Shooting followup: Police identify Alki man, release gun photos

September 8, 2010 at 2:49 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 45 Comments

Just in, the update promised by Seattle Police: On their SPD Blotter site, they have identified the man shot by officers Friday night as 59-year-old Thomas Qualls, saying he remains in stable condition; they have identified the officers who shot at him as Sgt. Steve Strand, with 19 years of service, Officer Andy Peloquin, a 16-year veteran, and Officer Mark Gallegos, 1 year with SPD, all from the Southwest Precinct. Also, they have published photos of the guns they say he had. Shown above is the police photo of what SPD is now describing as “the rifle pointed at officers” – on SPD Blotter, you can also see what they call “the suspect’s handgun.”

45 Comments

  1. Ladies and Gents, that thar is an Avtomat Kalashnikova 47 (47 for the year it was designed).

    It can be legally purchased in the state of WA as a semi-auto rifle and shoots the very lethal 7.62×39 round. That is a 30 round magazine (not a clip!). This type of bullet comes in 20 round boxes. There are 19 bullets grouped together in 3 groups of 5 and 1 group of 4 and 1 separate. That generally means that he had 19 in the mag and 1 chambered for action.

    This is a serious business rifle. If he did not comply with officers and he had one of these…well…that is not OK. If that was the case, it should shut up the people that were thinking that this was not a good shoot. You walk out of your house with one of those in your possession with cops outside, handgun or not, and you are placing yourself in danger, mortal big time danger.

    Good job SPD, please continue to make us safe. And good luck to he that was shot, may he recover soon.

    HK

    Comment by HolyKow — 2:59 pm September 8, 2010 #

  2. …comment removed after above post updated…

    Comment by HolyKow — 3:07 pm September 8, 2010 #

  3. I thought that’s what it was. I’ve shot one, though I don’t own one and I’m not an expert.

    Comment by datamuse — 3:42 pm September 8, 2010 #

  4. Yep, looks like a semi-auto AK variant. Not a military weapon, but definitely something not to point at anyone.

    Comment by Jeff — 4:14 pm September 8, 2010 #

  5. Scary, whatever it is. Why does someone really need one in W. Seattle or anywhere.

    Comment by W.e.t-nw — 4:27 pm September 8, 2010 #

  6. Yikes, we’re two blocks from that house. Why on earth would anyone need one of those beasties in their home?

    Comment by AlkiMom — 4:44 pm September 8, 2010 #

  7. Perhaps he’s a gun enthusiast. Just because you wouldn’t have one in your house doesn’t mean he shouldn’t have one in his. Some people just collect guns. As long as it’s legally obtained, more power to him as far as owning it.

    Comment by Annoyed — 4:54 pm September 8, 2010 #

  8. alki mom..we ask why….but the 2nd Amendment lovers will say “why not”…because we can…

    yes, there is no point to them but to kill. They’re not for target practice, nor for hunting …scary indeed…

    Comment by JanS — 5:00 pm September 8, 2010 #

  9. The ‘scary’ and ‘nobody needs that’ reactions are fear reactions. It looks like a military weapon, but its just appearance. This rifle is no more deadly than Grandpa’s deer rifle. Some might even say less (though I’m not sure I would). Regardless, the act (pointing a gun at the officers) should be the focus here, and I think most everyone will agree that doing that is completely unacceptable, regardless of the gun used.

    Comment by Jeff — 5:08 pm September 8, 2010 #

  10. So, if a gun is used merely for target practice or hunting, it is alright to own? I’m sure somewhere in the world people are using that type of weapon for target practice right now.

    For the record, I’m not a 2nd Amendment lover. I’m an United States Constitution lover in general. I wouldn’t have such a weapon in my own home but I will not denounce someone else for owning one legally just because it looks “scary”.

    Comment by Annoyed — 5:09 pm September 8, 2010 #

  11. What about that coyotes problem we’ve been having lately. My neighbor lost her 10 year old cat to one. I can’t imagine the damage she could’ve rightfully done to the coyote…

    Comment by Baba — 5:12 pm September 8, 2010 #

  12. Looks like the one Tony Soprano had hidden in that secret compartment just off the kitchen. He never did manage to shoot that bear with it though.
    .
    The AK seems to be popular with a lot of terrorists around the world, owing to its power and how cheap and durable it is. They can leave one behind a rock in a dusty crag somewhere, come back six months later, pick it up and it will fire like the day they left it there. Fortunately for our guys, the fact that it has no mechanism to absorb recoil means that every shot after the first one will usually be inaccurate.

