A gunman opened fired at a café in Seattle's University District Wednesday, killing three people and seriously wounding two others before fleeing the scene as police begin a massive manhunt to bring him to justice.
Police said that around 11 a.m. a man who appeared to be in his 30s, wearing dark clothing, 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, and a woman expired at a hospital, the Associated Press reported. Two other victims are being treated for serious injuries, authorities said.
Evan Hill, who lives above the cafe, said he was shocked because it is usually a hangout for artists and musicians, reported the Associated Press.
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.
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Officials at nearby Roosevelt High School issued a lockdown and officials at Eckstein Middle School and Green Lake Elementary issued a modified lockdown, reported KIRO.
Doors are still locked, but classes can go on as normal inside, Seattle School District spokeswoman Theresa Whipple told KOMO.
Investigators are also looking into a possible connection between the café shooting and a carjacking that left one woman dead. The carjacking happened just a few miles from the cafe shooting and only a few minutes after.
We're definitely in a dynamic situation right now, Deputy Police Chief Nick Metz said, reported CNN.
The perpetrator of the café shooting is said to be approximately 6 foot 1, with a thin build and light curly brown hair. He also has a goatee or a beard.
Whether he is armed at this time, we don't know, Metz said. We're assuming he's very dangerous.
Metz also said he did not know of a motive for the shooting yet and warned residents of the danger.
We are asking folks to be on guard and not to open their doors to anybody they don't know, said Metz, according to KOMO. We're focusing our search in the immediate area, probably a good 10 blocks out. We don't have a good idea of where he may be.
In the last month, there have been several murders throughout Seattle.
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?