One person is dead and seven others were injured, including a 9-year-old boy, after multiple gunmen opened fire following a dispute in a crowded shopping district in downtown Seattle on Wednesday.
A 50-year-old woman was in critical condition at Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center, and the child boy was in “very serious condition,” according to Seattle Fire Chief Harold Scoggins. The fire department transported five patients to Harborview and two more arrived at the hospital later.
A woman in her 40s or 50s was killed in the shooting, the Seattle Times reported. She when dead when first-responders arrived on the scene and was not transported to the hospital.
Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best said police were still searching for the shooters, and trying to determine how many were involved. She said the shooting was not random.
“This was a dispute that happened in front of the McDonald’s. People pulled out guns, shots rang out, people ran in various directions, and as you know, we had multiple people injured,” she told reporters Wednesday night.
The shooting happened just after 5 p.m. near 4th Avenue and Pine Street in a busy area in downtown Seattle. This is the third shooting in the area in two days—a 28-year-old man was shot by police in the northern neighborhood of Belltown earlier in the day, and a 55-year-old man shot and critically wounded at the Westlake center about 24 hours before, according to the Times.
Images on social media showed traffic in the area gridlocked, and the city’s traffic department appealed to residents to avoid the downtown vicinity as multiple streets have been shut off for investigations. Bus services were rerouted to accommodate the closures.
One witness told Seattle Times that she was inside a coffee shop when she heard a volley of gunfire. She saw people who had collapsed outside and an officer running towards the scene with an assault-style rifle a couple minutes after the gunfire started.
“I saw a couple of bodies go down,” another witness told the Times.
Westlake Station, the subway station minutes from the site of the shooting, was evacuated by 6 pm./agencies