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Saturday, March 25, 2006

“He didn’t show a lot of emotion.”

Posted by on March 25 at 17:37 PM

The man who shot and killed six young people at a party this morning in Capitol Hill, before killing himself, was in his late twenties and was only an acquaintance to the victims, according to Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske, who briefed reporters at a Saturday afternoon press conference.

The Seattle Police Department is not releasing the name of the shooter, nor those of the victims. Kerlikowske confirmed that the people at the party had attended the all-ages “Better Off Undead” DJ dance night at the Capitol Hill Arts Center on 12th Avenue. In an unsettling bit of irony, the show was a zombie costume night featuring theater blood and ghoulish death costumes with girls dressed, for example, as “brides of death.” About 275 youngsters, mostly late teens, showed up. CHAC reports that there were 19 staff security on hand for the event—which went until 4am—and report that it was a mellow scene with lots of cuddling.

Based on police interviews with roughly 25 people who were at the party, the shooter had been invited to the house on East Republican, near 22nd. Kerlikowske said that partygoers used alcohol and marijuana but that it remained unclear whether those substances had any role in the crime.

The shooter was described as “quiet” and “humble” by partygoers interviewed by police. He left the party shortly before 7 a.m. and police say there was no evidence of an argument.

The man returned in about 10 minutes. He spraypainted the word “NOW” on the sidewalk and steps of neighboring homes, before approaching the home where the party was taking place. He was carrying a pistol-grip 12-gauge shotgun and a semi-automatic handgun.

People were standing on the home’s porch and the man fired at them, killing two. Those who were inside the home tried to close the door, but the shooter forced it open. He killed three people in the living room “execution-style,” according to Kerlikowske.

The shooter then went upstairs to look for other partygoers, some of whom were crawling out of windows. Two people locked themselves in the bathroom and the shooter fired a round through the door but did not hit them.

A police officer happened to be within a block of the home and when he arrived a victim ran toward his squad car. The officer told the victim to lie down and then the shooter came out of the home. The officer drew his gun and said “Drop your-” but before he could finish his sentence, the man shot himself.

“We have absolutely no idea what the motive was,” said Kerlikowske. “It’s not like there was a lot of conversation.”

The shooter fired “dozens” of rounds, according to Kerlikowske, and police found in the man’s truck an assault rifle with banana clips of ammunition.

“He didn’t show a lot of emotion,” said Kerlikowske. “There was no argument or fight that led to this.”

The victims range in age from early teens to early 20s. There are two more victims who remain at Harborview Medical Center. One has what a police spokeswoman described as “life-threatening injuries,” while the other is conscious and has been interviewed by police.

CommentsRSS icon

Wow, scary!

jesus christ. absolutely horrific.

correct me if i'm wrong, but i don't think seattle has seen a gruesome slaying like that since the wah mee massacre in 1983.

I think you're correct, Kerri.

People are going to blame dance nights, pot, booze, young people, blah blah blah. How about we blame laws that allow people to assemble an arsenal like that? Banana clips? Semi-automatics? Christ.

Before we get the standard rave freakout crew, I want to stress this was just a random theme party. It could have just as easily been about dragons or trolls or 50's movie characters, keep that in mind when you start hearing about "zombie raves" on Fox News.

I knew several people here, and lost a couple of friends. The people involved in this party are non-violent, attenders are peaceful etc. This is a shock to the rave community who are reeling from such a catastropic event and loss. Something of this nature would not be on anyone at this party's radar, I guarantee.

no need to exploit a horrible tragedy. its gruesome terror is beyond any practical politics. but i agree with dan: gun control. NOW. NOW NOW NOW.

Not that I disagree with gun control, but as my crazy gun-supporting roommate would point out, if one of the other people at the party had had a gun, the incident could have ended a lot quicker...

Let me say first that I am horrified and saddened by the story as it is unfolding. I live a few blocks away.

That being said, let me thank the Stranger blog folks for their timeliness and diligence in reporting what they know (and making clear what is speculation.) This has been an important service to the neighborhood, and I only wish that more people had access to it, or even knowledge that it's there.

Finally, (and this is nitpicking on my part, truly): I'm a little taken aback by the level of typos and bad grammar in not only your reports but all the major Seattle outlets. Bad spelling is one thing, but things like referring to "he" in a sentence citing multiple sources is very confusing and frustrating. (Seattle Times is the one I'm thinking of in this instance, though this slog is guilty of this casual error.)

Despite that, I really do want to express my thanks that you all have given better insight and coverage much faster than either local television or radio coverage.

ahh, yes. if someone else at the party, with all the drinking, had had a gun, then everything would have been FINE. two people shooting at each other in a crowded house of drunk people is a perfect solution.

I corrected my post to reflect the CHAC party's being called "Better Off Undead." Sorry about that. It's been a loooooong day. Drop a comment if you catch any other mistakes.

ahh, yes. if someone else at the party, with all the drinking, had had a gun...

As a certified gun nut, I have to agree... alcohol + firearms + a lot of minors = a really bad idea

That said, as to the earlier posts in support of gun control, it is my understanding that most of the murders were due to the shotgun. Even if the horrible, evil assault rifle and nasty banana clips were illegal, most of the these folks would still be dead.

And nearly all handguns (around 90%) are semi-auto. All semi-auto means is one trigger pull, one shot.

As a squishy gay liberal gunlover I have to agree with Mike.

I would love to hear access to mental healthcare discussed. It seems the issue is not the tools of the destruction but the cause of it.

He could have been just as deadly if he had used a vehicle when the venue closed for the night.

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