Seattle shooting leaves seven dead

Monday, March 27, 2006 Seven young people are dead with two more hospitalized in Seattle, Washington, after a murder-suicide shooting Saturday morning in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. The gunman, identified by police and witnesses as Kyle Huff, 28, left a party briefly to retrieve a pistol-grip shotgun and a handgun from his nearby truck. When he returned, he started firing. He turned his shotgun on himself when apprehended by a police officer on the porch of the house where the shootings took place. The King County Medical Examiner's Office identified the dead as Jeremy Martin, 26, Christopher Williamson, 21, Jason Travers, 32, Justin Schwartz, 22, Suzanne Thorne, 15, and Melissa Moore, 14.

No altercation was reported at the party, and no motive has been identified for the killings. Before returning to the party, Huff spray-painted the word, "now," on the sidewalk, and on the steps approaching the house. Seattle police officer Steve Leonard heard the shots, and arrived on the scene to find Huff emerging from the house. Huff was warned to drop his weapon, at which point he aimed his shotgun at his own head and fired.

Three of the victims were killed in the living room, and another two were found dead on the porch and steps of the house. Another died at the hospital. One of the hospitalized victims was initially reported in critical condition, but was upgraded Monday morning to satisfactory condition.

Huff, originally from Whitefish, Montana, had been charged in 2000 with felony criminal mischief for firing on a sculpture with a shotgun, according to Flathead County, Montana Sherriff Jim Dupont. Police found an assault rifle, a machete and ammunition in Huff's truck, and a search of his North Seattle apartment turned up three more rifles.