    Comment by cjboffoli — 5:22 pm September 8, 2010 #

  13. I think it’s scary…but it’s his right to have it legally. I can’t argue with that. I simply don’t understand the thinking that one would want one..for whatever reason. If I were a gun collector I would want guns that are legal…but not commonplace, I suppose. But then, I’d rather collect…art..or jewelry..or music..or other things..guns don’t enter into my equation, so I guess I don’t understand the mindset.

    Comment by JanS — 6:15 pm September 8, 2010 #

  14. Jeff: You’re right, it is a fear reaction. I certainly didn’t have the same reaction when I saw the photo of the handgun.

    I’ve never had a fundamental issue with the legal ownership of guns, but I just got a dose of the reality of someone firing a gun in a house near mine, then being bold/stupid enough to take it outside and point it at police, who fired back.

    Something I need to think about for a while.

    Comment by AlkiMom — 6:15 pm September 8, 2010 #

  15. JanS, with all due respect, If you do not understand something , it doesn’t mean it can’t exist.

    Comment by Baba — 6:27 pm September 8, 2010 #

  16. Has he been charged with anything yet? How long can they keep him guarded without any charges?

    Comment by curious — 6:34 pm September 8, 2010 #

  17. That’s quite the “handgun”. No wonder why the cops fired on him. I find it strange that the police killed a man with a knife in his hand on Boren, but not this piece of machinery. Luck?

    Comment by Amanda — 6:53 pm September 8, 2010 #

  18. Amanda – He had a handgun as well, according to the original scanner traffic we reported in our as-it-happened coverage, and according to what police reported afterward (see our video in that first report, with the briefing by Deputy Chief Nick Metz) – and also, police have a photo on their SPD Blotter report, to which this links. The rifle was what he was reported to be holding when he was shot, so that’s the photo we republished, but the police did publish a photo of the handgun they say they found too – TR

    Comment by WSB — 7:16 pm September 8, 2010 #

  19. Curious, there are no charges reported nor visible on the court document. I’m checking with police/prosecutors tomorrow to see if the case has been referred yet. I don’t know the law (maybe a more knowledgeable WSB reader does! I actually can think of one I might try pinging) regarding someone being in the hospital – there are generally three business days during which someone has to be charged or released from custody – since Monday was a holiday, I believe tomorrow would be the third business day – TR

    Comment by WSB — 7:19 pm September 8, 2010 #

  20. Thank God no cops were hurt and no innocent neighbors were injured. I hope he gets the help he needs.

    Comment by Star 55 — 7:22 pm September 8, 2010 #

  21. Ahhh, thanks for the clarification TR

    Comment by Amanda — 7:29 pm September 8, 2010 #

  22. I will side with the police EACH and EVERY time they shoot someone who is holding a WEAPON, be it a knife, sword, or gun. Furthermore, I don’t care what you’re holding, a baby bottle, a phone, a pack of gum, if an officer asks you to put it down, DO IT or else face the possible negative reaction by the police who were unsure of what you were holding. Seems like common sense to me!

    Comment by Garden_nymph — 8:01 pm September 8, 2010 #

  23. Baba, I totally agree with you. I did say I don’t understand because it’s not part of MY mindset. I’m not talking about anyone else. Others can feel differently

    Comment by JanS — 8:48 pm September 8, 2010 #

  24. Yep, you have the right to keep and bear arms. But if you want to have an argument with the police while holding a weapon and you die, you’re dead and I’m pretty much okay with that.

    Comment by Born To Be Mild — 8:52 pm September 8, 2010 #

  25. I’m with Garden_Nymph & Born to be Mild… If a cop asks you to comply, COMPLY dummy. Otherwise, you’re done son.

    Comment by Cheryl — 9:12 pm September 8, 2010 #

  26. Hey I got one of those. You know, for the Apocalypse. OR! the impending social unrest, be it race war, holy war, and/or famine! These are turbulent times we live in. Let us not forget Hitler’s rise to power!!!

