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Classification: Mass murderer
Characteristics: Shooting rampage - "Angry toward everything"
Number of victims: 5
Date of murders: May 30, 2012
Date of birth: September 16, 1971
Victims profile: Joseph Albanese, 52 / Andrew Keriakedes, 49 / Kimberly Lynn Layfield, 36 / Donald Largen, 57 / Gloria Leonidas, 52
Method of murder: Shooting (two .45-caliber handguns)
Location: Seattle, King County, Washington
Status: Committed suicide by shooting himself as police closed in

photo gallery


On May 30, 2012, just before 11 am, Ian Lee Stawicki (born September 16, 1971) walked into Café Racer in the University District of Seattle, Washington and opened fire with two .45-caliber handguns, killing four patrons and wounding the café's chef.

Half an hour later, he killed another woman in a parking lot next to Town Hall Seattle on First Hill while carjacking her SUV. Later that afternoon, he committed suicide on a sidewalk in West Seattle as police closed in. The perpetrator previously owned six handguns (three 9mm handguns and three .45-caliber handguns), including the Para-Ordnance pistol he used in the shootings.



  • Joseph "Meshuguna Joe" Albanese, 52, at Café Racer

  • Andrew "Schmootzi the Clod" Keriakedes, 49, at Café Racer

  • Kimberly Lynn Layfield, 36, at Café Racer

  • Donald Largen, 57, at Café Racer

  • Gloria Leonidas, 52, on First Hill


  • Leonard Meuse, 46, at Café Racer


Police: Seattle shootings were like an execution

Suspect gave the finger to people helping woman near Town Hall

By Casey McNerthney and Scott Gutierrez -

June 2, 2012

When Ian Stawicki entered Cafe Racer about 11 a.m. Wednesday, staff there recognized him from being thrown out, police said, and reminded him of that.

The 40-year-old Ellensburg native lingered a bit, then walked near the door.

He pulled one of his two pistols and shot his first victim in the back of the head. The man's body blocked the door, taking away an escape route.

One man fought Stawicki, throwing a barstool at him and using another barstool to fight him. He was a hero, Seattle Police Assistant Chief Jim Pugel said, because that allowed two or three people to escape through the door the shooter had blocked.

Stawicki then went near the bar and shot the others execution-style, police say. As he left, Stawicki took a hat from one of the victims.

"He wasn't trying to get any one person. He was trying to get everyone," Pugel said.

Deputy Chief Nick Metz, who reviewed the video, said that in his nearly three decades with the department, he'd "never seen (anything) more horrific, callous and cold." The department is not releasing the surveillance footage.

Stawicki wounded five people, including two who died at the scene, and sparked an hours-long manhunt that spanned several neighborhoods. It was the worst Seattle killing spree since 2006, and by the end of the day the city had surpassed the homicide total for the entirety of last year.

Audio from 911 calls is included in the photo gallery above. One man who called from Cafe Racer saved himself by hiding in the bathroom. The calls are disturbing; reader discretion is advised.

"I just threw the frigging stool at him, legs first," the man who challenged Stawicki, described only as Lawrence, told a department spokesman. "My brother died in the World Trade Center. I promised myself, if something like this ever happened, I would never hide under a table."

Two victims, Drew Keriakedes and Joe Albranese, died at Cafe Racer in the 5800 block of Roosevelt Way Northeast. Two others shot there died later at Harborview Medical Center. A fifth victim, Leonard Meuse, survived surgery and was in critical but stable condition late Thursday, a Harborview spokeswoman said.

Among the dead from Cafe Racer was Kimberly Lynn Layfield, whose identity was confirmed Thursday morning by a newspaper in her hometown of Albany, Ga.

Gloria Leonidas, a married mother of two from Bellevue, was killed later when Stawicki -- fleeing from police -- confronted her, shot her in the head and stole her black Mercedes-Benz SUV from a parking lot at Eighth Avenue and Seneca Street, police said.

Investigators say Stawicki may have taken a family member's truck from the Ravenna neighborhood and dumped it somewhere near Eighth and Seneca. There also was speculation he had taken a Metro bus.

Leonidas had dropped off a friend when she was confronted by Stawicki, who started beating her before shooting her in the head. Police say she knocked the gun from his hand before he fatally shot her.

A 911 caller told a dispatcher that Leonidas was also run over. A man and woman walking in the area came to Leonidas' aid.

As Stawicki sped away, he gave them the finger, investigators said.

Police and bystanders tried to help Leonidas, but she was pronounced dead at Harborview, where two more of Stawicki's victims died late Wednesday.

Suspect's history with police

Stawicki had prior contacts with police but a relatively short record.

Police say he had charges for domestic violence interference, fourth-degree assault, malicious mischief and a 1989 Seattle case for unlawfully carrying a weapon. But court records show only a 1995 case for driving with a suspended license, which resulted in an adverse finding.

