Police are investigating whether the slaying of a man in Seattle’s Greenwood neighborhood on Sunday night may be linked to the theft of cash from a nearby restaurant a short time earlier.
The victim, David L. Peterson, 54, was found in his parked car at North 85th Street and First Avenue Northwest after he called 911 just before 9 p.m. saying he’d been robbed at gunpoint, according to police. Police said he had been shot once and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Three suspects were seen running from the area, police said.
Witnesses described one of the suspects as a black man, 20 to 30 years old, 5-foot-10, with a thin build and wearing a North Face jacket. The other man was also black and shorter than the first, police said. The woman with the two men was white, police said.
Just before that shooting, the same suspects may have stolen a bag of cash from a nearby restaurant, the Baranof, at 8549 Greenwood Ave. N., according to Times news partner KING-TV.
Susan Zielinski, a waitress at the Baranof, said three people — two black men and a white woman — came into the restaurant just before closing and asked for a to-go order.
“The one tall gentleman asked me for four or five sodas to go. And he seemed to be getting really edgy and his speech was impaired. I just felt like something wasn’t right,” she told KING-TV.
When she went to the back of the restaurant to retrieve the drinks, the trio ran out the door with the drop bag of cash from the register, said Zielinski, who called police.
The shooting happened moments later, she said. Zielinski believes the trio must have run into Petersen after robbing the restaurant.
Detectives went to the restaurant to dust for fingerprints and gather evidence on Sunday night, Zielinski told KING-TV. She also said she was called in for questioning again Tuesday afternoon.
Seattle police spokesman Jeff Kappel declined to release additional information Tuesday, saying it was an “active and ongoing investigation.”