    Comment by TK — 9:42 pm September 8, 2010 #

  27. Ditto! Comply with the police! If you have a beef later take it up with the court. If the police (or anyone!) are threatened you automatically try to defend yourself! If I was a police person, I wouldn’t wait to see if they shoot first. Am sorry this all happened I knew the man from school … quiet but seemed nice, too bad something snapped for him.

    Comment by Fellow Citizen — 9:50 pm September 8, 2010 #

  28. I hope all the jackasses claiming the cops lied about the gun will apologize now. Happy someone was pointing that at cops in your neighborhood? Do you know how many homes a round from that gun would pass through? How many kids caught in this idiots line of fire?

    Good job SPD.

    Comment by West Seattle — 10:05 pm September 8, 2010 #

  29. I can hardly believe how ignorant people are in this neighborhood about gun ownership in the US. I was just at the Sheriff’s office a week ago applying for my concealed weapons permit (concealed pistol license) and you should have seen the line of other people there doing the same thing. Everywhere from a granola/hippie looking 30 sumthin’ women to early 20′s men. An old guy here and there and lots of people of color. (If you think the NRA is just for “white” people, think again!) This news report says in 2008 up to 43 of Washingtonians had a CPL!!! That was pre-bail out wasn’t it? Imagine the number today. That means half of all your neighbors carry or have a license to carry a gun on their person. I know a few people that open carry! I think it keeps people honest…

    http://www.komonews.com/news/local/27722724.html

    Comment by wake up people! — 10:32 pm September 8, 2010 #

  30. Wanted to come back and say… No wonder why West Seattle is a big target for burglary! No one’s going to do anything about someone charging in your house beating you around asking for all your valuables and cash. LOL!!! Nope, got to be politically correct about it and say. “oh I’m sorry disenfranchised person of limited means… how can I make your day better, would you like my watch, how about my bank card? Please pistol whip me while I’m tied up here on the floor, also rape my wife and stab her to death while I watch helplessly.”

    Were you also aware that most people buy ammunition that is less likely to travel through walls? Most gun owners do take these sorts of things into consideration! No one wants to accidentally cross fire on a baby in their crib!

    Comment by wake up people! — 10:43 pm September 8, 2010 #

  31. Seeing as there hasn’t really been a complete update to the events of the evening, I’m still unsure at what point the man was given the chance to comply. Did he walk out of the door with the weapon already pointed at police? Did he wait until he was closer to point it? All I know is that so far I haven’t seen it mentioned that the man was told to put down his weapon. In the incident with the man holding the knife that was killed, it was confirmed that he was told to put down the weapon at least three times via witnesses and recorded audio. So far, that doesn’t seem to be the case here. Other than some pictures of the weapons he had there’s been no real information given except Metz’s impromptu press conference, which was based upon information that wasn’t fully investigated and the fact the man’s in stable condition.

    I’m by no means crying cover up. I just find it odd they’ll show a picture of the weapon used, which if you noticed caused a lot of people to cry foul about how scary it was, but really added no more information but that the man was in stable condition. You have to admit it’s a really good PR approach.

    Comment by Just Here — 10:50 pm September 8, 2010 #

  32. And while you’re upset about all the homes a round from the aforementioned gun could go through, how about the several bullets fired by the police officers. Do you think those just stop in mid air? They hit him once. Once. Three officers. Once. Sure I get it don’t point guns at officers. That was not smart. I’m not saying they were wrong for shooting. I just worry about their aim.

    Comment by Just Here — 10:55 pm September 8, 2010 #

  33. Take it easy, WS guy… Nobody said the cops lied, they were saying wait until the whole story comes out before YOU judge this guy. Ok, so now that I have seen this gun, I have to say as an ex-military who carried an M-16 getting shot at by this weapon, that I am changing my mind. If I saw this getting pointed towards me, I am shooting, too.
    .
    I don’t know what started this poor guy’s issues that night, but I hope everyone, including the officers as well as the AK owner, recovers very soon. I also hope family members have removed all the weapons from his home – if he is even able to return anytime soon.
    .
    As for why people have this kind of weapon, I have only a short thing for you to think about: why do some people choose to buy a Mercedes Benz while others buy a Ford Escort? The 2nd Amendment was not designed or written so that people have a “choice” to own a weapon folks. That was written to express the people’s RIGHT to bear arms… so that the government is not the only one with power. Of course, with today’s weaponry, my two guns (legally obtained and kept) are nothing compared to what the government keeps! :-)

