One man was killed and two others were wounded Friday in a barrage of gunfire on a Central District street.

Seattle police said at least one person opened fire on a group of people in the 2100 block of East Union Street around 3:15 p.m.

The victims, along with two other people, then drove to Swedish Medical Center’s Cherry Hill campus, where one man was pronounced dead, according to a hospital statement. The two other wounded men were then taken to Harborview Medical Center with injuries described as not life-threatening.

The two other people in the car fled after arriving at the Cherry Hill campus, the statement said.

The two victims at Harborview, a 20-year-old man and 46-year-old man, were in satisfactory condition Friday night, hospital spokeswoman Susan Gregg said.

Police were searching for an unknown number of suspects Friday night.

Detective Patrick Michaud and Sgt. Sean Whitcomb comment on a shooting that left one dead and two wounded at 23rd Avenue and East Union Street Friday, May 10. (Paige Cornwell / The Seattle Times)

People began gathering at Swedish soon after the shooting, fearful of hearing the worst.

Relatives and friends of the man who was killed arrived after they were unable to reach him after the shooting. They begged police for information. At one point, an older woman was pushed back when she tried to get into the hospital. One man was tackled and briefly handcuffed by police after trying to storm the entrance.


Family members spoke to an officer and then began to sob, clutching each other outside the hospital entrance marked off with yellow crime-scene tape. One woman sitting on a chair in the middle of the crowd screamed “no” again and again before standing up and tearing at the tape. A young man cried and pounded the ground with his fists.

The cries carried along the whole block of 16th street, outside the emergency entrance of the hospital, in voices raw with grief: “They killed him!”

A woman at the hospital said the victim was her 19-year-old stepson. The King County Medical Examiner’s Office has not released the man’s identity.

Several locations in and around the shooting scene were cordoned off with crime-scene tape Friday afternoon as officers marked the locations of spent shell casings.


One woman, who lives a few houses from 21st Avenue and East Union Street, where shell casings were seen, said that police came and took footage from a security camera she’d recently installed outside her house. The footage showed a white, four-door car being parked and two people getting out and walking toward the market on the corner of 21st and Union, said the woman, who asked to be identified by just her first name, Jenny.

“Like two minutes later they come back really fast, get in and zoom off, heading south,” she said.

Chang Sunwoo, the owner of Union Teriyaki and Market at 21st Avenue and East Union Street, was inside his shop when he said he heard what sounded like 15 to 20 gun shots in rapid succession. He thought it was a firecracker at first.

When he looked outside, he saw shell casings littering the street but no shooters or victims.

During a media briefing about an hour after the shooting, Seattle police spokesman Patrick Michaud had little information on the shooting or search for suspects. About 8 p.m. Friday, police said they were still trying to nail down a description of the suspect or suspects.

Craig Owenby said he was in his apartment when he heard a volley of gunshots, maybe 20 to 30. He said he looked outside and saw a black car traveling south on 22nd Avenue with both doors open.

“I heard some guys yelling for help and that’s when I called 911,” he said.

“It was very fast,” Scot Hinckley, a bike mechanic at 20/20 Cycle at 21st Avenue and East Union Street, said of the gunfire. “It sounded like at least a few guns, it definitely wasn’t automatic fire, it was like semi-automatic, a few of them.”

Three schools – Garfield High School, Seattle World School and Nova High School — followed a security procedure called “shelter in place,” which restricts entry and exit from their buildings, said Tim Robinson, Seattle Public Schools spokesperson. He said no Seattle students were involved in the shooting.

At Garfield, students stayed a few minutes after the last bell of the day at 3:45, said Alekzandr Wray, a history teacher at the school.

Garfield Community Center was under lockdown for almost an hour, according to Seattle Parks and Recreation. About 15 people were in the center during the lockdown and nobody was injured, center spokeswoman Rachel Schulkin said.

King County Metro Route 2 was rerouted off East Union Street between 14th and 23rd Avenues. Riders should use stops on East Union Street east of 23rd Avenue or west of 14th Avenue.

Seattle Times staff reporters Mike Carter, Paige Cornwell, Asia Fields, Daniel Gilbert, Marcus Green, David Gutman, Neal Morton, Mohammed Kloub and Heidi Groover and news researcher Miyoko Wolf contributed to this report.