SEATTLE -- Seattle police are investigating why a man fired his rifle at officers out of a window of an apartment on Capitol Hill Friday morning. Police fired back, killing the man.
Around 4 a.m. Friday, officers were called to the Elizabeth James House, a low-income housing complex at 23rd and E. John streets.
Paul McDonaugh, Assistant Chief to the Operations Bureau, said a woman who left the apartment told officers the suspect was armed with a rifle and had made threats to kill her.
Responding officers made contact with the man.
"They tried to get him to come outside without the weapon. The suspect made threats towards the officers," said McDonaugh.
McDonaugh said the suspect fired one shot in the direction of the officers and one officer returned fire.
"The suspect went down at that time, they lost sight of him," he said.
The Special Weapons and Tactics Team was called in. They found the suspect in second floor hallway and began performing CPR. Seattle Fire medics responded and took over CPR but could not revive the man. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Neighbors identified the suspect as a man with a long history of alcohol abuse. Charges in Seattle date back to 1999 with a DUI, followed by another a year later.
"Alcohol based violence. Unfortunately it came to an ugly head," Jayme Byford said.
Byford described the man as dominating and unpredictable.
"Just something didn't sit right with me," Byford said.
It is unclear what the relationship was between the woman and the suspect, but neighbors say the two had an amorous relationship.
"I've never seen that before, you know? From now I'm gonna be scared," Almaz Goytom said.
Goytom plans to quit working as a home healthcare assistant at the complex in light of the shooting, even though neighbors hope it was an isolated incident.
The Elizabeth James House is reserved for residents who are either senior citizens or have mental or physical disabilities.
Byford says no one knew the suspect had a rifle in his unit. She and other residents have worked hard to overcome a reputation for drugs and crime.
"I hope it doesn't give us a bad rep," she said.
Police say the officer who fired the fatal shot will be placed on administrative leave per department policy.