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Kyle Aaron HUFF






"The Capitol Hill Massacre"
Classification: Mass murderer
Characteristics: Huff's motive remains unknown
Number of victims: 6
Date of murders: March 25, 2006
Date of birth: September 22, 1977
Victims profile: Melissa Moore, 14 / Suzanne Thorne, 15 / Justin "Sushi" Schwartz, 22 / Christopher "Deacon" Williamson, 21 / Jeremy Martin, 26 / Jason Travers, 32
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: Seattle, Washington, USA
Status: Committed suicide by shooting himself the same day when confronted by police

photo gallery



capitol hill panel report


view 10 pages of transcripts of police communications


affidavit, search warrant & inventory


Shooter Kills Six, Then Self

March 25, 2006

Six young people were shot to death early Saturday at a home, apparently at a party, and the alleged gunman committed suicide when confronted by police, authorities said.

Three other victims were taken to a hospital after the shootings in the Capitol Hill neighborhood east of downtown, said police spokesman Rich Pruitt. Two of the three were in critical condition, he said.

"It's one of the largest crime scenes the city has ever had," said Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske.

He said the victims' bodies were found in several places in the house.

Police believe the shooting happened at a party and the dead were all in their early 20s, authorities said. At least a dozen other people were in the house at the time, officials said.

Kerlikowske said an officer in the neighborhood heard shots fired at just after 7 a.m. When Officer Steve Leonard reached the scene, he found one person staggering out of the house with a gunshot wound.

The officer confronted another man who emerged with a shotgun, telling him several times to put the weapon down, Kerlikowske said. The man turned the gun on himself and fired a fatal shot, he said.

Officers then found the other victims inside the home, he said.

They did not believe the gunman lived in the area.

Kerlikowske said police found a variety of other guns at and near the scene.

William Lowe, 59, who lives across the street, said he heard six shots shortly after his alarm went off and looked out in time to see people scattering from the home, some with faces painted and hair dyed.

Lowe said he saw the man with the shotgun put the barrel in his mouth and fire.

Aaron Hoyle, 25, of Renton, said about five people in or around their 20s lived in the house and that some were promoters of warehouse parties. Hoyle hadn't been to the home in about three months, but heard about the shooting on the news and came to see if his friends were all right. By late morning, he still didn't know.


The Capitol Hill massacre was a mass murder that occurred on the morning of Saturday, March 25, 2006, when 28-year-old Kyle Aaron Huff entered a rave afterparty in the southeast part of Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood and opened fire, killing six and wounding two. He then turned the gun on himself after being confronted by police on the front porch of 2112 E. Republican Street.

Prior to the shooting, on the evening of Friday, March 24, 2006, a zombie-themed rave called "Better Off Undead" was held at the Capitol Hill Arts Center. The center and promoters claim a maximum attendance of 500 people through the evening, with about 350 at the peak.

By nearly all accounts, CHAC itself had excellent security at the rave, and the only connection of the massacre to the rave was that the perpetrator and the victims attended the rave, and that one of the victims invited the perpetrator to the afterparty. At the event, Kyle Huff was invited to attend an afterparty at a home about a mile away. Sometime between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m. on Saturday morning Huff left the event to attend the afterparty.

A last-minute invitee, Huff did not personally know anyone at the afterparty. He was quiet but spoke pleasantly with everyone as the afterparty progressed. One person says that they shared a bowl of marijuana. Nobody recalls him leaving, and there was no altercation or belligerent behavior that would have alerted the party to the possibility of a violent confrontation.

Close to 7 a.m., Huff left the house and returned to his large truck, parked nearby. From the truck he retrieved a 12-gauge pistol-grip Winchester Defender shotgun and a .40-caliber semiautomatic Ruger handgun, and several bandoliers (over 300 rounds) worth of ammunition for the guns. On his way back to the afterparty, he spray-painted the word "NOW" on the sidewalk and on the steps of a neighboring home. Upon arrival, he shot two victims who were outside smoking, one on the steps, the other on the porch. He forced his way in through the front door of the house and shot five more people on the first floor.

During the shooting Huff allegedly stated "There's plenty for everyone.", or something similar. On the second floor, he fired through the locked door of a bathroom where a couple had taken refuge inside the bathtub; neither person was hit. At least three other victims were injured during the shooting and taken to Harborview Medical Center, and at least one died at the hospital.

The shooting inside the house lasted less than four minutes. A patrol officer nearby, Steve Leonard, heard the shots and headed to the scene, getting the address from multiple 911 dispatches. When he got to the house, he encountered an injured victim and immediately got between the victim and the house, as Huff was coming down the steps. Before the officer could complete his demand that Huff drop his weapon, Huff put the gun in his mouth and shot himself through the head.

Once the situation was under control, police found that Huff's truck contained a Colt AR-15 semi-automatic assault rifle, another handgun, several more boxes of ammunition, a baseball bat, and a machete.

On Saturday afternoon the Seattle Police Department served a search warrant on the North Seattle apartment that Huff shared with his identical twin brother, Kane, where they found more guns and ammunition. During the search, Huff's brother returned home, unaware of what had happened. He was taken into custody, questioned, then later released.


