2012 Seattle cafe shooting spree

The 2012 Seattle cafe shooting spree was a series of shooting incidents that occurred on May 30, 2012. The killing spree began with a mass shooting that occurred at Café Racer in Seattle, Washington, resulting in the deaths of four patrons and injuring a fifth. Another woman was killed not long after in a carjacking. The shooter, Ian Lee Stawicki, died by suicide the same day.[2]

2012 Seattle cafe shooting spree
Part of mass shootings in the United States
Café Racer, Seattle.jpg
Exterior of Café Racer
LocationSeattle, Washington
DateMay 30, 2012 (2012-05-30)
10:57 a.m.[1] (PDT)
Attack type
Spree shooting, murder-suicide
Weapons.45-caliber Remington 1911 R1 handgun, Colt New Agent .45 ACP Series 90
Deaths6 (including the perpetrator)
PerpetratorIan Lee Stawicki


On May 30, 2012, just before 11:00 a.m., Stawicki walked into Café Racer in the University District of Seattle, Washington. The staff there recognized him from previously being thrown out, and reminded him of that. Stawicki lingered for a bit, and then walked near the door. He pulled one of his two pistols, both .45-caliber handguns, and shot his first victim in the back of the head. The man's body blocked the door, taking away an escape route. One man threw a bar stool and used a second to separate himself from Stawicki. The distraction allowed two or three people to escape through the door the shooter had blocked. Stawicki then went near the bar and shot the others execution-style, police say. As he left, Stawicki took a hat from one of the victims.[3] Stawicki killed a total of four patrons at the café and wounded the café's chef.[4]

Half an hour later, he killed another woman in a parking lot next to Town Hall Seattle on First Hill while carjacking her black Mercedes-Benz SUV. Later that afternoon just before 4:00 p.m., he died by suicide on a sidewalk in West Seattle as police closed in.[5] The perpetrator previously owned six handguns (three 9mm handguns and three .45-caliber handguns), including the Remington 1911 R1 pistol he used in the shootings. As a result of the shootings, several schools, including Roosevelt High School and Nathan Eckstein Middle School, were put on lockdown for student safety.


Ian Lee Stawicki (September 16, 1971 – May 30, 2012) was the sole perpetrator of the shooting. Stawicki had prior contacts with police but a relatively short record. Police say he had charges for domestic violence interference, fourth-degree assault, malicious mischief, and a 1989 charge for unlawfully carrying a weapon. However, court records show only a 1995 case for driving with a suspended license, which resulted in an adverse finding.[citation needed]

During the February 2008 case, police officers were called to the Magnolia home of Stawicki and his then-girlfriend to find the victim with a bloody nose and crying. She told police that he had struck her and destroyed several of her belongings, and that in recent months, he had begun breaking things and flying into rages, according to the police report.[3] Stawicki's father, Walt Stawicki, described his son as a very private person who was "disgruntled" and had been a frequent customer of the coffee shop where his rampage began.[2]


Joseph Albanese
Andrew Keriakedes
  • Joseph "Meshuguna Joe" Albanese (bassist of MIGHTY SPHINCTER), 52, at Café Racer[6]
  • Andrew "Schmootzi the Clod" Keriakedes, 49, at Café Racer[6]
  • Kimberly Lynn Layfield, 36, at Café Racer[6]
  • Donald Largen, 57, at Café Racer[6]
  • Gloria Leonidas, 52, on First Hill[6]
  • Leonard Meuse, 46, at Café Racer[7]


Café Racer had a somewhat rocky history after the incident, opening and closing at least twice over the next eight years, before definitively closing during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. In its final closing in August 2020, owner Jeff Ramsey announced that the name would live on as a free online music station featuring "music from Washington and primarily Seattle."[8] In 2021, Café Racer reopened in the Capitol Hill neighborhood.[9]


  1. ^ Spangenthal, Jonah (May 30, 2012). "Detectives Obtain Photos of North Seattle Homicide Suspect". Spdblotter.seattle.gov. Retrieved June 2, 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Ian Stawicki: Seattle Cafe Racer Shooter Kills 5, Shoots Himself After Citywide Manhunt". ABC News. May 31, 2012. Retrieved June 2, 2016.
  3. ^ a b "Police: Seattle shootings were like an execution". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. June 2, 2012. Retrieved June 2, 2016.
  4. ^ "Seattle shootings: day of horror, grief in a shaken city". The Seattle Times. May 31, 2012. Retrieved June 2, 2012.
  5. ^ "Seattle shootings suspect shoots himself, police say". CNN. May 30, 2012.
  6. ^ a b c d e Johnson, Kirk (June 2, 2012). "Gun Violence Wave Challenges Seattle's Notion of Security". The New York Times. Retrieved June 10, 2012.
  7. ^ "Sole survivor of cafe massacre released from the hospital". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. June 10, 2012. Retrieved June 2, 2016.
  8. ^ Guarente, Gabe (August 15, 2020). "U District's Iconic Cafe Racer Closes, But Finds New Life As Online Radio Station". MSN News. Retrieved August 15, 2020. The online music station is Café Racer Radio at https://caferacerradio.com/.
  9. ^ Smith, Owen (June 8, 2021). "Seattle's Cafe Racer finds a new home on Capitol Hill". The Seattle Times. Retrieved February 17, 2022.

Coordinates: 47°40′17″N 122°19′02″W / 47.67139°N 122.31722°W / 47.67139; -122.31722