Two of the five people shot near Third Avenue and Pike Street in Seattle on Wednesday night are improving at Harborview, and another person was released. The gunman is being sought.
Five people were shot outside a convenience store in downtown Seattle Wednesday night, and the shooter remained at large, police said.
Gunshots were reported shortly before 7 p.m. outside the 7-Eleven store on Third Avenue between Pike and Pine streets, near a major bus stop.
Witnesses said some people were arguing when the gunman began to walk away, and then turned around and fired into the crowd. At least one victim likely was a bystander, Seattle police Assistant Chief Robert Merner said.
Two of the victims, both male, have improved from critical to serious condition overnight in Harborview Medical Center’s intensive-care unit, said hospital spokeswoman Susan Gregg on Thursday morning. A male and a female victim remain in satisfactory condition and another male who was in satisfactory condition was released, Gregg said.
The five victims range in age from their 20s to 50s, and they have gunshot wounds to their legs, chest and neck.
Police provided no other details about the shooter.
Sharon Keith, manager of the 7-Eleven, said she heard what “sounded like firecrackers” and told everyone to get down. She locked the doors and looked outside.
“I saw multiple people down, bleeding,” she said.
People in the area heard several rounds of gunshots before police responded, said Irfan Rahman, a worker at a nearby smoke shop.
The downtown area had additional police presence because of an anti-Donald Trump rally, which started at Westlake Mall earlier in the evening.
The rally turned into a march and was proceeding down various streets at the time of the shootings, according to witnesses. Merner said the shooting was unrelated.
“It’s not related to the protest at all,” he said. “It appears to be some type of personal argument.”
Merner said detectives from the department’s gang and homicide units are investigating. The area was closed to traffic for several hours.
The incident is the state’s eighth mass shooting this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive. The nonpartisan organization, which tracks and verifies incidents around the country, defines “mass shooting” as any single incident in which four or more people are fatally shot or wounded, not including the shooter.
The most recent mass shooting was in September, when five people were killed at the Cascade Mall in Burlington.
Earlier Wednesday, two men were hospitalized after a shooting in a parking lot in Seattle’s New Holly neighborhood.
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray expressed condolences for the victims in a statement late Wednesday, which also said police do not believe the two Seattle shootings are related.
“However, gun violence remains an an epidemic in our country that we must work to address in any way we can,” the statement says. “Today’s shootings are a reminder of how much work we have left to do.”