Seattle Police have provided new details on Wednesday’s shooting that left 52-year-old Gloria Koch Leonidas dead in a First Hill parking lot as part of a string of killings that left six dead in Seattle.
According to police, witnesses said Leonidas fought back when killer Ian Stawicki approached her as she paid to park in the Town Hall lot after she dropped of a friend at the First Hill facility.
According to witnesses, Leonidas was hit and kicked by Stawicki. During the struggle, Stawicki dropped his pistol, then picked it up and shot Leonidas at point blank range.
Standersby and Seattle Fire rushed to her aid but she was dead at the scene.
Police have released audio from a 911 call made from the scene at 8th and Seneca. It is graphic and unedited. Please use discretion in choosing to listen to the audio.
Police still don’t know how Stawicki traveled from the University District to First Hill but are searching the area for abandoned cars. At a news conference Thursday afternoon, SPD officials who reviewed security video from Cafe Racer said the images were some of the most shocking they had experienced in decades of police work.
“This is completely senseless,” SPD chief detective Jim Pugel said of the motive for the shootings.
“He knew he wasn’t supposed to be there,” Pugel said. “It appeared the barista was calmly refusing service.”
After the University District shootings, police say Stawicki took a hat from one of his victims and walked out of the cafe. His covered head may account for some of the witness accounts that described an attacker who appeared to have a short crew cut.
One witness tells police that Stawicki attempted to run over his victim as he left the parking lot in the victim’s SUV before fleeing to West Seattle where he attempted to contact an acquaintance and eventually shot himself as police closed in.
According to the City Attorney, as of 2010, Stawicki held a concealed weapon permit and reported possession of
five six pistols:
Police have not yet confirmed that any of these handguns were used in Wednesday’s shootings which reportedly involved two .45 caliber weapons.
Out of the dark episode, a man being identified only by the name of “Lawrence” has emerged as a hero for fending off the shooter with stools inside the cafe allowing three people to flee the carnage. The Seattle PI also talked to people who came to the aid of Leonidas.
Community vigils are being planned for Friday night for a city wracked by recent gun violence.
More details on the killings at Cafe Racer and the manhunt that covered the entirety of the city from SPD are below:
A gunman killed five people in a violent rampage, and later took his own life after police cornered him in West Seattle Wednesday, following a five-hour citywide manhunt.
At 10:52 am, the 40-year-old suspect, Ian Stawicki, walked into Café Racer, near NE 59thStreet and Roosevelt Way NE, approached the counter, and ordered a coffee.
When Café staff reminded Stawicki they had banned him from the business—for his erratic behavior—he calmly turned towards the door. Stawicki then drew a .45 pistol, and opened fire on staff and patrons inside the café, shooting several of them at close range, execution style.
Four of Stawicki’s five victims in the café were killed in the shooting.
Police received a flurry of 911 calls about the shooting at 11:01, and officers were on-scene five minutes later. But by then, Stawicki had walked out of the café and headed for First Hill.
Following the cafe shooting, more than 100 detectives and officers from specialized units, along with patrol units and federal authorities, fanned out across the city looking for Stawicki.
A half hour later, Stawicki approached a woman in a parking lot at 8th and Seneca, pistol-whipped her, knocked her to the ground, and shot her in the head, fatally wounding her. The first 911 calls about the shooting came in at 11:32 am, and officers were at the scene by 11:34. But, again, Stawicki had fled the scene, this time in the woman’s Mercedes SUV.
Stawicki drove to West Seattle, and abandoned the stolen SUV—along with one of his handguns—near Delridge Way SW and SW Dakota Street.
Just after 4pm, a plainclothes detective—who was heavily involved in identifying Stawicki through surveillance footage from Café Racer—spotted Stawicki near 36th Avenue and SW Morgan Street. The detective called for backup, and officers moved in to arrest Stawicki.
As officers approached Stawicki on the street, he knelt to the ground, pulled out another .45 handgun, and shot himself in the head.
Medics rushed Stawicki to Harborview, where he later died from his wounds.
The Seattle Police Department is providing audio of several 911 calls and police audio fromyesterday’s incidents.