US & Canada

Five killed in two Seattle shootings

A security photo from Seattle Police inside Cafe Racer 30 May 2012
Image caption Seattle police say this man in a cafe security photo is the primary suspect, but have not identified him

A gunman has fatally shot five people - four in a cafe and one woman in a carjacking afterwards - in Seattle, in the US state of Washington.

The gunman shot himself in the head later as police moved in. He died in hospital, a spokeswoman said.

Two men died at the cafe, while a man and a woman wounded there died in hospital. One is seriously wounded.

Seattle has seen 21 killings in 2012, including Wednesday's victims, matching the total for the whole of last year.

The victim in hospital has been named as Leonard Meuse and is reported to be in critical, but stable, condition.

His father, Raymond, told the Seattle Times that his son had been shot in the jaw and armpit but was expected to survive.

'Wave of violence'

The first shooting incident took place at 11:00 (18:00 GMT) at Cafe Racer, a venue north of the University of Washington that hosts art and music events.

The second was reported half an hour later in central Seattle when a man fatally shot a woman in an apparent carjacking, then fled in a black SUV.

Image caption Police searched throughout the university's district for the gunman

Police say they believe the suspect left the scene of the first shooting and went to the First Hill neighbourhood, near Seattle's downtown area, where he shot the woman and stole her car.

He then drove to west Seattle and abandoned the sports utility vehicle, leaving a gun inside. Police located the car there and uniformed and plain-clothes policemen were soon combing the area.

One officer spotted the suspect and called for backup and a Swat team, Assistant Chief Jim Pugel said.

As those policemen arrived on the scene, the suspect turned the gun on himself, he added.

Police released a security photo of the suspect in the cafe shooting, but Mr Pugel said they had not yet positively identified the man.

There have been a number of seemingly random shootings in the city.

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn said on Wednesday that the shootings had "shaken" the city.

The police's highest priority was to find the suspects as well as to bring an end to "this wave of gun violence", he added.

Separately, a man was shot dead last week by a stray bullet while driving in Seattle with his family.

Another apparently random shooting was reported in Seattle in April when a 21-year-old woman who had recently moved to the city died in a drive-by attack.