A violent altercation that escalated into gunfire in downtown Seattle left one woman dead and six other bystanders wounded outside a fast-food restaurant on Wednesday, and police said they were searching for at least two suspects.
The precise circumstances of the shooting, what precipitated the bloodshed and the number of people involved remained murky hours after the incident, which unfolded in a busy shopping district during the evening rush-hour.
The violence, which investigators deemed was “not a random incident,” grew out of a dispute in front of a McDonald’s restaurant, Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best told reporters at a briefing near the crime scene.
“People pulled out guns, shots rang out, people ran in various directions,” she said.
The chief added there were “multiple people involved as shooters” who apparently fled the scene, but she declined to specify how many suspects police believed were at large.
An office worker identified only as Bill told KOMO-TV he heard gunfire and saw scores of people running away in terror as he watched the scene unfold from an upstairs office window .
“It was sheer panic,” he said. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”