A gunman opened fire in downtown Seattle on Wednesday night following an argument and wounded five people, one man critically, not far from protests over the surprise victory of Republican Donald Trump in the U.S. presidential election.
The shooting did not appear to be related to the anti-Trump demonstrations but instead stemmed from ‘some type of personal argument’, Robert Merner, assistant chief of the Seattle Police Department, told reporters.
‘It appears that some type of argument took place. This individual began to walk away from the crowd, then turned and fired into the crowd,’ Merner said.
He said the suspect then fled from the area on foot and remained at large.
Police and fire crews were on the scene in less than a minute because they had been in the area to monitor the demonstrations, he said, but did not arrive in time to engage the suspect.
Police closed down the intersection of Third Avenue and Pine streets, where the shooting took place in front of a 7-11 convenience store.
The Seattle Times newspaper reported that witnesses heard several gunshots.
7-11 manager Sharon Keith told the Times: ‘I saw multiple people down, bleeding.’
Harborview Medical Center spokeswoman Susan Gregg told the newspaper that two men are in critical condition, and two men and a woman are in serious condition.
A tweet from Q13 Fox reporter Janet Kim said: ‘Victims are between 20-50 yrs old, per Harborview.’
In another tweet, Kim wrote: ‘Harborbiew’s spokesperson says 5 shot have injuries ranging- on chest, neck and leg
Seattle police said on Twitter: ‘3rd Ave will be closed between Pike and Pine for several hours as detectives investigate.’