Police: First Hill shooter responsible for North Seattle shootings

Police: First Hill shooter responsible for North Seattle shootings

Credit: KING

A black Mercedes SUV was found abandoned on Delridge Way SW in West Seattle. A handgun was found inside.

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by KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on May 30, 2012 at 11:46 AM

Updated Thursday, May 31 at 12:45 PM

8th/Seneca shooting

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SEATTLE -- Seattle police say the suspect who shot and killed a woman in the First Hill neighborhood is the same shooter who opened fire in a cafe in the Roosevelt area just north of the University District, killing three people and critically wounding two others.

The First Hill shooting happened around 11:30 a.m. in a Diamond parking lot near 8th and Seneca streets. Police say according to initial witness reports, a man and a woman were arguing when the man pulled out a handgun and shot the woman in the head.  The suspect jumped into a black Mercedes SUV and fled the scene.

"I heard a gunshot, I looked in the vincinty. The woman was already down," said Thom Merklin, a chauffer 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. 

"We don't know the connection between the man and the woman, but we're working on it," said Mike Sanford, Seattle Assistant Police Chief.

Within a half hour, police found the black Mercedes SUV, abandoned and with a handgun inside, in West Seattle in the 4100 block of Delridge Way SW, but the suspect still remains at large. Police set up a containment area and were scouring the neighborhood for the suspect.  Police received a tip that the suspect was seen ditching the black Mercedes SUV and boarding a Metro bus.

Police initally described the suspect as a white male, about 35-years old, blonde haired with a crew cut, but Sanford later said "the suspect description is still too vague. They're interviewing the witnesses now. We want to make sure we give you the accurate description."

Police initially said the shooting appeared to be a random carjacking, but Seattle police are now piecing together that the North Seattle shooting and First Hill shooting are connected.

Including Wednesday's fatal shootings, five people have died from gunfire in Seattle this week.  Last Thursday, an innocent man died when he was hit struck by a random bullet in the Central District. So far, 20 people have died from gunfire in Seattle since January of 2012.


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