The Capitol Hill massacre was the worst mass killing in Seattle since the 1983 Wah Mee massacre. While Seattle and the Pacific Northwest in the past half-century have had numerous serial killers—most notoriously Ted Bundy, "Green River Killer" Gary Ridgway and Robert Lee Yates —mass murder is much rarer in the city and region.

In the wake of the killings, the Seattle Times, invoking the drugs and alcohol the victims apparently enjoyed that night, immediately suggested late-night activities of the underaged to be more regulated and called for the city's all-ages dance rules to be "thoroughly re-examined and re-tooled." This view was firmly opposed by alternative weekly The Stranger. Josh Feit and Stranger editor-in-chief Dan Savage wrote in response to the Times editorial:

Far from endangering kids, teen dances keep kids safe. If the young people hadn't been at a crowded public dance overseen by extensive security (19 guards were at CHAC on Saturday night) where no one got hurt, the kids would likely have been out at unchaperoned and completely unregulated house parties—not after the dance, but all night. And, without a fat calendar of all-ages events, that's where they would be every weekend. Because without organized all-ages dances and live-music events, house parties and parking lots are all kids have.

The views predominating among the city's politicians and other leaders turned out to be closer to those of The Stranger than the Times. As mayor Greg Nickels put it, "This is not about music, this is not about a party. This was about a guy who decided he was going to kill people and he had the firepower to do it."

Several city council members spoke up against the "quick fix" mentality inherent in the Times editorial; council member Peter Steinbrueck added he was "really incredulous over young teenaged girls going out all night unsupervised and mixing with much older people," but didn't see that as an issue over the nature of the place where they had socialized.

Sandra Williamson, mother of shooting victim Christopher "Deacon" Williamson, announced, "I'm going to do everything in my power to make sure that those raves continue… That is what I am going to do for Chris." The Seattle Post-Intelligencer added that "even… former City Attorney Mark Sidran", whom they described as "Seattle's best-known defender of underage dance restrictions," said that "Some tragedies defy any sort of rational response in terms of regulation because they're completely irrational events you can't really predict or prevent."

As it happens, the killings occurred only days before Mayor Nickels was to announce the city's support for the non-profit VERA project (which puts on all-ages punk/indie shows) moving into a new location at Seattle Center, so that at the time of the killings all-ages events were more than routinely on the minds of city leaders, and in a more than typically positive light. Four years earlier, Seattle repealed a rather extreme and limiting Teen Dance Ordinance (TDO), replacing it with the much more flexible All-ages Dance Ordinance (AADO). In the course of the exchanges in the wake of the murders, musician and activist Ben Shroeter wrote that the AADO made possible legitimate, well-run dances, instead of the sometimes very drug-ridden underground events that had illegally occurred in the TDO era. "The dangerous 'underground' rave has virtually disappeared in the Seattle area," wrote Shroeter. "I’d rather have my daughter at CHAC or VERA Project than in the beckoning custody of unregulated and lecherous slimeballs."



Melissa Moore, 14

Suzanne Thorne, 15

Justin "Sushi" Schwartz, 22

Christopher "Deacon" Williamson, 21

Jeremy Martin, 26

Jason Travers, 32


Two people (unidentified) are still in the hospital, and as of March 28, 2006, listed as in "satisfactory" condition.


Kyle Aaron Huff (September 22, 1977 - March 25, 2006) was the shooter in the morning massacre. Huff's motive remains unknown.

Huff claimed to have attended The Art Institute of Seattle and North Seattle Community College, although neither institution has records of him attending.

He had previously been arrested in his hometown of Whitefish, Montana, for destroying a public arts project and charged was with a felony. (He shot up a statue of a moose that was part of an installation called "Moose on the Loose.") He was described by residents there as a well-liked person with a minor history of delinquency. He moved to Seattle with his twin brother about five years before the shooting. He had little contact with police in Seattle, but was involved in a brawl at the Lobo Saloon in 2004.

The weapons used were purchased legally at sporting goods stores in Kalispell, Montana. They were seized by the police in Whitefish after he pleaded guilty to a reduced misdemeanor mischief charge in the moose incident. They were returned after he paid restitution and a fine. The original felony charge for destroying the art would have prohibited him from owning firearms.

Huff was not well known in Seattle's rave scene. Very few people in the scene knew him or interacted with him. On February 1, 2006, someone with the email address asked on an internet message board run by local raver Groovinkim when the next rave was, because he'd never been to one.

A possible window into the killer's motives appeared nearly a month after the event. An apartment manager of a complex about a mile from Huff's residence called police about a possible bomb he found while inspecting dumpsters, although that bomb turned out to be just modeling clay and wires. In the investigation afterwards, police found a handwritten note in the dumpster apparently written by Huff.