A Seattle case from February 2008 included charges for domestic violence interference, assault and property damage. The charges were dismissed because the case lacked clear proof.

In that case, police officers were called to the Magnolia home of Stawicki and his then-girlfriend to find the victim with a bloody nose and crying. She told police he struck her and destroyed several of her belongings, and that in recent months, he'd begun breaking things and flying into rages, according to the police report.

But the victim later recanted her story. "Ian Stawicki never assaulted me on Feb 27, 2008 or at any other time. He never punched me or hit me in the nose, face or any part of my body," she wrote in the statement.

"I suffer from frequent spontaneous nose bleeds and was experiencing such a spontaneous nose bleed on Feb 27 2008," she wrote. "The police must have thought this nose bleed was the result of an assault by Ian Stawicki. I told police that my nose bleed was spontaneous and not the result of any assault, because no assault occurred."

Stawicki was issued a concealed weapons permit in August 2010 and had listed six handguns in his ownership, including three 9-mm and three .45-caliber pistols, according to records released by the Seattle City Attorney's office.

Police said the two .45-caliber, semi-automatic handguns Stawicki carried Wednesday were legal. Police were working with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to trace where the guns were purchased, and whether they were stolen or involved in other crimes, Pugel said.

Unaware that Stawicki had moved south after the Cafe Racer shooting, police with high-powered rifles combed through the neighborhood around Roosevelt Way Northeast. Police fielded numerous calls from neighbors who saw someone they thought could be the shooter. Anxiety was high as police told residents to stay inside.Nearby Roosevelt High School was among several schools on lockdown.

About 3:15 p.m., police distributed surveillance images of Stawicki from moments before the Cafe Racer shooting. Investigators say his brother, also an Ellensburg native, identified Stawicki for police.

Stawicki drove Leonidas' black SUV to West Seattle, police said, roamed in crowded areas for some time and contacted an old acquaintance. That acquaintance was unaware of what had happened, but thought Stawicki was acting erratically and speaking nonsense. That former acquaintance contacted police after they heard about the shooting.

Shortly after 4 p.m., a plainclothes officer spotted Stawicki near 36th Avenue Southwest and Southwest Morgan Street, and called for backup.

As uniformed officers approached Stawicki, he knelt on the ground and shot himself in the head.

The investigation is still ongoing and detectives have not released any motive in the slayings, though Cafe Racer regulars said Stawicki was known for being drunk and picking fights with bar musicians. He had been told not to come back.

Homicide detectives are working to obtain Stawicki's medical records.

21 homicides in Seattle this year

The slayings pushed the number of homicides in Seattle this year to 21 – one higher than the annual number of reported cases from all of last year. However, police statistics list 21 homicide cases last year because the investigation into the death of Michelle Thornton, a woman who died Dec. 30, 2010, began the following month.

Wednesday's shooting spree came less than a week after a father was fatally wounded in front of his children by an errant bullet in the Central District. Last Saturday, another innocent bystander was shot in the right leg near the Space Needle. The following day, Seattle had five drive-by shootings and a fatal home-invasion shooting.

The number of Seattle homicides peaked in 1994 when there were 69, according to department data.

Standing with other city leaders Wednesday afternoon, Mayor Mike McGinn said it's the police department's "highest priority to identify the strategies to try to bring an end to this wave of gun violence."

But with no suspects identified in the Central District shooting, and the lack of cooperation hindering dozens of unsolved Seattle shooting cases – both from this year and previous years – some Seattle residents question whether a solution can come quickly.



Seattle shootings: day of horror, grief in a shaken city

A man suspected of shooting five people at a University District cafe — and a woman later on First Hill — shot himself as police closed in

May 30, 2012

A man described by his family as "angry toward everything" went on a deadly shooting rampage in Seattle on Wednesday, killing five people and critically wounding another before turning a gun on himself hours later as police closed in.

Ian L. Stawicki, 40, was identified by family and law-enforcement officials as the man who shot five people just before 11 a.m. at Cafe Racer Espresso in the University District — a hangout for a tight community of artists and musicians.

Four of the cafe shooting victims died. A fifth victim was fatally shot near Town Hall in downtown Seattle.

At the cafe, Joe "Vito" Albanese, 52, was killed along with best friend and bandmate, Drew Keriakedes, 45. Both men performed with the band God's Favorite Beefcake.

Another man and woman shot at the cafe were taken to Harborview Medical Center, but died later Wednesday. They were identified Thursday as Donald Largen, a 57-year-old urban planner who played the saxophone; and Kimberly Layfield, 38, originally from Albany, Ga., an aspiring actress who had recently left her job as a dental assistant in Seattle.

Leonard Meuse, the chef at the cafe, was also wounded. His father, Raymond Meuse, said Wednesday afternoon his son had been shot in the jaw and armpit, but that he was out of surgery and expected to survive.

