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Seattle On Alert for Roaming Killer

November 4, 1999

SEATTLE (AP) _ Residents left their porch lights on and walked their children to school Thursday in the middle-class neighborhood where a camouflaged gunman killed two boat shop employees and wounded two others before vanishing.

Police called Wednesday’s shooting a ``deliberate, calculated act″ and tried to reassure residents of Seattle’s Wallingford district that they were safe, even with the killer at large. Police said they did not know his identity and had not found the handgun used in the attack.

``We are confident this was not a random act,″ Police Chief Norm Stamper said. ``I think that those who live and work in that area can be assured that they are not at risk. ... This is not an individual who is going to repeat the act.″

Stamper would not elaborate on why police thought it was a deliberate attack.

One man was questioned and released overnight. Police were searching in the neighborhood around Northlake Shipyard for the man in his 30s who entered the nondescript, two-story building, strode into a back office with gun drawn and opened fire without a word.

Peter Giles, 27, and Russell James Brisendine, 43, were killed at the shipyard. The two wounded workers were in serious condition.

The suspect was described as having curly brown hair and a mustache, a baseball cap, sunglasses and a dark overcoat over camouflage clothing.

Police used search lights through the night as they checked yards, basements and garden sheds. Residents also left porch lights on, making the neighborhood ``so bright you could barely sleep,″ said Paula Nemzek.

Ms. Nemzek was waiting with her daughter, Cezanne Camacho, for a school bus Thursday half a mile from the shipyard.

``We’re still a little worried,″ she said. She usually walks her daughter to the bus stop, but ``a lot of other moms are saying they feel a little worried about letting their kids walk to the bus stop by themselves today.″

At Hamilton Middle School, the school closest to the shooting scene, doors were locked and five security guards were on duty rather than the normal force of one. Students had to eat lunch indoors despite the sunny weather and were escorted between classrooms and the main building.

Connie Voget, who lives across from Hamilton, took her toy poodle for a walk in the sun.

``Of course I’m concerned, but I think that everything reasonable is being done. I cannot be ruled by fear,″ she said. But she added: ``I won’t walk near the site. I won’t walk in any of the parks where they are searching.″

Stamper said detectives were sorting through hundreds of calls and tips and ``clearly have a better picture″ a day after the attack. But he would not say anything about a motive and gave few details of the investigation.

``I believe that we will catch this person,″ he said.

Jeff Sidebotham, a manager at Seaborne Pile Driving, whose office is in the shipyard building, arrived about 7:45 a.m. Thursday but then couldn’t bring himself to go inside.

``I’m scared to go in there now,″ he said. ``I got in there right after that happened _ too close for comfort.″