Stunned community reacts to Wednesday's outburst of violence

Stunned community reacts to Wednesday's outburst of violence
SEATTLE - The torrent of violence that washed over Seattle on Wednesday left six people dead, including the suspected gunman. Now a stunned city is mourning the victims while wondering what more can be done to make the city safe.

Police believe Ian L. Stawicki was armed when he entered Café Racer in the University District at 11 a.m. He opened fire, killing four people and wounding another.

About a half hour later, Stawicki shot and killed 52-year-old Gloria Leonidas at Eighth Avenue and Seneca Street, near Town Hall on Seattle's First Hill, according to police.

When officers caught up with the 40-year-old Ellensburg man hours later near 37th and Raymond in West Seattle, Stawicki knelt on the ground and turned the gun on himself. He was taken to Harborview Medical Center, where he died Wednesday night, according to hospital spokesperson Susan Gregg.


Drew Keriakedes.
Drew Keriakedes and Joseph Vito Albanse were members of the band God's Favorite Beefcake. Both men were inside Café Racer Wednesday morning, and both were killed. Friends of the men are now struggling to cope with the horrendous loss.

"It's heartbreaking, it really is, to think of that loss," said David Gordon, who was friends with the men. "It's not just for me, but for the rest of the world. They were such great contributors to the quality of life in Seattle and elsewhere. I just cant imagine they will be easily replaced."

Gordon said he can't understand why his friends were killed.

"I'm only thinking (Stawicki) had some really serious emotional problems and would have gotten someone else if it wasn't Drew and Joe," he said.

Two others - a man and woman - also were killed in the shooting at Cafe Racer. Their names were not immediately available.

Joseph Vito Albanse.


The only survivor of the cafe shooting, Leonard Meuse, was upgraded from critical to serious condition at Harborview Medical Center. He remained in the intensive care unit Thursday, said spokeswoman Susan Gregg.

Meuse's father, Raymond Reuse, said his son had worked as a chef in the bakery of the Cafe Racer for a number of years.

About a half-hour after the cafe shootings, Stawicki shot Gloria Leonidas near Town Hall because he wanted to steal her Mercedes SUV, police say.

Joanne Stremler saw it happen and tried to give CPR to Leonidas, who was still alive in the moments after the shooting. She died later at the hospital.

Leonidas, 52, of Bellevue is survived by a husband and two children.

Many Seattle residents were shocked by the day's violence. Tensions boiled over at a Wednesday night meeting in the Central District. City leaders, including Mayor Mike McGinn and top police officials, attended the event to discuss the city's recent spike in violence.

The meeting gave many residents a chance to vent their frustrations.

"If violence is a disease, our city is infected," said one speaker. "When young people die before old people, something is wrong. When old people are afraid of young people, something is wrong. How did we become so disconnected?"

Twenty-one people have been killed in Seattle so far this year with only seven arrests made, not counting two cases that were cleared.

Last week a man was fatally shot by a stray bullet while he and his family drove down a street in the city's Central District. Justin Ferrari, 43, a software developer, was killed when a stranger started shooting Thursday afternoon. Police said the gunman's intended target was another person involved in a dispute with the gunman.

Ferrari's death was the second random killing in Seattle in about a month. In late April, a 21-year-old woman who recently moved to Seattle from Albuquerque, N.M., to pursue her dream of becoming a chef died of injuries suffered in an apparently random drive-by shooting near downtown. No arrests have been made in either incident.

Last year, the city saw 20 homicide cases. In 2010, there were 19 cases.