Ian Stawicki's backpack and the handgun he used to commit suicide near the corner of 37th and Raymond in West Seattle. Stawicki's father, Walt, claims his son came to West Seattle to visit an ex-girlfriend.
Did Ian Stawicki come to West Seattle to visit an ex-girlfriend?
Details on a gift left for an ex-teacher living in West Seattle also released
The picture of Ian Stawicki’s four hour path, once he dumped the stolen vehicle of his fifth victim on Delridge Way and set off on foot, is slowly coming together, and it appears the gunman may have come to West Seattle to make contact with an ex-girlfriend, according to his father Walt Stawicki.
Walt Stawicki, the father of the 40-year-old man who turned to violence on May 30 and killed five people before shooting himself in a quiet West Seattle neighborhood, spoke to the Herald on June 2 as he came to the spot at 37th and Raymond where his son ended his life (that conversation can be found here).
The elder Stawicki said he learned in speaking with the woman, that, “They were driving around and she was trying to figure out what the hell was going on and he was scaring the hell out of her …”
At some point, Walt Stawicki claimed, the woman said, “No, no, no, no, get out of the car please.”
“She had no idea what had transpired; of this I am positive,” Stawicki said.
Seattle Police spokeswoman Det. Renee Witt could not verify the elder Stawicki’s account. She said the SPD detectives’ investigation is still ongoing as they work towards defining a clear timeline for the deadly rampage that took the lives of four people at Café Racer in north Seattle and one more in a First Hill parking lot downtown.
In a May 31 press conference, SPD Assistant Chief Jim Pugel said Stawicki contacted a “Southwest Seattle acquaintance” who said he started “acting erratically, talking nonsense,” at which time the acquaintance broke off contact. Pugel said Stawicki also “roamed in very crowded areas (in West Seattle) for some time.”
How much of that roaming may have been with his acquaintance is unknown, but part of his travels apparently included the purchase of a gift for a former teacher.
Seattle Public Schools released a statement on June 4 from Patricia Guenther, a West Seattle teacher who taught Stawicki 25 years ago. During his still-murky path, Stawicki reportedly purchased a blueberry plant and seed packets from the West Seattle Nursery and Garden Center on California Ave, shortly before 2 p.m., and placed the items with an unsigned thank you card on her doorstep.
Here is Guenther’s full statement to the press:
When I arrived at my home from work on Wednesday evening, May 30, I discovered a bag containing a blueberry plant and seed packets from the West Seattle Nursery, along with a pre-printed commercial thank you card (not personalized or signed) in a bag on my porch. I live in the North Admiral area of West Seattle.
There was no identifying information on the items and I did not know who left them there. I later learned that these items were purchased by Ian Stawicki, the shooter in the recent North Seattle and First Hill shootings, who was a former student of mine.
I have not had contact with Ian Stawicki since he was in my Summit K-12 School classroom almost 25 years ago, and I was surprised to learn that he was the source of the bag that was left on my porch.
I was in communication with the Seattle Police Department and the items were turned over to them.
No person, no neighborhood, no community is immune to being touched by tragedy. Please be compassionate with each other as we each process this recent heartbreaking event in our city in our own way.
I have no additional information and I ask that the media please respect my privacy.
Det. Witt with Seattle Police said more details will be released as the investigation nears closure, which could take several weeks.