Donald Largen, a 57-year-old urban planner who played the saxophone, was one of the four people killed at Cafe Racer.

Share story

Donald Largen, a 57-year-old urban planner who played the saxophone, was one of the four people killed in a Wednesday morning attack by a gunman who opened fire at the Cafe Racer, according to his mother, Betty Parker.

“He was a very loving, kindhearted man,” Parker said Thursday.

Police say gunman Ian Stawicki, who fled after the cafe killings, later killed a fifth victim before kneeling on the ground and shooting himself in the head in West Seattle Wednesday afternoon.

Parker said she came to Seattle when she was 13 from Racine, Wisc., and raised a family of three boys.

“Seattle was a nice little town back then. I don’t even recognize it anymore,” Parker said. “You see all these things on TV, and you hear about people who lose a family member, but you never think it’s going to be you. It’s unbelievable. It’s the old saying: man’s inhumanity to man.”

After lunch with a friend Wednesday, Parker, 79, of Lynnwood, said she returned home to find a neighbor informing her of a family emergency. She then went to Harborview, where her son had been taken..

“He was brain-dead,’ Parker said. “All I could do was look at him.”

Parker said Don Largen was her oldest son, a graduate of Shorecrest High School and the University of Washington.

Dean Largen of Fairbanks, Alaska, a younger brother, said Donald lived less than a block away from the cafe and went there often.

“Every time I came down from Fairbanks for a visit, I would walk over from his place to the Racer. I sat there many times with him.”

Parker said her son’s organs are being donated to help sustain other lives.

Hal Bernton: 206-464-2581 or hbernton@seattletimes.com