Im no criminologist, said council member Bruce Harrell, at the first press conference. A second, impromptu press conference followed, and then a third.
  • "I'm no criminologist," said council member Bruce Harrell, at the first press conference. A second, impromptu press conference followed, and then a third.

Just as the 3:30 p.m. press conference was getting underway at City Hall, the suspect was in West Seattle and about to commit suicide. Of course, no one at the press conference knew that.

Support The Stranger

Bruce Harrell was saying weird things like "It's my pleasure to be here" (at the start of his comments) and "I'm proud to be up here" (at the end of his comments), and doing some platitude-spinning in between about jobs and education, which was confusing, because we still had no information about today's shootings. When the information came, courtesy of assistant police chief Jim Pugel, it was scant. Pugel kept saying that the two shootings were being treated as unrelated. A couple minutes later, right as the Q&A was wrapping up, a KOMO reporter said she was hearing from her newsroom that there'd been a shooting at 38th Street SW and SW Raymond. Another assistant police chief, Nick Metz, started looking at his phone and then excused himself from the room. Then everyone excused themselves to follow up on the information the KOMO reporter provided to the mayor, the SPD brass standing at the podium, and all the other reporters in the room.

A few minutes after that, the mayor and the SPD officials returned for a second press conference, to give the details of suicide of the Cafe Racer shooter in West Seattle. They thought it was "suspicious" he would be found so close to the SUV that was carjacked from 8th and Seneca, but they still weren't saying it was the same guy. Then that second press conference adjourned, most TV stations left, and then minutes later, again, the mayor and SPD brass emerged for a third press conference to confirm what we know now. A TV news guy just described the events of the last two hours as "a surreal scene."