On June 6, the police released the letter, not yet authenticated, to the media. A week later, the Washington State Patrol's State Crime Lab concluded that it was "highly probable" that the letter was authentic. Arguments in favor of authenticity included the fact that the letter was written on stationery from the apartment complex where the Huff brothers lived, and matched several known samples of the killer's writing, according to crime lab experts. The Stranger earlier claimed that the handwriting on the letter appears the same as samples from a job application of Huff's that they have obtained.

The letter, dated two days before the killings, was quite specific in expressing the writer's anger at young ravers for their provocative lifestyle, particularly their sexual freedom, and said that the things they did and said were too disturbing for the writer to live with. It ended with the quote "Now, kids, Now", reminiscent of the letters "NOW" that Huff spray painted during the massacre.


Killer's taunt: 'There's plenty for everyone'

Seattle Post Intelligencer

28 March 2006

Hiding and terrified, some of those inside a Capitol Hill house where six people were shot dead during a post-rave party Saturday managed to call 911 for help, whispering to avoid discovery by the heavily armed gunman, authorities said Monday.

Kyle Aaron Huff, 28, taunted his victims at the home at 2112 E. Republican St., saying as he fired, "There's plenty for everyone."

Four men were killed in the rampage, but the most shocking revelations came Monday, when authorities disclosed that the other two victims were young girls: a 14-year-old from Milton and a 15-year-old from Bellevue.


Police: Seattle gunman meant to kill many

Wilkes Barre Times-Leader

27 March 2006

The young man who killed six people at a house party over the weekend had brought three guns, more than 300 rounds of ammunition, a baseball bat and a black machete, and told guests as he blazed away, "There's plenty for everyone," authorities said Monday.

Huff committed suicide when confronted by an officer outside the house early Saturday. Toxicology results will not be available for several days, Kimerer said.

Police said the victims, many of them dressed up as zombies in black with white face paint, had met Huff earlier in the night at a rave called "Better Off Undead" and invited him to a party at their rented home.


Huff was likely a 'loser' in search of revenge, experts say

Seattle Post Intelligencer

29 March 2006

Why did he do it?

When Kyle Huff opened fire on Capitol Hill, gunning down six people before killing himself, he was likely seeking revenge, say criminologists and psychological profilers.

Mass murderers tend to be "loners" and "losers" who have been rejected and believe other people are to blame, experts say. Often they feel so hopeless they don't care about living anymore, but suicide isn't enough.

They want justice. In a big way.

"They're almost all a one-time incident. They plan well in advance, and they'll either kill themselves or die by suicide-by-cop," said Aubrey Immelman, a psychology professor at Minnesota's St. John's University.

"That's their final statement. They're not going to give anyone the satisfaction of prosecuting them."

Immelman profiled the killers of 12 fellow students and a teacher at Columbine High School in Colorado in 1999.

Despite the fact the killer is known and dead, Seattle police said they're determined to find out why Huff went on his rampage. More than two dozen detectives and two sergeants are assigned to the case. They've seized Huff's computer and combed his apartment and pickup, looking for clues.


'We're hiding,' girl whispered in 911 call

Seattle Post Intelligencer

30 March 2006

Calling 911 from a hiding place inside a Capitol Hill home that had just become a horrifying scene of mass murder, the young woman was strangely composed.

"There are people that are shot in here, please," she said.

It was one of the first emergency calls about the weekend rampage -- a report of multiple shootings that was quickly relayed to firefighter and medic dispatchers.

At least one of the calls came from inside the house. Other calls were made by neighbors seeking help for the victims. Events unfolded quickly as police tried to determine how many victims they had.

On the line with a 911 operator and fire dispatcher, the young woman reported that people were shot, only to be asked by the operator, "Ma'am, you told me these were fireworks. Were these fireworks or gunshots?"

"I think they're gunshots," the woman replied.

When the dispatcher asked whether the gunman was still there, she replied softly: "I don't know. We're hiding."

Small-town roots in Montana reveal no clues on motive

WHITEFISH, Mont. ? Two states, two towns and two emotions: grief and bewilderment.

In Montana, the mother of a quiet young man turned mass murderer is shocked: "It's so unbelievable and overwhelming," a distraught Mary Kay Huff told the Whitefish Free Press. "At this point, I don't know what to think ... we didn't see this coming."

In Seattle, police remained baffled about Kyle Huff's motive, as well. They found nothing in his apartment that indicated he was capable of what Deputy Chief Clark Kimerer called "homicide mayhem" at a news conference Monday. His computer, according to a law-enforcement source close to the investigation, yielded no clues. His identical twin brother, Kane, with whom he shared a Northgate-area apartment, police said, was stunned and baffled by Huff's rage.

Huff's friends don't have any answers, either.

"The piecing together of a person's psyche is a very difficult thing to do," Kimerer said.

Huff, 28, had attended a rave on Capitol Hill that lasted into Saturday morning. He was then invited to attend an after-party at a small, frame house nearby. Around 7 a.m., with about 30 people in the home, Huff left the party, only to return about 10 minutes later ? after spray-painting the word "Now" on sidewalks and steps ? with a shotgun and handgun. He killed two guests on the steps and front porch of the home, and then forced his way inside and killed three more in the living room. A sixth died at a local hospital and two others were seriously wounded.

