U-District

Husband of murder victim dealing with 'emotional marathon'

Husband of murder victim dealing with 'emotional marathon'
SEATTLE -- One year ago on Thursday a man named Ian Stawicki opened fire inside Café Racer in the University District, killing four customers and injuring a chef.

A short time later he shot and killed Gloria Leonidas so he could steal her car. When police closed in on him in West Seattle, Stawicki shot and killed himself on the sidewalk.

Gloria's husband said the anniversary represents the end of an emotional marathon.

"It's been in some ways a very long year and a very quick year," said Tom Leonidas. "There's a lot of flashbacks remembering the day, remembering Gloria."

Flowers and caution tape mark the stall near Town Hall in Seattle where Gloria was gunned down.

"You keep thinking the amount of pain one person caused to five people's lives and their families on that one day," Tom said.

Gloria didn't live to celebrate her 20 year wedding anniversary or see her two daughters grow. Tom said he and his daughters struggled to get through the year without Gloria.

"It is still a little tough when you remember the moments she should be here for the birthdays, the holidays and know that she's not," he said.

Tom said he's still bewildered that Stawicki was allowed to have guns.

"All of us deserve to walk around in life and have some degree of safety," he said. "And it's a bit scary to know we're exposed to somebody like that."

A chalk tribute to those who were killed brightens the sidewalk outside Café Racer, but Tom has yet to step food inside. He calls the anniversary a marker point.

"The finality has set in and in some ways it's a new beginning," he said. "But having to push on without her as she would want us to do."