“Please be kind to your neighborhood.”

“Please be kind to your neighborhood.”

Day of fear, grief in shaken city | photo from The Seattle Times  | click to read the article on The Seattle Times

Cafe Racer equals love.
—The Stranger

Yesterday there were senseless shootings in Seattle at a Ravenna neighborhood hang-out, the Cafe Racer. There were shootings — and deaths. In walked a “sometimes-troubled regular,” an unhappy man “full of negative energy,” who shot regular people, like you and me. The victims were simply going about their lives, doing their thing, in their neighborhood cafe. Leonard Meuse was pursuing his dream, working as a pastry chef and is now fighting for his life. Best friends and musicians Joe “Vito” Albanese and Drew Keriakedes were kicking back when they were shot to death. Another man and woman hanging out in the cafe, also killed.

With knowledge of the shooter, a patron, Cafe Racer owner Kurt Geissel told The Seattle Times, “Stawicki could be a troublemaker, but the cafe wanted to be tolerant, and continued to allow the troubled man to enter.” Christopher Assaf, who lives in the neighborhood and frequented the cafe, said Stawicki had been kicked out two or three times in recent weeks for “snapping” at people.

Shooter and troubled customer Ian Stawicki then proceeded to confront, shoot and kill business woman and mother of two, Gloria Koch Leonidas, before taking her SUV, driving to West Seattle, and, finally, ending it all by shooting himself in the head.

Of the troubled patron, his brother said, “It’s no surprise to me this happened… We could see this coming. Nothing good is going to come with that much anger inside of you.”

My heart goes out to the victims, friends and relatives of these May 31 shootings in Seattle.

I also operate a business that’s open to the public. I have empathy with the business owners and workers, with the customers, all innocent bystanders; we also sometimes see customers who appear troubled, lashing out verbally toward us and our staff. It is disconcerting when someone you know so little about can fly off the handle with little provocation. I extend sympathy and regrets to the friends and family of the victims and with fellow business owner. I share the public outcry—

Please be kind to your neighborhood.
A handwritten note to the victims on the window of Cafe Racer, as reported by KING5.COM


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