Assault teams comb Seattle in search of the camouflaged boatyard killer

PRESIDENT Bill Clinton warned Americans yesterday that they were becoming too tolerant of violence, as the hunt intensified for the gunman of a shooting which shocked Seattle on Wednesday.

In America's second multiple shooting in 24 hours, the gunman killed two men and wounded two others in an unexplained boatyard attack. On Tuesday, seven died when a worker opened fire on colleagues in an office meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Citing the statistic that 13 children are shot dead every day in the US, Mr Clinton said: "I don't think we understand fully just how much more violent the United States is than other countries."

Seattle's police chief, Norm Stamper, said extra officers would be put on duty to find the killer. Although there appeared few clues to his identity, police said they had received many tips. "We have a handful that look pretty good at this point," said Chief Stamper. But publicly, at least, the police had no theory about the deaths.

The gunman, described as a white man in his thirties, walked calmly into a boat repair shop, shot four men with a 9mm pistol, and disappeared. A police dog apparently picked up his scent but lost it. The police pulled in a suspect but soon released him. The boatyard is located in a busy commercial district and the gunman simply vanished into the crowds.

As night fell yesterday, Seattle's mayor, Paul Schell, asked the public to be wary. "Check on your neighbours, check on senior citizens, check on your premises," he said. Local schools were shut down in the immediate aftermath, but reopened yesterday.

The killer seemed not to know the victims; at least, they did not know him. But he walked straight to the office where the shooting took place and left immediately afterwards, suggesting he knew who he was after.

The dead were named as Peter Giles, 27, and Russell Brisendine, 43. A 58-year-old man shot once in the chest was reported to be in a serious condition, while a 19-year-old man shot in the arm was satisfactory.

Mr Giles, the shipyard manager, was "just a super young fellow", said his grandfather, Richard Kelly. "Who would expect a decent, law-abiding, wonderful citizen to just get shot in cold blood?"

The police called in armed assault teams, helicopters, armoured personnel carriers and dogs as the hunt continued last night, but they acknowledged the trail had gone cold.

President Clinton's warning was seen as an attempt to revive the debate on gun control. "Our nation continues on this day to be reminded of the horrors of gun violence. We need to do more to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and children," he said. "Congress needs to send me common- sense [gun] legislation."

The issue may become more important as campaigning for the 2000 presidential election begins in earnest. So far each incident has sparked horror and calls for new gun laws, but interest has soon subsided.

Deborah Orr, Review page 5

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Office / Sales Manager

£22000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established and expanding South...

Recruitment Genius: Administrative Assistant / Order Fulfilment

£14000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join a thrivi...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones