$1 million bail set for woman accused in workplace shooting

$1 million bail set for woman accused in workplace shooting »Play Video
Officers work the scene outside of a Seattle Parks Department building on Friday, March 8, 2013 after a person was shot in the building. Officers were searching for a woman after the shooting. (Joshua Trujillo, seattlepi.com)
SEATTLE - Bail was set at $1 million for a woman accused of shooting a co-worker Friday afternoon at a Seattle Parks Department maintenance facility near Green Lake.

Carolyn Joyce "Zoom" Piksa, 46, waived her right to appear in court at the Saturday bail hearing in King County Superior Court. The judge found probable cause existed to hold her for investigation of first-degree assault.

According to court documents released Saturday, police responded Friday at about 2 p.m. after receiving a 911 call from a man who said he had just been shot by a co-worker.

Rushing to the scene, the Densmore Park and Recreation Office at 8061 Densmore Ave. N., officers and medics found the 65-year-old victim with a gunshot wound to the chest.

The victim, identified as Bill Keller, 65, told police he had been shot by Piksa, according to court documents. He said Piksa had fled the scene after the shooting.

Keller was rushed to Harborview Medical Center, where he was initially listed in critical condition. His condition was upgraded to serious Saturday after he underwent surgery.

A short time after the shooting, police learned that Piksa had gone to the Bitter Lake Community Center at 13035 Linden Ave. N. and confronted a woman there. Piksa brandished a gun at her, but the woman was able to get away unharmed, court papers said.

Piksa then stole the woman's purse and fled the scene. A regionwide hunt was launched for Piksa, who was considered armed and dangerous.

In the meantime, several schools in the vicinity of Bitter Lake were placed on lockdown and all Seattle community centers were shut down during the hunt because it was thought Piksa might have keys to them in her possession.

Piksa was later found and arrested at her home at about 4:50 p.m. Friday. Seattle police were able to track her there using her cellphone's signal.

She was taken to police headquarters and admitted shooting Keller and stealing the woman's purse, court documents say. She remains in the King County jail for investigation of assault.

Piksa worked as an assistant coordinator for community centers and has been a Parks and Recreation Department employee since 1986. Keller is the executive director of the Associated Recreation Council, a nonprofit group that works with Seattle Parks Department.

The motive for the shooting has not been determined.

Piksa is due back in court on Wednesday, which is the day prosecutors will decide what charges to pursue.