Weekend of mourning at cafe; owner plans to reopen
A Saturday gathering and Sunday benefit concert will honor victims of Wednesday's Café Racer shootings, and the owner says he will, at some point, reopen the cafe because that's what the shooting victims would have wanted.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Victims of the Cafe Racer shootings will be honored at a gathering outside the cafe Saturday afternoon and at a benefit concert Sunday evening — and the cafe's owner says he has decided he will reopen the business, but he does not know when.
"I think Joe and Drew and Kim and Don would be mad if we didn't," said Kurt Geissel, who has owned the cafe for eight years.
Geissel was referring to the four people fatally shot in the cafe Wednesday: Joe Albanese, Drew Keriakedes, Kimberly Layfield and Donald Largen.
A fifth victim, Gloria Koch Leonidas, was fatally shot downtown a short time later by the same gunman, Ian Stawicki, who later killed himself in West Seattle.
Another shooting victim from the cafe, Leonard Meuse, was listed in serious condition Friday at Harborview Medical Center.
In addition to the Saturday event, an 8 p.m. Sunday concert is planned on a stage in the alley behind the cafe, with donations collected for the victims' families.
On Friday, the four siblings and ex-wife of Albanese visited the growing shrine of flowers, candles, beer cans and messages on the sidewalk outside the cafe on Roosevelt Way Northeast, and said they would be back for a 12:30 p.m. memorial Saturday. Plans for the event were being shared by word-of-mouth on Friday
"Why? That's the question: Why? It doesn't make any sense," said a tearful Vaune Albanese, of Portland, Ore., a sister of Albanese, as she stared at the cafe windows and was comforted by brother Tom Albanese, of Illinois.
Also there were Albanese's two other sisters, Corinne DeLange, of Issaquah, and Linda Paterik, of Buckley, Pierce County, and ex-wife Kelly Albanese, of Seattle.
Joe Albanese was the youngest of the five siblings. "We always said Joe had four moms because he had a mom and three sisters, and we were all telling him what to do," said Paterik. But he had a way of making up his own mind, she said.
DeLange said her brother will be remembered as "an incredibly smart person who had a mind that went places most people didn't go." He loved puns and wordplay and was "witty beyond belief," she said.
Jack Broom: 206-464-2222 or firstname.lastname@example.org