As Ian Stawicki indiscriminately shot five people at Café Racer during a shooting in Seattle on Wednesday, one man, Lawrence Adams, stood up and attempted to subdue the shooter by hurling bar stools at him. Stawicki aimed his gun at Adams, but the move created enough of a distraction to allow several customers to flee the scene.
Adams is now being lauded as a hero who helped reduce casualties at the tragic Seattle shooting scene.
My brother died in the World Trade Center, Adams told police after the incident, the Associated Press reported.
After his brother's death, Adams said that if he ever came face to face with a terrible tragedy, he would never hide under a table.
After being attacked with the stool, Adams said that Stawicki looked at me like he didn't [care] at all, Lawrence told Seattle Police after the incident, Fox News reported. He just moved towards the rear of the bar instead of dealing with me at all, and I just brushed past him. He was on a mission to kill my friends.
On Thursday, Seattle Assistant Police Chief Jim Pugel said the shooting, which was caught on camera, started without warning.
Some folks are reading, others are sipping coffee, they are jocular, they are exchanging conversation, then the person comes in, looks around, sits down, you can see there's some interaction between him and the barista, Pugel said, reported Reuters. One person stands up, looks like he's going to go outside for a minute. At that point, the suspect stands up and starts shooting.
However, Pugel also mentioned that Adams acted bravely during the incident.
The hero picked up a stool and threw it at the suspect, hit him, picked up another stool as the suspect is shooting, and now pointing at him, and hits him with another stool, he said. During that time, two or possibly three people made their escape.
However, Adams did not want to be identified as a hero. He said the hero was the café employee who called 911 after being wounded.
During his rampage, Stawicki shot and killed five victims. The chaos began around 11 a.m. when Stawicki entered Café Racer, a restaurant and music establishment just north of the University of Washington, and opened fire, reported KOMO TV.
Two male victims died at the scene. A man and a woman later expired at a Harborview Medical Center, the Associated Press reported. Another victim is being treated for serious injuries, authorities said.
According to the Seattle Times, Joe Vito Albanese, 52, and his friend Drew Keriakedes, 45, were killed at the scene. They played in a band called God's Favorite Beefcake. The names of the other two victims were not released.
Leornard Meuse, a chef at Café Racer, was wounded in the jaw and armpit. However, he is expected to survive and is listed in critical, but stable condition.
Evan Hill, who lives above the cafe, said he was shocked because it is usually a hangout for artists and musicians, the Associated Press reported.
It's the strangest place to think of a shooting, said Hill, who heard four or five shots. He called 911 and ran to his balcony. But he did not see the suspect run.
The gunman left the restaurant and quickly headed downtown. He saw a woman driving a black SUV, stealing the vehicle. However, the woman was fatally shot in the process.
For the next four hours, police went door-to door looking for Stawicki before he could harm anyone else.
Local schools in the community issued a lockdown, fearing for the safety of the children. Buses were rerouted to avoid a possible conflict with the killer, the Seattle Times reported.
Around 4 p.m., police caught up with Stawicki.
As patrol officers started coming in, the suspect saw that he was just about to be captured, and the suspect then raised a firearm to his head and then shot himself in the head, Seattle Police Deputy Chief of Operations Nick Met said, CBS News reported.
Around the same time, Mayor Mike McGinn was giving a press conference on the incident, in which he talked about the city's recent surge in violence.
Two tragic shootings today ... have shaken this city, Mayor Mike McGinn said at the news conference, the Associated Press reported. It follows on the heels of multiple, tragic episodes of gun violence that have occurred throughout the city.
As officers tracked down Stawicki, 40, to a home, he pulled out a gun and placed it to his head. He shot himself, but was quickly brought to a local hospital where he later succumbed to his injuries. He died approximately 6 p.m. local time on Wednesday.
Stawicki's family said they are not surprised that he went on rampage. They claimed he was mentally ill.
He was happy sometimes, but not really, said Walt Stawicki, Ian's father, reported ABC. He was kind of disgruntled.
Andrew Stawicki, 29, Ian's brother, concurred with his father. He said his older brother had dramatically changed over the past five years.
Angry. He was really angry toward everything, Andrew Stawicki said, according to the Seattle Times.
However, Andrew's brother would not discuss his brother's mental illness or his anger.
Someone like that is so stubborn you can't talk to him, he said. 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.
Ian Stawicki's family hoped he would seek mental help before he snapped.
Stawicki also have previous run-ins with the law. In February 2008, he was arrested on a misdemeanor domestic-violence charge. He pledged to stay 500 feet away from a 37-year-old woman who was living with him at the charge. The charges were later dismissed.
In Kittitas County in 2010, he was charged with an assault in the fourth-degree, but court records did not give a description of the incident, reported the Seattle Times.
In lieu of Wednesday's incident, Mayor McGinn said the city must act quickly in order to end the gun violence in the city.
We also need to focus on laws that make it too easy for people to acquire guns and also undertake a full partnership with the community to end the culture where young men believe it's OK to resolve disputes with violence, including guns, he said.
In the last month, there have been several murders throughout Seattle. The number of murders in Seattle has skyrocketed to 21. Last year, the total tally was 20.
Last week, a man was killed when a stray bullet hit him as he was driving his family in their car. In late April, a woman was killed after she was inadvertently struck in an apparent random drive-by shooting, reported the AP.
Arrests have not been made in either incident.
Since the New Year, there have been 18 murders in Seattle. Police pledged to increase the number of officers on the street and asked residents to come forward if they know about a crime.
However, community leaders are doubtful that will help drive down crime.
We have seen many community vigils, community mobilizations. We've heard about these strategies before, said Councilman Tom Rasmussen, according to the AP. What's going to change?