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October 30, 2013 at 11:58 AM

1 in custody following shooting in downtown Seattle

gospel

The scene outside the Union Gospel Mission, where police say one man was shot by a second man. Bettina Hansen/The Seattle Times

UPDATE AT 3:57 P.M.: Seattle police say the victim is in critical but stable condition.

ORIGINAL POST: One person was shot just before noon inside the Union Gospel Mission in Seattle’s Pioneer Square.

According to the Seattle Fire Department, the victim was being taken to Harborview Medical Center in critical condition. The extent of the injuries was not immediately known. Seattle police said the 45-year-old victim was shot twice.

A suspect, 82, has been arrested, police said.

According to Terry Pallas, men’s shelter director, the two men were standing in a line waiting to enter the mission’s lunchroom when they began arguing after one man shoved or bumped into the other. One of the men pulled a handgun and shot the second man in a crowd of nearly 70 people.

A mission volunteer wrestled the handgun from the shooter, Pallas said. Shelter officials held the gunman for police.

Pallas said he “heard the shot and the scream” inside the shelter’s community room and went to help.

“The staff members acted heroically,” Pallas said.

A law enforcement source told The Times that the suspect claims that the victim had demanded money from him. He claims he shot the man because he felt threatened, the source said.

The suspect has no criminal history, according to court records.

Mission staff identified the victim as Darren “Jerome” Nelson, a frequent guest.

John Kapshaw, who works in guest relations in the men’s shelter, said the gunman was not a regular. He said he has seen him in the neighborhood before but believes it was his first time inside the mission.

The Union Gospel Mission does not allow firearms, but does not have metal detectors, Pallas said. However, staff will review that in light of today’s shooting, he said.

The shooting is believed to be the first ever at the mission, which is more than 80 years old.

Fire department medics were dispatched to the mission, 318 Second Ave. Extension S., at 11:44 a.m.

This post will be updated.[do action=”brightcove-video” videoid=”2785266039001″/]

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: Seattle Police, shooting

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