Man seriously injured in shooting at Union Gospel Mission

SEATTLE -- One man is in critical condition at Harborview Medical Center after shots were fired Wednesday at the Union Gospel Mission in Pioneer Square.

Union Gospel Mission Director Terry Pallas said about 70 people were waiting for lunch service to begin in the shelter's community room around 11:45 a.m. when an argument broke out between two men, possibly when one of them bumped the other.

The 82-year-old suspect took out a gun and shot the victim twice before shelter staff stepped in and got the weapon away from the suspect, Pallas said.

The suspect later told detectives he shot the victim after the victim tried to assault and rob him, according to the Seattle Police Department. Detectives are continuing to investigate that claim.

Pallas said staff provided immediate care for the 45-year-old victim, a shelter regular who has been trying to get back on his feet, until paramedics could arrive.

The victim was taken to Harborview Medical Center with life-threatening injuries, according to the Seattle Fire Department.

The suspect was arrested quickly following the shooting. Pallas said he does not frequent the shelter but was just coming in for the meal.

The Union Gospel Mission has a strict no-weapon and no-firearm policy. Pallas said the shelter may look at stepping up security in light of Wednesday's shooting.

"We were all very surprised by the actions that transpired here today," he said.