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North Seattle shooter out of hospital, in police custody

Data pix.

SEATTLE -- The man accused of opening fire on several vehicles and killing two people seemingly at random in North Seattle Wednesday afternoon has been released from the hospital and is in police custody.

The 33-year-old man started his shooting spree just after 4 p.m., when he approached a 56-year-old female driver in the area of Sand Point Way NE and Bartlett Avenue and shot her.

"We believe it's a random, senseless act," Deputy Police Chief Marc Garth Green told reporters. "We're outraged at what this suspect did."

He then walked on and fired shots at a Metro bus, striking the driver, who was able to turn the vehicle around and drive away, authorities said.

The gunman then approached a second motorist and opened fire, killing a 50-year-old man. After police arrived, the suspect fled in the victim's vehicle, police said. He drove a few blocks and then collided with another car, killing the 70-year-old male driver, fire officials said.

The 33-year-old suspect was taken into custody after a brief standoff. He was transported to a hospital with minor injuries, police said, but released Thursday morning.

The other two people who were injured in the shooting, including the bus driver, are in satisfactory condition at Harborview Medical Center, a hospital spokeswoman said.

King County Metro said on Twitter that at 4:05 p.m. a bus operator on Metro Route 75 hit their emergency alarm and reported he had been shot. None of the passengers on board was injured, the agency said.

The bus driver was hit in the torso, but able to walk to a gurney to be taken to a hospital by paramedics, said Kenneth Price, president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 587.

King County Executive Dow Constantine identified the wounded bus driver as 53-year-old Eric Stark, who has worked for King County Metro for seven years.

He "acted heroically in the face of extreme adversity to protect his passengers," Constantine said.

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, Constantine and other city leaders said Wednesday evening they are grieving with the loved ones of the men killed and pledged to support the two people who were injured.

"Our thoughts now are with families of those killed and those injured," Durkan said. "The entire city of Seattle is pulling for them."

The mayor also said everyone must work to end senseless gun violence. "It is time for the violence not to be the thing that pulls us together."

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