King County prosecutors say 20-year-old Bryce Hardy followed his alleged victims down to the lower level of Seattle’s Westlake light-rail station last week and opened fire as bystanders ran from the scene, dropped to the ground or took cover behind trash cans and benches. One man was killed and two others wounded in the Sept. 13 shooting.
Though a motive for the shooting isn’t detailed in charging papers, prosecutors say it was precipitated by “some altercation” that happened at the McDonald’s restaurant at Third Avenue and Pine Street around 9:20 p.m.
Hardy, of Seattle, was charged Thursday with one count of premeditated first-degree murder and two counts of first-degree assault, with each count also carrying a firearm enhancement. Hardy, a felon who is not legally allowed to own or carry guns, was also charged with one count of second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm. Arrested Monday in Bellevue, Hardy remains jailed in lieu of $2 million bail.
Dawda Corr, 21, was shot multiple times and was unconscious and unresponsive when he was taken to Harborview Medical Center, where he died.
Based on video-surveillance footage that captured the shooting, “Hardy appeared to be tracking Corr’s movements as he was firing his gun at him, stopping only after Corr collapsed face first to the ground,” a Seattle police homicide detective wrote in charging papers. “After Hardy stopped firing his gun, he turned and ran towards the escalators and exited the rail tunnel.”
According to the charges:
Video footage from the McDonald’s showed a small group of people involved in an argument. The group was later seen in the footage from the rail station’s lower level. After the argument and minutes before the shooting, Hardy was seen quickly walking in front of the McDonald’s toward the rail tunnel, located on Pine Street midblock between Third and Fourth avenues. He handed his backpack off to a woman, whom police later identified as his girlfriend, and began running east on Pine Street with four people following him.
Hardy ran past the tunnel entrance to Fourth Avenue, then turned back to the tunnel, where the footage shows he and the group of four others made their way down to the lower-level platform, the charges say. Running ahead of his group, Hardy pulled a gun from his waistband and began firing as he approached Corr, who was with two other men.
“The footage also captured several citizens that were waiting for the train running for their safety and hiding behind whatever they could find, such as trash cans and benches, and lying on the ground,” the detective wrote.
It appears Hardy targeted Corr and ended up also shooting one of Corr’s friends and another man who was waiting for a train, according to the charges.
The man who was waiting for a train later told police he heard the shooter say, “You good, (racial slur)?” When he heard gunfire, the man dropped to the ground and put his hands on his head, then felt a sting in his leg and realized he had been shot. The man rolled onto the tracks, then ran toward an escalator. At the top, he pulled his shoelaces out and used them to try to stop the bleeding. Officers found him a short time later and provided medical aid before he was taken to the hospital.
One of Corr’s friends was also shot. He was later interviewed by detectives and said he heard someone yelling behind him and turned to look. He saw the shooter reach into his waistband and tried to run but was shot in his right leg. He still attempted to run, but was hit a second time in the same leg, causing him to fall. The bullets tore open an artery and officers applied a tourniquet, which the charges say saved his life. The friend underwent emergency surgery at Harborview, the charges say.
The day after the shooting, a Seattle detective sent out a bulletin to area police agencies with still photos of the shooter taken from the Metro transit surveillance footage. The detective received multiple responses, including from Bellevue police officers who identified Hardy and indicated they had had multiple contacts with him and his girlfriend, the charges say.
That same day, another Seattle police officer saw two of the four people who had accompanied the shooter into the tunnel at a business in the East Precinct. One of them, a juvenile, was arrested for giving police a fake name and was interviewed with permission from the minor’s parent. The juvenile provided details about the shooting that led to Hardy being identified as the shooter, the charges say.
The friend who had been with Corr and their other friend who was shot also identified Hardy as the shooter from a police photo montage, according to the charging papers.