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Originally published May 30, 2012 at 4:02 PM | Page modified May 30, 2012 at 8:34 PM

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Father: Shooting survivor's condition 'sounding good'

Leonard Meuse, the chef at Cafe Racer, is out of surgery and expected to survive, says his father.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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I just hope he feels better and is in great spirits when he gets out! Sorry this... MORE
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Leonard Meuse told his family that he loved working as a chef at Cafe Racer, scene of Wednesday's mass shooting.

The 46-year-old had given up a prestigious position as a research scientist at the University of Washington to go to pastry school. He told his family that once the economy turned around, he hoped to get a full-time job baking bread, said his father Raymond Meuse.

On Wednesday, Meuse was at work when police say a man entered the cafe around 11 a.m. and opened fire. Meuse was shot twice in the jaw and armpit. One bullet also grazed his liver, but just missed his heart, according to Raymond Meuse.

"He's in serious condition, apparently not life-threatening. But I'm waiting for the doctor to call me back with the results. He's out of the operating room," Raymond Meuse said.

Raymond Meuse said that Leonard, the second oldest of his three sons, was working in the kitchen at Cafe Racer.

"He went through pastry school at Seattle Central [Community College] and was interested in that kind of work. He was doing some cooking there and some baking," Raymond Meuse said. "The clientele is up his alley. They were a fair number of students and a number of motorcycle riders. It was an eclectic group."

Raymond Meuse said another of his sons called him to report there had been a shooting at Cafe Racer. The elder Meuse turned on the television news. He soon received a phone call from one of Leonard's friends. The friend had gone to Harborview Medical Center and identified Leonard Meuse to police and doctors, Raymond Meuse said.

Raymond Meuse soon heard from a hospital social worker and doctors. Around 3:30 p.m. he was awaiting a third call from the doctor to hear the results of a CT scan.

"It's sounding pretty good," he said about his son's medical condition.

Raymond Meuse said that he plans to go to the hospital Wednesday night to see his son. He describes Leonard as "extremely intelligent."

Leonard Meuse, who lives alone in the Seattle's Central Area, majored in Japanese and zoology at the UW. His father said that he regularly criticized what he was taught.

"He's so intelligent he can't stay in college. He criticizes college for not teaching people what they need to know," Raymond Meuse said.

Jennifer Sullivan: 206-464-8294 or jensullivan@seattletimes.com. On Twitter @SeattleSullivan.

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