World

Shooting in downtown Seattle leaves 1 dead, 7 wounded

Three people including a nine-year-old boy remained hospitalized Thursday morning after police say several people in a dispute opened fire, killing a woman, in the busiest part of downtown Seattle at the height of the Wednesday evening commute.

Police say a dispute in front of McDonalds preceded the shooting

Several people were shot in downtown Seattle Wednesday, the third shooting in the past two days. (Amanda Snyder/The Seattle Times via The Associated Press)

Three people including a nine-year-old boy remained hospitalized Thursday morning after police say several people in a dispute opened fire, killing a woman, in the busiest part of downtown Seattle at the height of the Wednesday evening commute.

It was the third shooting downtown in two days, and business groups implored the city to improve public safety.

Authorities began receiving calls of multiple gunshot victims at about 5 p.m., said Seattle Fire Chief Harold Scoggins. The person who died was a woman in her 40s, fire officials said. Seven people were treated for gunshot wounds, said Harborview Medical Center spokesperson Susan Gregg.

Three were still hospitalized Thursday morning, according to a statement from Gregg. The condition of a 55-year-old woman was upgraded from critical to serious and a 32-year-old man and the boy were listed in satisfactory condition.

Among the wounded were two Amazon employees. Their injuries were not life-threatening, according to the company. Amazon has a corporate office in the area of the shooting and the employees happened to be passing by, Amazon said.

"We are deeply troubled by last night's events in Seattle and our thoughts go out to everyone impacted by this tragedy," Amazon said in a statement Thursday. "Two of our employees were injured and both are recovering. We are grateful to police and first responders for acting so quickly."

Police blocked several streets following the shooting Wednesday, as detectives collected evidence and searched for additional witnesses.  (Gabe Reyes via REUTERS)

Police said video from the scene showed several people firing weapons after a dispute outside a McDonald's.

Officers from the homicide and gang units are investigating. No arrests were immediately reported.

"This is not a random incident. There were multiple people involved," said Police Chief Carmen Best. "There was a dispute that happened in front of the McDonald's, people pulled out guns, shots rang out, people ran in various directions."

'It was just rapid fire'

There were two other shootings downtown earlier this week. Police found a man with a gunshot wound in a mall stairwell Tuesday, and he later died at a hospital. Police shot a person in another area of downtown earlier on Wednesday.

The Downtown Seattle Association, a business group, said in a statement the area where Wednesday's shooting happened has been a high-crime spot for years.

"'We call on public officials to devote the resources necessary to improve safety in downtown," the group said in a statement. "'We say enough is enough."

Seattle Police said via Twitter Thursday they were searching for two suspects, both 24, considered armed and dangerous. Both men were known to police.

Samantha Cook said she was refilling her transit card in a nearby station when she heard gunfire Wednesday.

"I was on the first set of escalators," Cook told The Seattle Times. "There were a lot of gunshots that started going off — maybe 10 or 11. It was just rapid fire."

Tyler Parsons told the Times he was was working nearby at a coffee shop when he saw people drop to the ground. Some took cover behind the cash register where he worked and Parsons took five or six customers to a storage area.

The shooting was "just kind of terrifying. Terrifying it's so close," Parsons said.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said in a statement that he was "horrified and dismayed" to hear about the shooting.

"We grieve for the one individual confirmed dead in the shooting, and wish a full and speedy recovery to those who were injured.''