Huff shot himself in the mouth when a police officer confronted him outside.

According to survivors, Huff "made no overt indications by speech or manner that he was capable of this kind of violence," Kimerer said.

Assistant Chief Linda Pierce, the chief of detectives, added that Huff "seemed edgy but not unfriendly" to those who remember seeing him at the after-party.

Seattle police said survivors of the Saturday morning massacre on Capitol Hill have told detectives that when Huff burst into the crowded house, he said something to the effect of "there's plenty for everyone."

Kimerer is convinced Huff meant ammunition ? more than 300 rounds in all, stuffed in his pockets and draped over his shoulders in bandoliers.

The King County Medical Examiner's Office on Monday officially released the names of Huff's victims: Jeremy Martin, 26; Suzanne Thorne, 15; Jason Travers, 32; Justin Schwartz, 22; Melissa Moore, 14; and Christopher Williamson, 21.

The conditions of the two people wounded were upgraded Monday to satisfactory at Harborview Medical Center. Police have not released their names.

Huff used two weapons ? a 12-gauge Winchester Defender shotgun with an extended magazine and a pistol grip, and a .40-caliber Ruger semiautomatic handgun. The medical examiner's autopsies revealed that some of the victims were shot twice ? once with each weapon.

Those same guns were taken away from Huff by police in Whitefish six years ago after he was arrested on a felony charge of criminal mischief. They were returned after he pleaded to a reduce misdemeanor charge, said Whitefish Police Chief Bill Dial.

Huff and other, unidentified friends used that shotgun and handgun to vandalize a sculpture of a moose outside a bed and breakfast. The sculpture, according to a police report, was shot more than a dozen times.

Seattle police spokeswoman Debra Brown confirmed the guns found at the scene of the massacre were the same ones taken from Huff by Whitefish police.

Huff pleaded no contest to the misdemeanor charges in Flathead County District Court and was ordered to pay a fine.

Kyle and Kane Huff made a point of being different from other students at Whitefish High School, said Jennelle Cassidy, a former classmate. They both wore combat boots, trench coats and mohawks and listened to heavy metal, making it so difficult to tell them apart that classmates just called them the "gentle giants," she said.

"They were really sweet guys, and very shy," said Cassidy, who attended middle and high school with the Huff brothers. "They had zero ? zero ? problems in school. People gave them trouble about wearing trench coats and boots and long hair, but they didn't care."

Cassidy said Kyle and Kane Huff returned to Whitefish in 2002 to attend the funeral of Jared Hope, a high-school classmate who killed his parents and himself with an illegally purchased .357-caliber Magnum revolver. The killings startled the town, which rarely has a murder, and nearly 1,000 people attended the service.

Dan Ciaramitaro, 29, graduated from Whitefish High School in 1996 with the Huff brothers. Ciaramitaro said he was best friends with the twins, who were towering, quiet "bookends" to the shorter, more talkative Ciaramitaro.

He had a nickname for them: "I called them the 'Wooks' cause they kind of looked like Chewbacca," the giant furry alien in the "Star Wars" films.

Ciaramitaro, who was in Portland Monday, said he'd been thinking about visiting the "Wooks" in Seattle. Then he heard about the massacre on Capitol Hill and got the news his friend Kyle Huff was the killer. He was stunned.

"I've never known any side of him that would have led to something like this," Ciaramitaro said.

Ciaramitaro last saw Huff in October when he came back for a visit to Montana. While in town, Huff dressed up as a "bum" for Halloween at a local bar. Ciaramitaro saw Huff several times during the few weeks he was there and had no inkling anything was amiss. Huff mentioned he was learning to play the drums and wanted to "jam" with Ciaramitaro's older brother.

"Last time I talked to him there was no girlfriend or anything," Ciaramitaro said. "He's never really had a job that would make you nuts, always just a paycheck-to-paycheck thing. He's never really gone deeper than that."

In Seattle, Huff worked a series of jobs at local pizza parlors, including Domino's, Pagliacci and Pizza Hut.

Jay DiPaola, a Whitefish musician who rents a room from Huff's mother, saw Huff at Halloween as well. He seemed normal when DiPaola rode with him into Whitefish in his black pickup.

"I'm trying to look in my memory for things that could tell you this could happen, but there's just nothing there," he said.

DiPaola said Mary Kay Huff, the owner of a successful art gallery, is a peaceful, kind woman who was "trying to make sense of the unfathomable."

On Monday, a sign hung on the door of her gallery, called "Artistic Touch," read, "We will be closed until further notice."

For some who know the family, it seemed strange when Kyle vandalized a prized art sculpture in the summer of 2000 by blasting away at it with a shotgun. The statue was being auctioned off to raise money for charity.

"That really surprised me, and upset me," said Merika Boksich, a former classmate of the Huff twins at Whitefish High School.

It is not clear from court records whether Huff completed the community service initially required. Court records indicate that he performed at least 22 hours of community service with the Salvation Army before the case was finally closed in December 2001.

