Seattle Police Seek Motive in Parks Department Shooting

Mar 9, 2013 2:56pm
ap carolyn piksa seattle park shooting 130309 wblog Seattle Police Seek Motive in Parks Department Shooting

(Image Credit: Seattle Police/AP Photo)

 

Seattle police are working to determine the motive of a woman suspected of critically wounding a 65-year-old man inside a city parks building on Friday.

After three hour-long manhunt for the suspect, police arrested Carolyn Piksa, a Seattle Parks employee, at her home in Burien, Wash., at 4:49 p.m. Friday.

Authorities are working to determine the relationship between Piksa and the 65-year-old victim, Bill Keller, as well as the motive for the shooting, Seattle Deputy Chief Nick Metz said.

The shooting unfolded just before 2 p.m. Friday and prompted the city to shut down all community centers and put area schools on high alert.

“We looked at this incident as a citywide emergency, because we knew that this suspect was likely to have access to a variety of parks department facilities, including some of the community centers,” Metz said.

Authorities responded to a Seattle Parks maintenance building after receiving a call from a man believed to be the victim, Keller, who said he had been shot. None of the other employees in the building had been targeted, Metz said.

Keller, the executive director of the Associated Recreation Council,  was rushed to Harborview Medical Center, in critical but stable condition. He was last listed in stable but serious condition, according to Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn.

Shortly after authorities responded to the first scene, they received a second emergency call from Bitter Lake Community Center, about two miles away, from a distraught employee who said a woman, who police believe is Piksa, had threatened her with a gun.

“She came into the building, they had a conversation, and during that conversation, she brandished a weapon,” Metz said. “The suspect then left the building. No shots were fired, not any kind of physical altercation occurred.”

Metz said there were no immediate details of what the woman told the employee, who he said was too distraught at the time to be interviewed by police.

Meanwhile, investigators used cell phone signals to track Piksa to her house. A SWAT team surrounded her residence and ordered her through their bullhorn to come out of the house.

Piksa immediately surrendered unarmed and was taken to the Seattle Police Department’s homicide unit.

A weapon has not been recovered, but Metz said authorities planned to search Piksa’s home.

All park facilities and events will run on a normal schedule today, according to the Seattle Mayor’s Office.

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