Police seeking 2 suspects in Seattle shooting that killed 1, injured 7

Marquise Latrelle Tolbert and William Ray Tolliver are considered armed and dangerous, officials say

Sara Jean Green, Elise Takahama and Mike Carter
Seattle Times

SEATTLE — The area around Third Avenue and Pine Street has long been one of the grittiest in downtown Seattle, a grim reputation underscored Wednesday when gunfire erupted during the evening commute, killing a woman and injuring seven other people, including a 9-year-old boy.

Police are looking for two suspects — Marquise Latrelle Tolbert and William Ray Tolliver, both 24 — who are considered armed and dangerous.

It was the third shooting in the downtown area in a little more than 24 hours, including an incident earlier Wednesday where police shot and wounded a man who was reported to have a gun. On Tuesday, a 55-year-old man was found dying from a gunshot wound in a stairwell at Westlake Center, less than a block away from Wednesday’s mayhem.

The shooting Wednesday was around 5 p.m. outside McDonald’s on the southeast corner of the intersection, just as commuters crowded into one of the busiest transit corridors in the country. Witnesses reported a volley of gunfire and panicked people running for cover.

According to Susan Gregg, spokeswoman at Harborview Medical Center, a 9-year-old boy came to the hospital in serious condition and improved to satisfactory condition Wednesday night. He remained there in satisfactory condition Thursday morning.

A 55-year-old woman was in critical condition Wednesday night when she arrived at Harborview; on Thursday morning, she was upgraded to serious condition and remains in intensive care, Gregg said.

A 32-year-old man also spent the night in the hospital and was in satisfactory condition.

Four men, ages 21, 34, 35 and 49, were treated and released Wednesday evening.

The victims had gunshot wounds to the legs, chest, buttocks and abdomen.

The woman who died at the scene was in her 40s, according to Fire Department spokesman David Cuerpo. A body under a sheet was visible on the sidewalk outside McDonald’s.

Officers responding to the shooting scene found the victims in about a one-block radius, Best said.

One of the people shot was an Amazon employee, a spokesperson for the company said. The employee was shot outside the company’s Blue Shift offices, which are in the Macy’s building, and was moved inside the building to receive medical care from first responders.

“We are deeply troubled by tonight’s events and our thoughts go out to everyone impacted by this tragedy,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

The shooting drew reaction from politicians both inside and outside City Hall.

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan was in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday taking part in the annual U.S. Conference of Mayors. Her Twitter account Wednesday night shared Seattle Police Department updates related to the shooting. In a text message Wednesday, Durkan spokesman Chelsea Kellogg said the mayor would be flying back to Seattle early Thursday and would then hold a briefing.

“We mourn a tragedy like this wherever it occurs,” the mayor said in a written statement given just before 9:30 p.m. Wednesday. “No one should face such violence, and it impacts all of us when it occurs in the heart of our city.”

Durkan had previously planned to return Friday but decided to cancel her Thursday conference events and return a day early, Kellogg said. Durkan, Best and Seattle Fire Chief Harold Scoggins will hold a news conference at 1:15 p.m. Thursday at the Police Department’s West Precinct.

“I am horrified and dismayed to hear about the shooting in Seattle tonight,” he said Wednesday. “We grieve for the one individual confirmed dead in the shooting, and wish a full and speedy recovery to those who were injured.”

State Sen. Joe Nguyen, a Democrat from White Center, took to Twitter to advocate for gun-safety legislation. “Our inaction costs lives,” he wrote.

Seattle City Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda, a citywide representative, also turned attention to that issue Wednesday night, tweeting: “We must get these guns out of our community and end the epidemic of gun violence — now. Heartbreaking third shooting in just two days.”

City Councilmember Andrew Lewis, whose District 7 includes downtown, visited the scene of the shooting Wednesday night and tweeted his appreciation for the first-responders.

In a statement Wednesday night, the Downtown Seattle Association called on public officials “to devote the resources necessary to improve safety in downtown and take back Third Avenue from the criminals who have laid claim to it.”

“The heart of our city should feel safe and welcoming for all who live, work and visit here,” read the statement from the organization, which has long lobbied for additional public-safety measures. “On behalf of residents, small business owners, employers and visitors, we say enough is enough.”

The corridor is no stranger to violence, including stabbings and other shootings, and open-air drug dealing is common there. Wednesday’s shooting happened near another shooting on Nov. 9, 2016, when five people were wounded outside a 7-Eleven on Third between Pike and Pine. Witnesses said some people were arguing when the gunman began to walk away, and then turned around and fired into the crowd. Downtown had additional police presence because of a rally that started at Westlake Center earlier in the evening. Police said the shooting was not related to the protest.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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