But classmates and former teachers say Huff did not cause trouble when he attended Whitefish High School. They recall him as a quiet, polite youth who ? though not a standout scholar and absent from the football field ? did not go unnoticed.

He was too tall, too much part of a twosome with his twin brother and too eccentric in dress to fade into the background.

In the 1996 yearbook, Kyle and Kane posed in blue-jean jackets and T-shirts to claim the title "least spirited" seniors.

Boksich said the twins were not loners but had their own cadre of friends, many of whom shared a passion for music.

And Kyle Huff did have at least one notable achievement in school. Following in the footsteps of his artistic mother, he excelled at a pottery class, crafting a coiled, brightly painted pot that he dubbed "Martian Sunset." A teacher deemed it worthy of entry into a local show.

"He was excited that he had some success," said his former teacher Martin Christiansen. "And I don't think that Kyle had a lot of success in school, which is why I think pottery was pretty important."

Eventually, he would head out to Seattle.

"A lot of kids who are artistically inclined here go to Seattle," said Ray Boksich, a longtime Whitefish teacher who knew Huff.


Killer's taunt: 'There's plenty for everyone'

Among the six victims were two girls, ages 15 and 14

Hiding and terrified, some of those inside a Capitol Hill house where six people were shot dead during a post-rave party Saturday managed to call 911 for help, whispering to avoid discovery by the heavily armed gunman, authorities said Monday.

Kyle Aaron Huff, 28, taunted his victims at the home at 2112 E. Republican St., saying as he fired, "There's plenty for everyone."

Four men were killed in the rampage, but the most shocking revelations came Monday, when authorities disclosed that the other two victims were young girls: a 14-year-old from Milton and a 15-year-old from Bellevue.

The King County Medical Examiner's Office on Monday officially ruled Huff's death a suicide. The gunman shot himself in the head as the first police officer arrived.

Besides the six slaying victims, two others wounded in the rampage remain at Harborview Medical Center. Both were listed in satisfactorycondition Monday.

"This was clearly a premeditated campaign of homicide," Seattle Deputy Police Chief Clark Kimerer said.

Kyle and Kelley Moore said they allowed their 14-year-old daughter, Melissa, to go to raves as long she came home by her 3 a.m. curfew. Saturday morning, the ninth-grader never made it back.

After the Moores got the grim news Monday, they visited the scene of the killings. Kyle Moore placed his daughter's bracelet near the rental home's front steps.

"She was brighter than the sun right there," he said, pointing skyward.

Two days after the city's worst mass murder in more than 20 years, police still struggled to define the inexplicable.

"Homicidal mayhem," "murderous rampage," "senseless act," "murderous spree," were just a few of the ways Kimerer described the shootings Monday.

"We still really have no idea what the motive was," Kimerer told the City Council at a special briefing requested by city leaders.

Huff has been described by some who knew him as a "teddy bear," always willing to lend a hand, but others who crossed his path said he could be violent.

Huff and his twin brother were involved in a Seattle bar brawl on May 15, 2004, that, according to a police report, involved as many as 10 people. The brothers were listed as victims in the fight.

Tests to determine whether Huff had taken drugs before the killings are at least two weeks away. But at least one local teen who ran into Huff at a St. Patrick's Day rave said it appeared he took drugs then.

Jolene Padgett, 17, of Snohomish said Huff seemed incapacitated. "I'm surprised he didn't end up in the hospital."

Huff's interest in the local rave scene may have started recently.

In a message posted on a rave Web site, someone who identified himself as Kyle Huff wrote, "Hey, I've never been to a rave in Seattle and was wondering if anyone could tell me when one is coming up. It's the 1st of February 2006 right now."

Friday night, Huff attended a "zombie rave" at the Capitol Hill Arts Center on 12th Avenue near Pine Street. He was invited to an after-party at the house on Republican Street by someone he met at the rave. Between 20 and 30 people were in the house at the time.

Witnesses told police Huff was quiet and self-effacing, but at the same time some said he seemed a "bit of a loner," Kimerer said.

Huff stayed at the house until just before 7 a.m. Saturday, when he walked out to his truck, parked just around the corner, and presumably armed himself.

On Monday, police released dispatch records that show the first report of gunfire came at 7:03 a.m. Huff approached the house carrying a shotgun and a semi-automatic handgun, and wore two bandoliers of ammunition. He also had a canvas pouch with more ammo and had even more rounds stuffed in his pockets.

One of the first callers told 911 operators there were gunshots and "people screaming."

At 7:05 a.m. came the first call from inside the home, reporting there was shooting outside the house.

Huff shot and killed one young man on the steps leading to the house, and one of the girls on the porch, police said.

Those inside tried to bar the door, but Huff forced it open. He killed three people outright in the living room. One of the callers to 911, a survivor of the shooting, was in the living room when she called.

Huff then went methodically through the rest of the house -- the kitchen, the upstairs rooms where he fired into a locked bathroom, missing two people hiding in there, and down into the basement, where three men were hiding.

"He walked through, checking doors, looking for people," Capt. Tag Gleason said.

