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May 31, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Family of gunman: We grieve for victims

Standing on the front porch of his parents’ Green Lake home this morning, 29-year-old Andrew Stawicki said his family is consumed by grief.

The man’s older brother, Ian Stawicki, killed five people and seriously wounded another during a rampage that stretched from the University District  to downtown Seattle yesterday, according to Seattle police. In the end, Ian Stawicki, 40, turned the gun on himself as police closed in on him in West Seattle.

Reading from a folded yellow sheet of paper, Andrew Stawicki said “we are saddened by the loss of our family member.”

He added that “we grieve for all of the lives of others and families” impacted by “this incident.”

As Andrew Stawicki spoke, his mother, Carol Stawicki, walked onto the porch and said their family is struggling and that her son was mentally ill. Andrew Stawicki held his emotional mother and led her back into the home.

Andrew Stawicki attributes his brother’s mental illnesses to the years he spent serving in the military. Ian Stawicki joined the Army at the age of 17, his brother said.

A spokeswoman for the Army said today that there is no record of Stawicki having served in the active duty army.

Both Andrew Stawicki and his mother said that they desperately wanted the man to get help with his mental illnesses, but there was no way to force him into treatment.

Andrew Stawicki, who works as a mechanic and lives in Ellensburg, said he had stopped talking to his brother several years ago. This happened after Ian destroyed his belongings during a fight in Kittitas County, where police were called. He said his brother was growing angrier by the year and “was getting weird.”

Ian Stawicki was the eldest of Carol and Walter Stawicki’s three children, two boys and a girl, said his brother. They grew up in Beacon Hill and other South Seattle neighborhoods.

“When I was little, he would take me to punk rock concerts and big brother things,” said Andrew Stawicki said on Wednesday.

But over the past five or so years, Ian Stawicki severely changed.

“Angry. He was really angry toward everything,” Andrew Stawicki said.

Despite his problems, Ian Stawicki would not talk about his mental illnesses, his anger or other troubles, his brother said.

“Someone like that is so stubborn you can’t talk to him,” Andrew Stawicki said on Wednesday. “It’s no surprise to me this happened. We could see this coming. Nothing good is going to come with that much anger inside of you.”

Speaking on Thursday, Andrew Stawicki said that his brother was unemployed. He called the man “retired.”

With everything that has happened in their family and across the city yesterday, Andrew Stawicki said that he and his friends are struggling to defend his brother. But, he insists that Ian Stawicki, was not a monster.

“I don’t want people to see him in a bad light.”

Andrew Stawicki said that he and his older sister, who lives in New Zealand, are working to hire a civil lawyer to represent them in case any lawsuits are filed in connection with the shooting spree. Andrew Stawicki said that he’s also trying to make funeral arrangements and handle any other details to spare his grieving parents.

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: Cafe Racer, Fatal shooting, mass shooting

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