I am not a morning person, so 9AM usually is the time when I still just starting my day byway of checking email, reading news, thinking about a first cup of tea. Today, however, was a different story.
We live in downtown Seattle, and, with summer heat, windows are always open. Shortly before 9AM we heard a series of loud noises: about 4-5 loud bangs. First thought: was it a shooting? No, it can not be, right? In the middle of the city during a busy morning it seamed improbably. Curiosity took over, and first glance out of the window showed an ordinary looking metro bus. Couple minutes later, though, the air was filled with sirens, police arrived in marked an unmarked cars, police officers with handguns surrounded the bus. It may sound like an old cliché, but it looked as an action movie was unfolding below our building. I could hardly believe my eyes. Short time later bus passengers left through the back door and were directed to the nearby underground garage. Some of them run quickly, some moved more slowly and took the time to look outside the bus. There were no more gun shots, police officers lowered their weapons, and emergency personnel came carrying some equipment and, some time later, wheeled out a gurney somewhere (I assume, to the ambulance, but I could not see it from my fairly distant position). Obviously, something really bad happened.
It was time to turn to Twitter to learn what was going on. It was already buzzing with #seattleshooting chat. I can not say that I was surprised, but it was the first time that I had a first hand experience how an event just recently unfolded in front of my eyes got attention on the Internet.
As for the actual story, someone shot a bus driver multiple times, run away, tried to get on another bus. Police shot and apprehended the suspect. Luckily, as was reported in the news, the driver had non-life threatening injuries. Apparently, I witnessed the final part of this story.
2 hours later the investigation is in full swing, bus riders (aka witnesses) long left the scene, a small crowd of fascinated onlookers still hanging around, and city traffic is dealing with a major headache of navigating around the closed block around the crime scene.
Couple things that surprised me today:
- sounds of gun shots – curiously, to my untrained ear, they sounded more like fireworks, sort of muffled;
- behavior of some bus riders – when they were allowed to leave the bus, some quickly moved toward the garage, but a small number took their time to hang outside the bus. I guess, humans are curious by nature, but, frankly, I do not know how I would behave under these circumstances.
The latest updates from Seattle Police Department are here.