"He randomly came up, fired, and people scrambled," said Jesiah Martin, 24, one of those inside the house at the time.

Martin was friends with those who lived in the house and spoke with Huff at the after-rave gathering, who he said was quiet and had less than two beers that evening. Those gathered inside the home were just hanging out, Martin said, some listening to music, some asleep.

By 7:06 a.m., Huff had walked outside, via the sliding glass door from the basement.

Officer Steven Leonard, who heard the shots, arrived at just that moment. Before he could order Huff to drop his weapons, Huff turned the shotgun on himself.

At a news conference Monday, police displayed some of the weapons Huff had with him: a machete, a gold-colored aluminum baseball bat, and a Bushmaster XM15 E2S rifle. There was also a black canvas bag like the one Huff wore that he stuffed with ammunition.

All these items were recovered from Huff's black Dodge Laramie pickup.

Police also displayed a Winchester Defender shotgun with a pistol grip, the same make and model as the one used by Huff. The actual weapon, along with the .40-caliber Ruger semi-automatic handgun that Huff also had with him Saturday, were not shown. Those firearms are being examined by detectives, who are also tracing all the weapons to determine their origins.

It appears Huff had at least two of the weapons since Nov. 21, 2000. That was when he was arrested for shooting a moose sculpture in downtown Whitefish, Mont., with a shotgun and a handgun, the very weapons he wielded Saturday.

The guns were confiscated by authorities, but a judge ordered that they be returned when the charges against Huff were reduced to a misdemeanor.

Officials said Huff's twin brother, Kane, who was interviewed Saturday, apparently had no knowledge of his brother's plans. Kane Huff was shopping for groceries Saturday afternoon when he returned home to find police at the apartment he shared with his brother.

"He was surprised to see the police there," Kimerer said.

Police recovered additional weapons and ammunition from the brothers' Roosevelt District apartment, but Kimerer said, "There was no note, no evidence that gave us insight into what possessed him to take so many innocent lives."

Investigators seized a computer but have not yet examined its contents and are working to obtain a search warrant.

The brothers moved from Montana to Seattle about five years ago. Kyle Huff paid a recent visit to Montana, Kimerer said.

At the council briefing, city leaders offered condolences to the families of those slain Saturday and there was talk of adopting some sort of resolution recognizing the slayings.

"Last week was a pretty tough week for the citizens of Seattle," City Councilman Tom Rasmussen said.

He also asked whether it was possible that this was a hate crime of some sort.

"At this point, all possibilities are being investigated," Kimerer replied.

While there's no mystery about the killer here, Kimerer said discovering the why of his actions may take a long time. More than 25 detectives and sergeants, including the six detectives of the CSI Unit, are assigned to the case.

Kimerer said the department is committed to discovering the reasons behind the murders.

"We will continue to try and get to the bottom of this," he said. "We owe it to the citizens of this community."


Killer was a 'gentle giant,' 'quick to anger'

Twins often together, even at 2004 fight

WHITEFISH, Mont. -- Kyle Huff was so anonymous at Whitefish High School that the principal had to look up the young man's yearbook photo to jog his memory Monday.

It seems the hulking Huff didn't make much of an impression outside his small circle of friends -- even in this tiny town.

"They were just good-standing members of the student body. They weren't in clubs or organizations, and they never got into trouble," said Principal Kent Paulson, who was assistant principal when Huff graduated in 1996.

"They were just kind of quiet," Paulson said.

Though described as sweet, thoughtful and "a gentle giant" by close friends in Whitefish, his hometown, Huff could be provoked, some said, and he knew how to fight when confronted.

Before he killed six people and then himself in Seattle's second-worst mass murder Saturday, Huff and his brother also tangled with local skinheads, according to a police report.

"These guys weren't teddy bears," said Mike, who fought with the pair outside a Seattle bar in May 2004 and asked that his last name not be used. "They could fight. I got a broken rib."

Huff was "quick to anger," said James Winn, a 20-year-old rave promoter in Seattle, who used to hang out with Huff and his brother near their Montana home, and also knew some of the victims.

"Someone would say one thing and he'd snap and walk away," Winn added.

In Whitefish, population 5,000, where Huff and his twin brother lived until moving to Seattle five or six years ago, Huff was known as "a big, quiet kid" -- a good worker who did what he was asked. A calm friend who often looked out for and defended his close friends.

He and brother Kane were always seen together -- so much so that when people talked of one, they almost always referred to the other as well. Their super size -- 6-foot-5, 270 pounds -- earned them the nicknames "Wookies" and "Twin Towers."

"You just can't even imagine the massiveness of these two boys," said Susan Nickell of Whitefish, whose son has been friends with the Huffs since grade school.

"I know this looks like some monster, but this is just not the case," she said. "Nobody is ever going to know what this is about. There's absolutely nothing about Kyle, there's nothing that anybody can go back and say, 'We saw this, we saw that.' It just isn't there."

Huff grew up with "loving parents," she said. They divorced when he was 9 or 10, but the family still did things together, she said. Huff's father, Willis, served in the Vietnam War, and his mother, Mary, owns a small art gallery in Whitefish.

