SEATTLE — A gunman opened fire in downtown Seattle on Wednesday night, killing one person and wounding seven others.
Seattle Fire Chief Harold Scoggins said authorities began receiving calls at about 5 p.m. of gunshot victims. One person was found dead in a heavily trafficked area of downtown and five others were taken to a Seattle hospital, he said. The Seattle Times reported later that police said seven people were being treated at a hospital for gunshot wounds.
Susan Gregg, a spokeswoman at Harborview Medical Center, said a woman was in critical condition, a man was in serious condition and five other men were in satisfactory condition with gunshot wounds to the legs, chest, buttocks and abdomen.
Police Chief Carmen Best said officers believe a lone suspect fled and police were searching for him. Several police units, including homicide and gang units, were at the scene, she said.
Tyler Parsons was working the register inside Victrola Coffee Shop nearby when the shooting occurred. He told the Seattle Times he did not hear shots — they play music loud in the store — but customers started dropping to the ground.
People were running behind the register, taking cover. He hustled five or six customers inside a back storage area, along with a co-worker.
He waited a couple of minutes before walking back out. Parsons went into the building lobby and saw two victims: one outside, lying in front of the building, visibly injured, but alive and moving. The second was inside the lobby, up against the security desk, with an apparent gunshot wound to the leg. He muttered, “I think I got shot, I think I got shot,” Parsons said.
Samantha Cook, 40, of Edmonds, said she was refilling her transit card in Westlake Station when she heard the shots. “I was on the first set of escalators,” Cook said. “There were a lot of gunshots that started going off — maybe 10 or 11. It was just rapid fire.”
The scene was chaotic, Cook said.