A tech worker accused of going on a fatal shooting rampage in Seattle says he was drinking heavily while playing Xbox prior to the incident — claiming that he blacked out and has no recollection of what happened next, police say.
Tad Michael Norman, 33, a former Microsoft contractor who worked previously at Allrecipes.com, was charged Friday with two counts of first-degree murder and three counts of attempted murder in the incident in the Lake City area.
Seattle Police say Norman fired a 9 mm semi-automatic pistol randomly at people and vehicles, and through the windshield of a public bus, before carjacking and crashing a car. The incident took place during the Wednesday afternoon commute.
According to a probable cause certificate cited by MyNorthwest.com, police say Norman described himself as a recovering alcoholic who drinks to the point of blacking out. He said he purchased alcohol on Wednesday and drank it at home.
“He remembered playing video games on his X-Box, which he said was a common activity for him when he drinks,” the charging papers say. “He had no memory after that until he regained some memory function when he was in the hospital. Detectives recounted a summary of what we believed happened including him shooting three people, carjacking a vehicle and being involved in a serious vehicle collision. Norman said he has no memory of any of that.”
GeekWire has asked Seattle Police Department representatives for information about the specific game Norman was playing prior to the incident. Violent video games are often blamed for violent behavior, including mass shootings, but research doesn’t support a causal connection between the two.
Norman worked at Microsoft from June 2015 to July 2018, and at Allrecipes from 2008 to 2015, according to his LinkedIn profile. Microsoft told the Associated Press that Norman was classified as a vendor, and his contract ended last year.