He was like any other kid growing up in town, said Shea Ciaramitaro, who has known the brothers for years. They partied, cruised the main drag in their cars, wore their hair long and sported T-shirts featuring their favorite heavy metal bands, he said.

"We're all standing around here with our jaws wide open, and certainly feel for the victims," Ciaramitaro said. "It comes as a total surprise. They're not completely what you see in the TV. They're not in the least bit aggressive.

"We certainly didn't know that he had weapons like that. Yeah, he had hunting rifles, but he didn't cruise around with a gun on his side. He certainly didn't show anything off."

Cody Hoon, 21, got to know the Huff twins because they were friends with his older brother in Whitefish.

"He was a very thoughtful man," Hoon said. "He's come to my defense. He was there for me in a number of situations."

Dan Ciaramitaro, who considered himself best friends with the twins, last saw Huff in the fall when the twin returned to Whitefish. He didn't observe anything different or notice that Huff was under any stress.

"They were good students. He was a real smart kind, and he wasn't a talker," he said.

"When he saw you, he'd come up and give you a big hug. He'd come up and poke with you a little bit, then give you a big hug."

Ciaramitaro said he was the noisy, talkative one, while the twins were the background gigglers.

"He knew he was a big guy. He might use that to be a jerk, but that was the worst -- it was always playful and silly," he said.

Whitefish High graduate Courtney Trout, 27, shares an odd connection with the Huff twins: She also was voted "least school spirited" and shares a photo along with the brothers in the class of 1996 yearbook.

"I would have to say they were not popular and I was right in the same boat," said Trout, who now lives in Bozeman, Mont. "The school is very cliquey and very rich. But no one I knew was mean to them."

The Huffs only had a couple of close friends, she said. The school wasn't welcoming to people who weren't wealthy or popular, and the "least spirited" vote reflected that. "They weren't into the whole high school thing," she said. "Neither was I."

Trout still was living in Whitefish when Kyle took a shotgun and handgun and blasted one of the moose sculptures on display during the city's "Moose on the Loose" art fund-raiser in 2000.

When she learned Kyle did it, she didn't think much of the incident other than as a prank.

"If you didn't feel like you fit in it was good target to hit," she said. "They were all over town. Beautiful and very expensive."

Jessica Helander, 20, said many of her peers laughed off that incident, while grown-ups took it more seriously. She figured the young men were just being rebellious. "The kids thought it was kind of funny that somebody would go to the trouble to do that," she said.

But Mike doesn't see the Huffs as gentle giants. The 39-year-old Seattle man traded blows with the twins in the 2004 bar brawl.

Always arriving and leaving together, the brothers often drank at the Lobo Saloon in Eastlake. Mike and his friends, a group he described as non-racist skinheads, were also regulars.

"We were into punk music and getting rowdy, but we aren't racists," Mike said. "We fought with racist skinheads."

On the evening of May 14, 2004, Mike and his friends were enjoying a favorite band, "Butcher," when one of the Huffs and one of Mike's out-of-town buddies started jawing at each other. Mike said he tried to calm the situation down and told Huff to stop talking to his friends.

"I tried to give him a friendly warning," he said.

Huff, Mike said, responded by saying, "I can talk to anyone. ... I'm not afraid of you."

The fight was on, quickly spilling outside the bar. Mike said Kyle threw him to the ground and punched him, breaking two ribs. The other Huff and the rest of the friends joined in.

"It was huge," he said. "Mayhem."

Both brothers were treated for cuts and bruises, according to the police report.

Asked by police how the fight began, Kane (Victim 1) "said he made a comment to one of the suspects in the 'mosh pit,' and apparently people took offense to the comment. Victim 1 told me he could not remember what the comment was."

Mike recalled that the brothers knew how to fight but they were badly outnumbered. In the report, the brothers said they were "jumped."

Both sides fueled the confrontation, Mike said, but his group finished it.


Mayhem Stalks The Early-Morning Dregs Of An All-Night Party

SEATTLE -- Jesiah Martin was ready for bed. He'd been partying all night, first at a rave a few blocks from his house, then with friends -- new and old -- at his Capitol Hill home. But before crashing, Martin went to the kitchen to check e-mail. That's when it all started.

He heard loud bangs and thought they were firecrackers. Then he heard the screams.

He peeked through the blinds to see 6-foot-5 Aaron Kyle Huff, with a look of contentment -- almost a smile -- unleashing his homicidal mayhem.

In police reports, 911 calls and interviews with witnesses, the chilling details of Seattle's worst crime in 23 years are coming forward.

Huff, a former pizza delivery man and art student, killed six people ages 14 to 32, two more were injured. Scores more will carry wounds less apparent: nightmares and images of friends being shot.

Early Saturday, at a "Better Off Undead" party on Capitol Hill, Anthony Moulton offered an afterparty invite to Huff, who had been hanging out by himself.

The invite wasn't unusual. Ravers said it's common to make new friends at a rave, where young people dance to bass-laden electronic music and embrace an inclusive philosphy of peace, love, unity and respect, known among the crowd as PLUR.

