SEATTLE (AP) – A gunman opened fire early Saturday in a home, killing six partygoers and critically injuring at least one other before committing suicide when confronted by police outdoors.

Five victims’ bodies were found in several places in the rented home in the Capitol Hill neighborhood east of downtown, said police spokesman Rich Pruitt.

One of three other people taken to a hospital died. Officers transported about a dozen witnesses to a precinct to interview them. “It’s one of the largest crime scenes the city has ever had,” said Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske.

Police believe the shooting happened at a party and the dead, men and women, were in their late teens and early 20s. Officers said they were not aware of a possible motive.

Kerlikowske said an officer in the neighborhood heard shots fired at just after 7 a.m. When Officer Steve Leonard reached the scene, he found one person staggering out of the house with a gunshot wound.

The officer confronted another man who emerged with a shotgun, telling him several times to put the weapon down, Kerlikowske said. The man turned the gun on himself and fired a fatal shot, he said.

Officers then found the other victims inside the home, he said.

They did not believe the gunman lived in the area.

Kerlikowske said earlier that police found a variety of other guns at and near the scene. But police later said the suspect had one other weapon – a handgun.

William Lowe, 59, who lives across the street, said he heard six shots shortly after his alarm went off. He looked out in time to see people scattering from the home, some with faces painted and hair dyed – “part of their party culture,” Pruitt said.

Lowe said he saw the man with the shotgun put the barrel in his mouth and fire.

Nancie Thorne told The Seattle Times that her 15-year-old daughter, Suzanne, was in the house when the man opened fire.

She said the girl’s boyfriend called her Saturday morning to say that they had gone to the house following an electronic dance party on Friday night – a “zombie rave.”

“It’s the worst phone call a mom can get,” Thorne said, crying. “She shouldn’t have gone to the rave. I’ve never approved of those things. … I just hope to God she’s alive. And if she is, she’s grounded for life.”

Aaron Hoyle, 25, of Renton, said about five people in or around their 20s lived in the blue, two-story bungalow with white trim, and that some were promoters of warehouse parties. Hoyle hadn’t been to the home in about three months, but heard about the shooting on the news and came to see if his friends were all right.

AP-ES-03-25-06 1909EST

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