Shooting survivor's condition upgraded; most victims named; council seeking solutions

May 31, 2012

The only survivor of a shooting at a Seattle cafe where four other people were killed is expected to recover.

Harborview Medical Center reports Leonard Meuse has been upgraded from critical to serious condition. Spokeswoman Susan Gregg says he remains in the intensive care unit Thursday.

His father, Raymond Meuse, told The Seattle Times his 46-year-old son worked as a cook at the Cafe Racer. He was shot in the jaw and armpit. A bullet went through a lung but missed his heart and spinal column.

Police say the shooter, Ian Stawicki, also killed a woman in downtown Seattle Wednesday and drove her car to West Seattle where he shot and killed himself as officers closed in.

Victims named

Below is a list of the victims (two of those killed have yet to be identified) from the Times:

  • Kimberly Layfield, 38, of the Albany, Ga., area, was killed in Wednesday’s shooting at a University District cafe, her family confirmed today.
  • Drew Keriakedes, who died, was a performer in "Circus Contraption, a vaudeville-burlesque group." He was 45.
  • Joe "Vito" Albanese, 52, was a bass player in punk bands and vaudeville acts, who lived in the basement of Keriakedes' home. He also died. Albanese and Keriakedes played with a band called God's Favorite Beefcake. They were shot at Cafe Racer, where the rampage began.
  • Gloria Koch Leonidas, also 52, "was a married mother of two girls who was active in the lighting industry." She was shot and killed at a nearby parking lot where Stawicki allegedly fled after leaving the cafe.
  • Leonard Meuse, who survived being shot in the jaw and armpit, was a chef at the Cafe Racer. Meuse, 46, "majored in Japanese and zoology at the University of Washington."

Drew Keriakedes and Joseph Vito Albanse were members of the band God's Favorite Beefcake, reports KOMO 4. Both men were inside Café Racer Wednesday morning, and both were killed. Friends of the men are now struggling to cope with the horrendous loss.

Here is a video of the band playing at Cafe Racer:

Council seeks answers

Seattle city council members say the spate of shootings in the city has heightened their interest in seeking new gun control regulations.

But they say they’re proceeding carefully, since the city’s previous ban on guns in parks was struck down by the courts.

At a press briefing about Wednesday’s shootings in Seattle, city council member Bruce Harrell said it’s the council’s job to make policy changes to respond to the recent gun violence.

“I’ll be one of many that will lead the efforts in terms of smart gun laws with respect to what happens to our youth when they are carrying unlawful guns. Many of you know about the loophole known as the ‘gun show loophole’ that has been examined. California and Oregon solved that loophole, we have not. I think we need to look at that very closely.”

That “loophole” allows buyers at gun shows to avoid background checks.

Council members say city attorney Pete Holmes is researching gun control proposals that could withstand court challenges.

State law generally preempts local authority to adopt more restrictive gun regulations.