Police spokeswoman Renee Witt said the victim, Martin Duckworth, was conscious and alert when he was was taken to Harborview Medical Center about 6 a.m.
Duckworth was shot at least twice near 3rd & Washington, but Witt said the man could not tell investigators who shot him or what happened.
Michael Cox was nearby waiting for a cab and said he saw the wounded man fall from the passenger seat of a small red car.
"He was running around trying to get help," Cox said. "Then the car doubled back... opened the door like to let him in, to help him, soon as he got in they pushed him out and he landed back on his head."
It was discovered Duckworth had a long criminal history, and was wanted for failing to check in with his corrections officer, Witt said. He's now under arrest at Harborview Medical Center, and will be taken to jail when he's released.
Police still don't know the motive for the shooting.