A wounded survivor of the May 30 mass-murder shooting at Seattle's Café Racer that left four people dead said Monday that he "went down like a light switch" and remembers nothing after he told Ian Stawicki, the gunman, that he couldn't serve him a coffee.
Leonard Meuse, 46, who was the bar server/cook at Cafe Racer that day, was shot twice in the jaw with a .45 caliber handgun and was in critical condition at Seattle's Harborview Medical Center for days. He left the hospital Saturday.
"The quote that has been gound around from my ICU trauma surgeon was that I basically won the lottery twice," Meuse said in an interview at home. "Not only am I still walking and breathing, I'm still me."
Asked about the day of the shooting, Meuse said, "He (Stawicki) came in; I'd been told to '86 (him), so I can't serve him, I had to tell him that. And he asked me if he could get a coffee to go ... pretty sure I was the first one hit.
"I went down like a light switch, never saw a gun, never saw anyone get shot, a blessing maybe," he added.
Four people in the north Seattle cafe were killed in the shooting. Stawicki fled, later shot and killed a woman in Seattle's First Hill neighborhood and stole her car, and then shot and killed himself when police found him and were approaching him in West Seattle.
Three other people in the cafe were able to escape out the back when the shooting started, thanks to one man's quick decision to throw a stool at the gunman and disrupt him.
Meuse, the only victim who was shot in the cafe who survived, is now recuperating with friends, family and his cat, Fera.
“We keep calling him our miracle son,” said his father, Ray Meuse.
Ray said his son was in good shape — he made it home in relative comfort.
“He did better carrying the boxes than I did,” Ray said. “Going up the stairs — a little wobbly, but no problem for him. Lay on the couch, pet the cat, he was happy.“He's not one to hold grudges or live in the past,” said Ray of his son. “I hope that holds well for the future because he's going to need that kind of ability to look forward.”