About a half-hour after the cafe shootings, Stawicki fatally shot Gloria Leonidas, a married mother of two, in a parking lot near Town Hall in the First Hill neighborhood. He then fled in her black SUV.

Abandoning the SUV in West Seattle, Stawicki was seen on foot about 4 p.m. by a plainclothed police officer.

As police cruisers closed in, Stawicki knelt and shot himself in the head. He was taken by ambulance to Harborview, where he died Wednesday evening.

Wednesday's shootings bring the number of homicides in Seattle this year to 21, the same number as in all of 2011.

Stawicki was described as a sometimes-troubled regular at Cafe Racer, on Roosevelt Way Northeast near the corner of Northeast Ravenna Boulevard.

Stawicki liked to hang out at the cafe, but was kicked out sometimes for being belligerent or too intoxicated, according to cafe employees and acquaintances.

Christopher Assaf, who lives in the neighborhood and frequented the cafe, said Stawicki had been kicked out two or three times in recent weeks for "snapping" at people.

On Wednesday, according to police, he returned and shot all five people in barely a minute.

"It was a grisly, grisly scene," said Assistant Seattle Police Chief Jim Pugel.

Pugel compared it to the Wah Mee massacre in 1983 in which 14 people were shot during a robbery in a Chinatown gambling room. Thirteen people died in what was the worst mass killing in Seattle history.

After the shooting at the cafe, Stawicki left on foot. Doors at nearby schools were locked as police fanned out across the area searching for Stawicki, who was considered armed and dangerous. The manhunt stretched from North Seattle to West Seattle as police went door-to-door.

About 30 minutes later, a shooting was reported in a parking lot adjacent to Town Hall at Eighth Avenue and Seneca Street. It wasn't immediately clear whether the downtown shooting was connected to the University District shooting.

According to police, witnesses saw the gunman and a woman arguing. Ibrahim Frishak, a maintenance worker at an apartment building across the street, said he heard a loud pop.

A couple rushed across the street and began administering CPR to the woman, even as the gunman was still in the parking lot.

"They are brave, I tell you," Frishak said of the good Samaritans.

While police said they did not know the motive for the shooting, Stawicki's family said he had a history of anger and mental-health problems that he refused to deal with.

His brother Andrew Stawicki, 29, of Ellensburg, said that when he saw a photo on the news of the alleged gunman inside Cafe Racer, he recognized it as his big brother.

Andrew Stawicki has many memories growing up around him.

Ian Stawicki was the eldest of Carol and Walter Stawicki's three children, two boys and a girl, said his brother. They grew up in Beacon Hill and other South Seattle neighborhoods.

"When I was little, he would take me to punk rock concerts and big brother things," said Andrew Stawicki said, as he drove to Seattle from his home in Ellensburg on Wednesday. "He was great."

But over the past five or so years, Ian Stawicki severely changed.

"Angry. He was really angry toward everything," Andrew Stawicki said.

Despite his problems, Ian Stawicki would not talk about his mental illnesses, his anger or other troubles, his brother said.

"Someone like that is so stubborn you can't talk to him," he said. "It's no surprise to me this happened. We could see this coming. Nothing good is going to come with that much anger inside of you."

Andrew Stawicki said his brother stayed in close contact with his parents. He said his brother cared for their mother, who lives in Seattle, when she needed help, and she cared for him.

Andrew Stawicki said their family long hoped Ian would go to mental-health treatment or take medications to keep his moods in balance.

Stawicki was arrested in February 2008 on a misdemeanor domestic-violence charge in Seattle, and soon posted $10,000 bail. He pledged to stay 500 feet away from a 37-year-old woman, and listed his home address in Magnolia. His attorney fought the charges, and they were dismissed.

He was also charged with fourth-degree assault in Kittitas County in 2010, but that case was dismissed as well; court records did not indicate why.

Court records indicate he has lived in Portland and in Ellensburg, with his brother.

At a City Hall news conference, a somber Mayor Mike McGinn said the city must bring an end to the wave of gun violence. He said political leaders will work with the police to ensure they have the tools they need to focus on violent offenders with access to guns.

"We also need to focus on laws that make it too easy for people to acquire guns and also undertake a full partnership with the community to end the culture where young men believe it's OK to resolve disputes with violence, including guns," he said.

On Wednesday night, friends of the victims converged on the lawn of a house less than block from the cafe to remember those who died. By early evening the gathering had grown to dozens of people who spilled onto the sidewalk and street.

There were lots of embraces, tears and stories of friends now lost. There was also lots of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer, which several people said was an affordable standby that was one of Drew's favorite brews.

Seattle Times staff reporters Jennifer Sullivan, Jim Brunner, Maureen O'Hagan, Alexa Vaughn, Hal Bernton, Steve Miletich, Mary Jean Spadafora, Sara Jean Green, Mike Carter, Katherine Long, Jayme Fraser, and Brian M. Rosenthal and news researcher Miyoko Wolf contributed to this report 



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