Tad Michael Norman – who describes himself as a former Microsoft contract employee – was identified in jail records and police scanner traffic as the man accused of going on a random shooting rampage that wounded a heroic metro bus driver and left two motorists dead in Seattle, Washington.
Four people were injured overall, including the city bus driver and motorists, in the mass shooting situation in Seattle, Washington on March 27, 2019.
The 33-year-old Seattle-based gunman is accused of going on a chaotic rampage that included carjackings. It ended in a car crash that killed a 70-year-old man and wounded the suspect, although Tad Norman is now out of the hospital and was booked into the King County Jail. Two other motorists were shot, one, a 50-year-old man, fatally. Deborah Judd, a teacher, survived. The gunman is also accused of firing through the bus windshield, injuring the driver, who heroically backed up the bus to shield passengers. The men who were killed were named as Richard T. Lee and Dr. Robert Hassan, a retired Air Force colonel.
“We’re outraged at what this suspect did,” the deputy police chief alleged in a news conference.
One witness told the Seattle Times she saw “these good Samaritans” trying to help people “while a man with a handgun stood firing at cars.”
“My heart goes out to those affected by today’s tragedy in Sand Point. Thank you to @seattlepd @seattlefire and @kcmetrobus staff. Gun violence has no place in our city,” the Seattle police chief wrote on Twitter.
Jail records identify Tad Michael Norman as a 33-year-old white male and say he’s being held without bail on homicide investigation and other charges. Police also gave out his name as Tad M. Norman in scanner traffic as the incident unfolded. Jennifer Sullivan, a KOMO News reporter, states, through a source, that the suspect showed signs of intoxication. She also confirmed the suspect is Tad Michael Norman through a source.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Tad Michael Norman Worked at Microsoft Until Summer 2018 & Was Once Described as a ‘Stellar Senior Employee,’ His LinkedIn Page Says
Tad Michael Norman’s LinkedIn page describes a successful career in technology, most recently for Microsoft. On LinkedIn, he wrote that he worked as a “senior optimization specialist” from 2016 through July 2018. That matches a KOMO News report that indicates the suspect is currently unemployed.
He described his duties as including things like “manage a book of higher spending customers totaling a spend between $3M to $4M a month,” and “Build long term relationships and increase customer satisfaction” and “Proactively review account health and performance and provide suggestions based on findings.”
On LinkedIn, he wrote that he held other positions at Microsoft since 2015. He described himself as a “SEM specialist” whose duties included such things as “Engage with agencies and in-house advertisers 1-on-1 to help maximize their goals on the Bing Ads platform (clicks, CPA, ROI, Net, etc.).” Heavy has reached out to Microsoft media relations for comment.
A fellow Microsoft employee wrote on LinkedIn, “Tad was a stellar senior employee, with in-depth knowledge of the digital marketing landscape, marketing strategies, and client development. He was passionate about his work, diligent, and I could always depend on him as a valuable resource.”
That all stands in stark contrast to what police say unfolded on March 27, 2019.
“Two men were killed and a man and a woman were critically injured in the Sand Point neighborhood …after a gunman opened fire on several vehicles, including a Metro bus, and carjacked a vehicle when police arrived. The gunman is in custody,” wrote Seattle police.
You can listen to the police scanner traffic here. Police mention the suspect’s name just after 8 minutes in, although they called him a possible suspect at that time. However, jail records show Tad Michael Norman was booked into the jail just after midnight.
The wounded and heroic bus driver was named as Eric Stark by the transit system.
Rob Gannon, Metro’s general manager, said in a statement: “We commend the heroic actions of our colleague, Eric Stark, who was able to drive the bus and our passengers to safety. Safety is of utmost importance to Metro and situations like today’s make us thankful for the quick thinking of our expert bus driver.”
Stark told KOMO News: “I ducked down really quick for some cover, did like a two-second assessment of my injuries and figured – well, I can breathe, I can think, I can see, and I can talk. So for me that was enough to go, ‘OK, we’re getting out of here. I’ve gotta get these people out of here.'”
2. Tad Norman Worked for an Online Recipe Company & Was Married
Tad Norman’s LinkedIn page also says he worked for an online recipe company called AllRecipes.com. He wrote that he worked as a title account manager from May 2012 to February 2015. His duties included “lead point of contact for client/agency regarding sold campaigns and ad products” and “partner with a digital seller and complete requests for digital proposals.”
Tad Michael Norman, who appears to give his name as Tad-Michael Norman on social, has a Facebook page that indicates he’s married, and a police officer said on the scanner that he was with a woman who was possibly the suspect’s wife and “didn’t feel comfortable leaving her.” Facebook posts indicated the couple married in 2016. His dad wrote on Facebook at the time, “married off our eldest. Wonderful wedding! Very happy for them.”
