SEATTLE – One person was killed and seven others were wounded in a shooting in downtown Seattle on Wednesday, just as the streets were teeming with people during the evening rush hour, officials said.
Investigators were still searching for more than one suspect, Carmen Best, Seattle’s police chief, said during a news conference nearly three hours after the 5 p.m. shooting. She said the attack stemmed from a dispute in front of a McDonald’s and that it was not a random shooting.
The police were reviewing security camera footage and other forensic evidence to try to get answers, said the chief, who described the sequence of events as “murky.” It was not immediately clear how many people opened fire.
“I don’t see any future danger to the public,” Chief Best said.
Among the survivors, the most serious injuries were suffered by a 55-year-old woman, who was listed in critical condition, and a 9-year-old boy, who was initially listed in serious condition but improved to satisfactory condition later in the night, authorities said.
The episode happened at Pine Street and Third Avenue, just blocks from the city’s popular Pike Place Market and along a main light rail line.
Eyewitness videos showed people running from the area as law enforcement officers swarmed the downtown streets and businesses to treat the wounded and search for the suspects.
Susan Gregg, a spokeswoman for Harborview Medical Center, said seven patients had arrived at the hospital for treatment in the aftermath of the shooting.
In addition to the wounded woman and child who were hospitalized, four men, whose ages ranged from 21 to 49, were treated and then released. A 32-year-old man remained at the hospital in satisfactory condition, officials said.
The police cordoned off part of Third Avenue, along a block with a history of troubles, and also closed access to a nearby light rail station.
Douglas Converse, 60, said he was just about to enter a light rail station when he began hearing a series of gunshots – he estimated about a dozen total – and saw at least two people fall to the ground. He went into the light rail station to seek help from law enforcement officers.
Mr. Converse noted two previous shootings that occurred in the city within the last day and said he hoped police could get a handle on the violence.
“It's really unusual,” Mr. Converse said.
An employee who answered the phone at Chipotle Mexican Grill on Fourth Avenue, just outside the crime scene tape, said some co-workers saw people running and that people were on edge because of the recent violence.
“A lot of people are worried and scared,” said the woman, who only gave her first name, Madison.
Mike Baker reported from Seattle, and Neil Vigdor from New York. Jason M. Bailey contributed reporting.