SEATTLE — A gunman opened fire at a Seattle cafe on Wednesday, killing two people, critically wounding three others and setting off a manhunt that forced officials to close nearby schools.

Police searching for the suspect also had to respond to another fatal shooting near the city’s downtown. They say a man killed a woman in an apparent carjacking and fled in a black SUV.

Authorities didn’t immediately know whether the shootings were related.

The latest spasm of deadly gun violence to hit the city in recent weeks has worried Seattle’s leaders and prompted police to consider increasing patrols in high-crime areas.

Gunfire erupted late Wednesday morning at Cafe Racer, a restaurant and music venue north of the University of Washington. The gunman was described as a man in his 30s wearing dark clothes.

Evan Hill, who lives above the building where the cafe shooting happened, said the cafe was an artists’ collective and performance space.

“It’s the strangest place to think of a shooting,” said Hill, who heard four to five shots. He said he ran to his balcony and called 911, but didn’t see a suspect.

Nearby Roosevelt High School has been locked down during the manhunt. Seattle School District spokeswoman Teresa Wippel said students also are locked inside Eckstein Middle School and Greenlake Elementary.

Harborview Medical Center spokeswoman Susan Gregg said all three wounded from the University District shooting are in critical condition.

In the second shooting, the SUV that the gunman fled in was later found, but the suspect remained at large, police said.

In the last month, there have been two random killings in the city.

Last week, a man died when a stray bullet struck him as he and his family drove down a Seattle street. In late April, a woman died of injuries suffered in an apparently random drive-by shooting near downtown.

No arrests have been made in either of those fatalities.

On Saturday, a bystander was wounded near the iconic Space Needle when he was struck by a bullet allegedly fired by a gang member involved in a dispute with another man, authorities said.

In addition to the plan to increase the number of officers on patrol in high-crime areas, police are also urging people with information about shootings to come forward.

Some city leaders were skeptical those approaches would work.

“We have seen many community vigils, community mobilizations. We’ve heard about these strategies before,” said Councilman Tom Rasmussen. “What’s going to change?”