Police: Man opens fire near school east of Seattle, dies in gunfight

Story highlights

  • A football game was underway at a high school stadium at the time
  • No one else was hurt in the shooting spree, authorities say
  • Officials: The man abandons his car in the middle of a road and gets out with two rifles
  • He is shot more than once by arriving officers after they come under fire, officials say

Officials in a town east of Seattle will try to piece together Sunday why a 51-year-old man went on a shooting spree near a high school athletic field before he was shot dead by police.

No one else was hurt in the Saturday morning incident in Issaquah, a city about 17 miles east of Seattle.

The man, who has not been identified by the local medical examiner's office, abandoned his car in the middle of the road on the south side of the city's downtown and got out carrying two rifles, authorities said.

He pointed them "menacingly at pedestrians as he walked," said King County Sheriff's Office Sgt. John Urquhart.

When he reached Clark Elementary School a few blocks away, he tried to break into a car in the school's parking lot -- and fired his first shot, authorities said.

He fired more shots as he continued on to the school property and tried to get into the cab of a backhoe parked there, they said.

By this time, officers converged on the scene, and the man went into a "prone position" on a road, Urquhart said.

He fired at the arriving officers, who in turn fired back, authorities said.

He was shot more than once and died at the scene, Urquhart said.

The elementary school is next door to a middle school and a high school. A football game was in progress at the high school at the time of the shooting.

In a video posted on YouTube and taken from outside Issaquah High School, dozens of gunshots can be heard nearby.

Chase Hawkins was at the game and said many of the attendants ran for cover.

"They were huddled under the bleachers, staying close together and scared out of their minds," Hawkins told CNN affiliate KING. "To have something like this happen on a beautiful Saturday, it's shocking."

The officers involved in the shooting were placed on routine administrative leave as the investigation continues.