Bill Keller of the Seattle Parks and Recreation Department was shot in the chest in his Green Lake office on March 8. A woman who worked for the parks department was arrested in the case. Here are the 911 calls from that day.
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SEATTLE — A Seattle Parks & Recreation Department employee pleaded not guilty Monday to a first-degree assault charge for allegedly shooting and wounding the executive director of a nonprofit that funded recreation programs in the parks system earlier this month.
The defendant, Carolyn Joyce “Zoom” Piksa, 46, was also charged with second-degree assault for allegedly pointing a firearm at a second co-worker later the same day.
A hearing was set for April 8. Piksa remains in the King County Jail on $1 million bail.
The shooting victim, Bill Keller, 65, who is recovering from his wound, is the executive director of the Associated Recreation Council, a nonprofit that coordinates and funds recreation programs in Seattle’s Parks Recreation Centers.
Police said Piksa shot Keller in the chest in the early afternoon March 8 at a Seattle Parks building at North 82nd Street and Densmore Avenue. The motive was unknown.
But in charging documents, police said Piksa told detectives she believed Keller and the woman she allegedly pointed her gun at later, Cynthia Etelamaki, were involved in some sort of “game of manipulation.”
Piksa told detectives she believed Keller and Etelamaki had conspired to have contacts removed from her cell phone, to have money removed from her bank account and caused noises at night that prevented her from sleeping, police said.
Keller later told police that while he knew Piksa from work, he did not have a lot of interaction with her and never had a conflict with her.
After shooting Keller, Piksa told detectives, she retrieved her lunch from a refrigerator and drove to the Bitter Lake Community Center to confront Etelamaki
She brandished her gun at Etelamaki, but did not fire and left in a pickup truck, police said.
Schools and parks facilities in the Green Lake area were placed on lockdown that day while police searched for Piksa. Police traced her cellphone to her home in Burien, where she was arrested unarmed and without incident.
Piksa had been a city Parks employee since 1986.
The full news conference by Mayor Mike McGinn and the police can be seen below:
Carolyn Joyce “Zoom” Piksa, 46, may suffer a mental illness and believed that the victim, 65-year-old Bill Keller, and another parks employee, were conspiring to have her contacts removed from her cell phone, steal her money from her bank account and that they caused “noises at night which prevented her from sleeping,” court documents said.
Piksa is being charged with first- and second-degree assault in King County Superior Court. Her bail was set at $1 million.
Police said Piksa shot Keller in the chest in early Friday afternoon at a Seattle Parks building at North 82nd Street and Densmore Avenue. According to police, Piksa drove to the Bitter Lake Community Center where she brandished a weapon at a female employee before shooting Keller in the chest. She was arrested later at her home and allegedly confessed to shooting Keller, police said.
According to court documents, Piska told detectives that she believed Keller and the other parks employee were engaged in a “game of manipulation” in which she could never win. She allegedly confessed to grabbing a .357 caliber revolver from her truck and walked into Keller’s office Friday. Piska said Keller was not “saying what should have been said,” and, as a consequence, she pointed the gun at his head. Keller then pointed the gun at his own chest, police said, and told her to shoot him.
She shot him once in the chest, retrieved her lunch from a refrigerator and left the parks building.
Piska reportedly told police it was important to “put her cards on the table” by telling Keller how she felt and that she is now “out of the game.”
Piska has no prior criminal convictions.
Keller is in Harborview Medical Center in satisfactory condition.