(SEATTLE) — Police believe a man who opened fire killing four people and leaving one injured at a Seattle cafe Wednesday also killed a fourth person during a subsequent confrontation, then shot himself as officers closed in.
Although Seattle police tweeted Wednesday evening that the suspect “is still alive and receiving treatment at Harborview Medical Center,” reports said late Wednesday that the man had succumbed to a self-inflicted gun wound.
The shootings began at approximately 11 a.m. PST when a gunman opened fire at Cafe Racer Espresso in Seattle’s University District north of downtown, setting off a massive manhunt, police said. Two victims, both male, died at the scene. A third died at Harborview Medical Center.
People who were brought to the hospital suffered gunshot wounds to the head, according to Susan Gregg, a hospital spokeswoman.
It was unclear what prompted the cafe shooting.
The area where the suspect shot himself was about seven miles southwest of downtown Seattle. Seattle Deputy Police Chief Nick Metz said it also was about a mile to a mile and a half from where the suspect’s vehicle earlier was found abandoned. A gun was found on the vehicle’s car seat, according to police.
During a search of the area, a detective spotted the suspect on the street and started watching him, police said. When back-up officers arrived and started moving toward the man, he turned to the officers and the officers ordered him to drop his weapon.
Instead, the suspect put a firearm to his head and pulled the trigger, firing one shot, and immediately dropped to the ground.
The second shooting incident occurred in downtown Seattle, about a 15-minute drive from the cafe shootings and about 30 minutes later. An unidentified woman was shot in the head after she was seen arguing with the suspect, police said.
The initial shootings at the cafe spurred a massive manhunt. Police scoured the surrounding area for the suspect and warned people in the area to be on the alert.
Roosevelt High School, which is near the cafe, was put on lockdown while police armed with rifles continued to search the area.
Two other nearby schools, Greenwood Elementary School and Eckstein Middle School, were put on a modified lockdown, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported.
The cafe suspect was described as a thin, white man between 30 and 40 years old. He was approximately 6-foot-1 and had curly, light brown hair and a beard or goatee. Witnesses said he was wearing a white-and-brown plaid shirt and dark pants.
The man who killed the woman in the later confrontation was described as a 35-year-old white man with blonde hair.
“We’ve had two tragic shootings today that have shaken this city,” Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn told reporters.
He said he has asked police to find ways to end the gun violence.
“It’s their highest priority to identify the strategies we need to employ to try to bring an end to this wave of gun violence that this city is seeing,” he said.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Chuck Johnston, CNN Newswire
Ray Sanchez, CNN Newswire