Huff was one of the first to arrive at the afterparty at the blue-and-white bungalow in a quiet residential area a few miles east of downtown.

There, Moulton said, Huff kept to himself, was quiet and polite, and took part in some friendly small talk.

There was no argument, nothing obvious that would have set Huff off, police said.

But a few minutes before 7 a.m., Huff quietly stepped out of the party where people were chilling out. Some slept, others were getting ready to find a ride home.

The linebacker-sized man walked half a block to his black Dodge pick-up truck. In it, he may have surveyed his massive arsenal: a pistol-grip shotgun, a semiautomatic handgun, a rifle, a baseball bat, a machete, two five-gallon cans of gas, hundreds of rounds of ammunition.

Then he picked up the shotgun and the handgun, draped two bandoliers of shotgun shells over his shoulders, filled his pockets with more ammo and grabbed a can of red spray paint.

A neighbor looked out her window and saw Huff bend over to write "NOW" on the sidewalk. He would write the same cryptic message twice more before ditching the spray paint and pulling out his handgun.

The right-handed Montana native walked up six steps to a landing near the front porch and opened fire.

Albert Sbragia heard the shots and looked out his bedroom window. He saw Huff firing at the front of the house. His wife Dawn called 911.

"Lay down on the floor," she told her eight- and 11-year-old children.

She looked out the window again to see Huff reloading his shotgun.

Across the street, William Lowe was just getting up. He heard shots too, and dialed 911.

Shotgun blasts at 2112 East Republican, a man down, he told dispatchers.

Huff walked up the steps past his first victims. Police said two people were found dead on the porch, one on the stairs, the other in the doorway.

People inside the house tried to block the door, police said, but Huff, at a burly 280 pounds, overpowered them and entered the front room.

Huff walked calmly through the house, witnesses told police, firing both guns at everyone he saw. He shot a male victim near the front door who collapsed. Huff went up to him and shot him again in the head.

The Sbragia family heard screaming and more shots inside their neighbors' house.

Other neighbors saw people fleeing the house, some through the back door, others out windows.

Cesar Clemente woke up to the sound of guns shots. He called 911 too, went to his door and saw two injured people fleeing into bushes.

"You guys come over here," he said.

One man, shot in the arm and side, made it across the street and into Clemente's home. The other person collapsed in the bushes.

Inside the house, people were scrambling to find a hiding place. Alissa Dunn and her boyfriend Gary Will were in an upstairs bathroom. When they heard the shots, they locked the door and hid in the bathtub.

Huff went upstairs looking for more victims.

He tried the bathroom door and when he found it locked, he fired a round through the door, missing the couple crouching in the tub.

One witness hid under a bed and saw the shooter's feet as he walked into the room.

"I've got enough ammunition to shoot everybody," the person heard Huff say.

By then, dispatchers were flooded with 911 calls, some from people inside the house.

A dispatcher asked a female caller if the shooter was still there.

"I don't know," a hushed, frightened voice says. "We're hiding."

Officer Steve Leonard was on patrol in the neighborhood. Police officials say he heard the shots himself, almost simultaneously with the first dispatch calls.

Within 45 seconds Leonard was on the scene.

He saw two people, one hurt, and told them to get down and stay where they were as he approached the house.

Then Leonard saw Huff carrying the shotgun.

Witnesses said Huff left through a back or side door and walked toward the front of the house along a side path.

Before Leonard could finish telling Huff to drop his gun, Huff put the shotgun in his mouth and pulled the trigger.

Dawn Sbragia looked out her window again and saw Huff on the ground.

Lowe saw the whole thing.

"Ooh, he just shot himself in the face," Lowe told 911.

While the shooting spree had ended, the terror continued.

People inside the house stayed on the line with 911.

Sbragia said she saw swarms of police approach the house guns drawn, shouting.

At about 7:13 a.m., someone tells 911 he thinks he hears police in the basement.

By 7:17 a.m. police had cleared the house.

Over the next few minutes, about 30 people were ushered onto the street and were wrapped in police blankets.

As TV cameras approached, they hid from view and made obscene gestures trying to render videotape unfit for broadcast and thus maintain their privacy.

Still dressed in costumes from the zombie-themed rave the night before, fake blood mixed with real.

But the terror, pain and grief left an indelible mark on the neighborhood and the rave family.

As police swept through the house, they found three more victims dead in the front room.

Three wounded victims were taken to the hospital; one died. As of Thursday, one remained in the hospital in satisfactory condition, said Susan Gregg-Hanson, a spokeswoman for Harborview Medical Center. The other patient asked that their information not be released.

The victims were: Melissa Lynn Moore, 14; Suzanne Thorne, 15; Christopher Williamson, 21; Justin Schwartz, 22; Jeremy Martin, 26; and Jason Travers, 32.

Why Huff set out Friday night with a truck full of weapons and unleashed his rampage may never be known.

"We may be asking these questions over the next year or two," Deputy Seattle Police Chief Clark Kimerer said. "Hopefully we will find some answers."



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