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Manhunt in Seattle for gunman who killed one and injured seven

Police in Seattle are searching for 'multiple' male gunmen after a fatal shooting in the streets of downtown.

One woman was killed and seven were injured in the shooting at around 5pm local time on Wednesday at a McDonald's on 3rd Avenue and Pine Street in the heart of Seattle's downtown district.

Police Chief Carmen Best said that it was 'not a random incident' and there were 'multiple people involved as shooters' in what began as a dispute before 'people pulled out guns, shots rang out.'

Best did not specify the number of suspects being sought in the shooting, and declined to say whether the suspects were known to police or gang involvement was suspected. 

The wounded victims include a 55-year-old woman in critical condition and a nine-year-old boy in serious condition, officials said. The other wounded victims were all adult males between the ages of 21 and 49 who were all listed as being in a stable condition.

No description of the shooters was immediately available from police. The deceased victim was identified by fire officials as woman in her 40s or 50s. 

EMT and Police give first aid to a shooting victim in downtown on Wednesday in Seattle

Initial police activity seemed to be focused around a McDonald's that has been the focus of prior community complaints about vagrancy and drug activity

Police walk past the scene of a shooting at 3rd Avenue and Pine Street on January 22, 2020 in the central business district of Seattle, Washington

The area where the shooting occurred is a busy intersection surrounded by stores and office buildings, and would have been packed with rush hour traffic

The area where the shooting occurred is a busy intersection surrounded by stores and office buildings.

The area would have been packed with rush hour traffic and pedestrians at the time of the shooting.

Initial police activity seemed to be focused around a McDonald's that has been the focus of prior community complaints about vagrancy and drug activity.

Officials urged residents to stay away from the downtown core on Wednesday night due to heavy traffic and transit delays as the investigation and manhunt continue.

According to witness accounts, two men were arguing on the sidewalk prior to the shooting, and one or both of them produced guns and began firing.

The people struck by gunfire appeared to be innocent bystanders when the dispute turned violent, witnesses said. 

Police Chief Carmen Best said that there were 'multiple people involved as shooters' in what began as a dispute before 'people pulled out guns, shots rang out'

According to witness accounts, two men were arguing on the sidewalk prior to the shooting, and one or both of them produced guns and began firing

EMT and Police rush to aid to a shooting victim in downtown on January 22, 2020 in Seattle

EMT and Police give first aid to a shooting victim in downtown on Wednesday in Seattle, Washington. Multiple people have been injured and police are still searching for the suspect

Samantha Cook, 40, of Edmonds, said she was refilling her transit card in Westlake Station when she heard the shots.

'I was on the first set of escalators,' Cook said. 'There were a lot of gunshots that started going off - maybe 10 or 11. It was just rapid fire.'

The scene was chaotic, she said. 

Witnesses said that at least one shooter may have fled into a nearby underground transit station.

Police with guns drawn were seen searching the Westlake Station soon after the shooting.

The area where the shooting occurred is a formerly prosperous commercial district anchored by a Macy's department store.

However, the neighborhood has become one of Seattle's highest crime areas in recent years, hosting an open air drug market known among dealers as 'The Blade'.

Officials urged residents to stay away from the downtown core due to heavy traffic and transit delays as the investigation and manhunt continues

Homicide and gang units were among the massive police response to the shooting. The Macy's at 4th and Pine is seen in the background on Wednesday night above

The area has become an infamous open-air drug market known among dealers as 'The Blade'

In a brief statement, Washington Governor Jay Inslee, a Democrat, said: 'I am sick for those impacted by the gun violence in Seattle tonight.' 

Wednesday evening's shooting was the third to occur in the area in the past 24 hours.

On Tuesday, a 55-year-old man was shot and critically wounded at the Westlake center. The unknown shooter escaped on foot dressed in all black.

And on Wednesday afternoon, an officer-involved shooting occurred when police shot a 28-year-old man in the nearby Belltown neighborhood. That suspect's injuries were said to be non-life threatening. 

Anyone with information about the shooting is urged to contact Seattle Police at 206-233-5000.