree

01 june 2012, 13:22
Photo courtesy of chimovement.com
Photo courtesy of chimovement.com
A gunman in Seattle shot five people Wednesday in a cafe, three fatally, before killing another woman and later turning the weapon on himself as officers closed in, AFP reports citing police.

The suspect, identified by the Seattle Times as 40-year-old Ian Stawicki, was alive and receiving treatment at Harborview Medical Center, a clinic in the northwestern US city where his two surviving victims clung to life.

Stawicki is believed to have entered Cafe Racer Espresso near the University of Seattle at around 11:00 am local time (1800 GMT) and shot five people with a pistol.

Two men were confirmed dead at the scene, while a third victim, a woman, died later in hospital. His two remaining victims were in a critical condition, one undergoing surgery.

Half-an-hour later, Stawicki is believed to have shot dead a woman downtown before fleeing in a black Mercedes-Benz SUV.

An officer spotted the suspect at around 2300 GMT a mile-and-a-half away from the abandoned vehicle. When patrol cars approached Stawicki he put a gun to his head and fired one round, Deputy Police Chief Nick Metz said, according to the Seattle Times.

"The man detectives believe to be the lone suspect in 4 murders in 2 locations shot himself in the head when approached by @SeattlePD," read a tweet from the Seattle police department.

The shootings, one of them in an upmarket university district, shocked a city that has now seen as many murders this year as it did in the whole of 2011.

"We've had two tragic shootings today that have shaken this city. And it follows on the heels of multiple tragic episodes of gun violence that have occurred throughout the city," Seattle mayor Mike McGinn told journalists.

The motive for the shootings was not clear but the suspect's brother told the Seattle Times he was mentally ill.

"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," Andrew Stawicki said.

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