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Gunman kills 7 including himself at Seattle party

Written by: Staff
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SEATTLE, Mar 26 (Reuters) A man fatally shot six people at a party in a Seattle home before killing himself with a pistol-grip shotgun after being confronted by police, authorities said.

The victims included four males and two females ranging in age from their early teens to mid-20s, Seattle police said yesterday. Two other people were wounded with one person sustaining a life-threatening gunshot.

Police said there had been no threats or arguments before the suspect left the house party in a residential neighborhood shortly before 0700 hrs (local time) and retrieved a shotgun and semi-automatic handgun from his nearby truck. He spray-painted ''now'' in several locations in the neighborhood before shooting two people outside the home, police said.

The gunman, whose identity was being withheld, then forced his way into the house and gunned down more victims. He sprayed bullets everywhere while barely saying a word, Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowski said.

''This appeared to be almost execution-style shootings,'' he told reporters, saying the police do not know of a motive for the shootings.

The gunman, who had no history of violence in his police record, walked outside where he was confronted by an officer responding to an emergency call.

''The officer drew his weapon and ordered the suspect to 'drop your' but before he could even finish the rest of the sentence, the person put the gun to his head and committed suicide,'' Kerlikowski said.

William Lowe, who lives across the street, said the suspect ''put the gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger.'' Witnesses described the suspected shooter as ''quiet'' and ''humble,'' police said. An assault rifle with multiple ''banana'' clips, each with 30 rounds of ammunition, was found in his truck.

Police said it appeared everybody had been at a ''zombie''-themed dance in the neighborhood earlier that night and came to the scene of the shooting to continue the party.

Police found alcohol and marijuana at the party but declined to speculate whether the victims or the gunman were under the influence.

Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels said it was the worst case of violence in the city in more than 20 years.

''We are all asking how something like this could happen in our city,'' he said at a news conference.

There could have been more victims but officers responded to the scene in less than two minutes after the initial reports, police said.

Neighbors said the house was a party spot for young people with dyed hair, body piercings and elaborate makeup.

Rahul Gairola, a friend of one of the house's occupants, said it was rented by four men and one woman in their 20s. He described the renters as young professionals who promoted parties staged at warehouses.

REUTERS CH RAI0905

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