Norman’s visible posts on Facebook mostly showed him with his wife or his wife and their dog. KOMO News reports that police believe Norman lived in an apartment with his wife. Online records show an address near the shooting scenes.
According to KOMO News, authorities are looking into whether the rampage started with Norman allegedly firing a gun inside his apartment.
An obituary for Norman’s grandfather says the family has roots in farm life before settling in Spokane. Norman’s grandfather was a plumber.
This is the more detailed account police gave:
Just after 4pm, the suspect, a Sand Point resident, approached a driver near Sand Point Way Northeast and Bartlett Avenue Northeast. The suspect shot the female driver, critically injuring her, before walking into the street and firing on a southbound Metro bus.
The driver was struck by gunfire, but was able to turn the bus around and head north, away from the gunman.
The suspect then approached a second motorist, in a red Prius, and opened fire, killing the driver.
Police arrived and contacted the suspect, who climbed into the Prius and fled the scene at a high rate of speed. He collided with another vehicle a short distance away, killing the other driver. Police were able to take him into custody after a brief standoff.
Medics took the suspect to Harborview Medical Center with nonlife-threatening injuries where he is currently under police guard.
According to KOMO News, a source says Norman allegedly “pulled the 50-year-old man’s body out of the car” before jumping in it to flee police.
The motive was not yet clear. However, there was a massive response to the scene. The identities of the victims were not yet clear. One person was in custody, police said.
The email driver, Judd, said in a news conference from her hospital bed: “I don’t know why I was the lucky one,” Judd said. “But I also don’t know why someone stepped out on the street and just shot me on that nice little road.”
“Officers on scene of a reported shooting near 120th and Sand Point Way NE. One person detained. There will be a significant police presence in the area,” Seattle police wrote. In an update, they indicated, “Multiple victims in shooting incident in area of 120/Sandpoint. Please avoid area as officers investigate.” The shooting occurred in the Lake City neighborhood.
3. Tad Michael Norman Is an Unaffiliated Voter With No Criminal History
There aren’t any obvious signs that Tad Norman’s life could have allegedly taken such a dark turn. According to KOMO News, he has no criminal history. He does have a 2014 municipal offense listed in Seattle online court records, although its nature is not specified.
Defendant Lk Forest Park Muni 140087018 10-16-2014.”
He’s registered to vote in King County. Voter records indicate he’s not affiliated with a political party. He’s listed as having graduated from high school in 2004 in Everett, Washington.
According to the Seattle Times, the bus driver on the Metro Route 75 “was hit in the torso but able to walk to a gurney,” and was taken to the hospital. The newspaper reported that the bus windshield bore the signs of bullet holes.
Some photos and videos emerged of the shooting scene, as people heaped praise on the bus driver for his quick-thinking actions. The King County Executive praised the bus driver on Twitter, writing, “Just leaving Harborview where our Metro Transit operator is being treated for gunshot wounds. Spoke with Transit Union officials on site. Wounded driver acted heroically in the face of extreme adversity to protect his passengers this afternoon in Lake City.”
4. Norman Has a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology & Once Studied Criminal Justice
Things were once looking up for Tad Michael Norman. His LinkedIn page says he has a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of Washington and attended Everett Community College, where he studied criminal justice.
That’s a far cry from the horror unleashed on the streets.
One woman wrote on Twitter on the police department’s thread, “I live in one of the shooting scenes. At 123rd and SPW there were multiple people shot. I believe one is the metro bus driver. The shooter shot at his windshield and the bus had to take quick action. This is horrifying.”
The woman, who identified herself as Jessica Ramos, said on Twitter: “I saw the bus driver take quick action. I don’t know who he is but I’m sure he saved people by quickly backing up and turning down 123rd to get away. I hope he is not seriously injured.”
A man wrote on Twitter, “Apparently a 65 Bus Driver was shot. Mine was shortly behind, and we got trapped behind all the cop cars and fire trucks. They eventually managed to reroute us, but we sat there a bit. Very scary, knowing I might have been on that bus if my connection had arrived sooner.”
5. The Attack Was Labeled Random But the Motive Was Not Clear
In a news briefing, the deputy police chief called the attack random and senseless but did not reveal a motive. In a news conference, police described the gunman as a man who “lives in the area and for some reason” came outside.
“We believe it is one lone suspect involved in this random, senseless act,” the deputy chief said at the scene.
According to the Seattle Times, the gunman “stood in a street and fired on cars and through the windshield of the bus.”