Seattle shooting was not random, authorities believe

Police continue search for killer, expect to find ties to victims or shipyard

November 05, 1999|By SEATTLE TIMES

SEATTLE -- As police began tracking tips and leads yesterday, Chief Norm Stamper said he believes the double slaying at Northlake Shipyard was deliberate and calculated, rather than a crime of passion or a random act of violence.

Stamper noted that the killer -- who remained at large yesterday -- walked past other offices filled with workers to the rear of the building that houses the shipyard office before opening fire.

Witnesses said the gunman walked calmly and silently in and out. He did not shoot anyone else on the way out or on the street.

Though neither of the two survivors recognized the gunman, Stamper said he likely had a specific target or targets.

Homicide Detective Cloyd Steiger said that while police haven't developed any specific ties between assailant and victims, he is confident that "something will develop that connects" them.

"This isn't a random act," Steiger said.

Though police presence around the crime scene has been scaled back, Stamper said a number of patrol officers remained in the area.

Speaking at a news conference, the chief declined to answer questions in a number of areas -- what the motive might be, whether the shootings had been ordered by someone, whether the company had received threats or whether any specific nationalities might have been involved.

This morning, flowers and a small handwritten note on the front porch of the shipyard captured the grief of many as police continued their manhunt, following what Stamper called a few promising tips.

Held in place by three white votive candles, a note signed by "the gang" said simply: "Pete -- you will always be with us!"

Dead at the scene of the shooting at 1441 N. Northlake Way was Peter Giles, 27, of Seattle, the shipyard supervisor and nephew of owners Peter and Richard Kelly.

Russell Brisendine, 43, a yard electrician from Lynnwood, died on the operating table at Harborview Medical Center two hours later.

The two survivors are a 58-year-old crab fisherman listed in serious condition yesterday at Harborview with gunshot wounds to the chest, and a 19-year-old office worker, who was in satisfactory condition with a gunshot wound in his arm.

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