A large police response filled the area around 23rd and Yesler’s Catholic Community Services building Tuesday afternoon after a report of an armed man at the facility filled with dozens of people.
Officers located several employees inside the Randolph Carter Center building and were evacuating them from the area after finding the possible gunman down with a gunshot wound, according to East Precinct radio reports. UPDATE: Police were continuing to search for a possible suspect. It’s not clear at this point if the downed man is a victim or the suspect. UPDATE x2: Police have determined the downed man is the shooter.
UPDATE 2:51 PM: Police say the gunman is dead — shooting himself after trying to shoot a woman at the facility:
A man fatally shot himself after attempting to shoot a woman at a housing services program in the Central District Tuesday afternoon. Around 1:15 PM, the man met with the woman in a courtyard of a building in the 100 block 23rd Ave and made threatening statements to her. He then pulled out a gun and fired at the woman, who managed to get away uninjured. The suspect then fatally shot himself. Police surrounded the building, confirmed the suspect was deceased, and searched floor by floor. They located one person who had sustained minor injuries while fleeing from the sounds of gunfire.
UPDATE: In a letter to the community, Archbishop Paul Etienne described the gunman as “a distraught individual.”
“This afternoon, a distraught individual came to the headquarters at the Randolph Carter Family and Learning Center,” Etienne writes. “He threatened the life of a staff member before taking his own life. Mercifully, no one else was harmed and all of the staff were able to safely leave the building.”
In his letter, Etienne expressed his gratitude for the employees and management “who quickly followed all safety protocols and took control” of the situation and thanked the Seattle Police Department and emergency responders.
“Events like this remind us of the stress and pain that unrelenting poverty can bring. Events like this remind us of the real suffering and frustration that coincide with untreated health conditions, Etienne writes. “Events like this remind us of the desperation and hopelessness people feel before taking their own lives — a tragic trend that is exacerbated by the pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Original report: The facility and surrounding area were locked down by police as officers continued to search the building for possible victims and to contact those sheltering in place.
Police were first called to the location around 1:22 PM. The building was announced secured by police 30 minutes later when Seattle Fire medics entered the facility.
Those evacuated were gathered at the nearby Douglass-Truth Library during the response.
We do not yet have confirmation of any victims at the building and do not yet know more details about the condition of the reported gunman.
CCS is a social services organization supported by the Archdiocese of Seattle. Its offices at 23rd and Yesler support programs including charities, housing services, and efforts like the King County Housing and Essential Needs Program.
HELP KEEP CHS 'PAY WHAT YOU CAN' FOR EVERYONE -- SUBSCRIBE TODAY! Support local journalism dedicated to your neighborhood. SUBSCRIBE HERE. Join to become a subscriber at $1/$5/$10 a month to help CHS provide community news with NO PAYWALL. You can also sign up for a one-time annual payment.