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Wednesday, November 3, 1999 Published at 19:47 GMT

World: Americas

Police renew hunt for Seattle gunman

Seattle's SWAT team helped search for the suspect

Police have released a man they questioned over a multiple shooting in Seattle and say they are still hunting for the gunman.

Julia Bicknell: "This is becoming a depressingly familiar scene"
Two men died and two others were wounded in the attack in the northwest American city. It was the second fatal shooting in the US in 24 hours.

Seattle police detained a man they described as a "person of interest", rather than a suspect, in connection with the shooting.

He was taken to Seattle police headquarters and interviewed by detectives.

Sue Donaldson, president of Seattle city council: "It's heartbreaking"
As "a person of interest", he could have witnessed the crime.

Police admitted they had no further leads towards identifying the gunman - who walked into an office at a shipyard on Lake Union on Wednesday and opened fire with a 9mm semi-automatic handgun.

Seven people were killed on Monday in the Xerox company's offices in Honolulu, Hawaii, by a man who apparently thought he was about to lose his job.

America and the Gun
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  • The killings have re-ignited the battle for new gun control laws.

    President Bill Clinton renewed an appeal to Congress for legislation to deal with the problem.

    He said: "I don't think we understand fully just how much more violent the United States is than other countries.

    "I think we have to acknowledge the fact that we have been willing to tolerate a much higher level of violence than we should have."

    No warning

    [ image: A stunned employee recovers]
    A stunned employee recovers
    The Seattle gunman, wearing camouflage clothes, escaped on foot after the shooting.

    One man, identified by local media and family members as Peter Giles, 27, was pronounced dead at the scene.

    Russell Brisendine, 43, was shot three times in the chest and abdomen and died in surgery about two hours later at Harbourview Medical Centre, a hospital spokesman said.

    A 58-year-old man remains in a serious condition at the hospital and a 19-year-old man was described as being in satisfactory condition with a minor gunshot wound to the arm.

    Police spokeswoman Pam McCammon: "He just started shooting"
    Police say the man opened fire without warning in offices in the Northlake Shipyard building, which houses several small businesses.

    Reports said people working in the shipyard office did not recognise the gunman.

    Local schools locked their doors and kept children inside as police began the manhunt.

    Police have so far not put forward any possible motive for the shooting.

    Witnesses told the KIRO television station that they heard between seven and 10 shots at 1032 local time (1832 GMT).

    Sue Donaldson, president of Seattle city council, said: "We are hoping for a fairly speedy conclusion to this."

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