    Comment by AnotherIdiotInWS — 11:01 pm September 8, 2010 #

  34. Then this poor schlub gets arrested for defending himself and his family and his home with the AK 47 assault rifle against a couple dozen thugs in NY.

    http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2010/09/07/long-island-man-arrested-for-defending-home-with-ak-47/

    Comment by WSC — 11:20 pm September 8, 2010 #

  35. I don’t know about you, Just Here, but if my house gets surrounded by the police and I am holding a weapon, I don’t NEED to be told to put it down. If they knock on my door or use a loud speaker to talk to me, I don’t NEED to be told to lower one of the two weapons on me. But, that’s just me I guess! I guess this guy NEEDED to be told and given TIME to respond for the actions taken by the police to be justified… Ridiculous!

    Comment by Garden_nymph — 12:04 am September 9, 2010 #

  36. Dont you think this a little like an airline passenger traveling with a box cutter, powdery paste and a trowel getting labeled a terrorist ! They show the photos just like here and everone jumps to conclusions. Then you learn its a drywaller who forgot his work belt was still on cause hes so tired from working 20 hour shifts.

    Now we have picture of a terrible looking gun which stirs emotions. Yea , I wouldnt like it near my kid, I hate guns. But in our country its legal to have these things. And a person is shot on his own property with something legal to have. There is a whole lot of story between the police silence, the photo and your reactons.

    Comment by warren — 7:20 am September 9, 2010 #

  37. Drywallers working 20 hour shifts being labeled as terrorists, Hitler, rape fantasies. The commenters on this topic are seriously off the handle.

    Comment by austin — 7:44 am September 9, 2010 #

  38. To all of you saying he deserved it and you would have done the same thing. Have you all not heard of DEATH BY COP. The whole reason the cops went out there was for suicide threats, so they should be more prepared for such an event but, they are just trigger happy. In my opinion cops are trained, right? So why not shoot in the arm or leg im sure that would make someone drop their weapon or buy them enough time to have those few cops tackle him and handcuff him. I think what you all should be be worried about is how these cops are being trained. And no it’s not heard ANYWHERE that they gave him ANY kind of a warning.

    Comment by Obvoius — 7:57 am September 9, 2010 #

  39. The whole gun “rights” argument is tired and tiresome, honestly. We get it. We really do. You have the right to own an AK-47, because you’re a god-fearin’ Amurikan. But some of us think you’re an idiot if you own something so deadly, and that’s our right, too.
    .
    I have the right to buy $500 shiny brown boots, and I have, and you can think I’m an idiot for doing it, but my boots haven’t killed anyone. Stop with the false parallels.
    .
    I hope the guy gets the help he needs, now that he put the whole neighborhood in danger with his “rights.”

    Comment by Kayleigh — 8:00 am September 9, 2010 #

  40. FYI for those asking these questions: No form of the “narrative” – the part of the police report that spells out how an incident is believed to have happened – has been made available yet. (Even in far less complicated cases, that takes a few days.) Often, even if the police report itself isn’t public, media often gets the “narrative” in paperwork that’s released when a suspect appears for a bail hearing – because of the circumstances here, that hasn’t happened. I’m asking police again this morning when some form of the report will be released, since as noted here, all we’ve heard so far is what the Deputy Chief said at the scene, and then the gun photos/officer names/suspect condition in yesterday’s SPD update – TR

    Comment by WSB — 8:14 am September 9, 2010 #

  41. Oh please!! The cops are the ones that was firing! They need to be trained to handle situations differently, they are not ALL the same! He didn’t put the whole neighborhood in danger just himself. I’m sure about 1 out of every 5 of those houses the owners have guns!

    Comment by Obvoius — 8:17 am September 9, 2010 #

  42. “So why not shoot in the arm or leg”
    .
    That strategy only works for TV cops. Arms and legs are smaller targets, and if the officer has decided to shoot, he’s not going to take a chance at missing. Look, the guy was pointing an AK-47 at the police. He had to know that was the wrong thing to do. If there wasn’t time to warn him, too bad. How dare you criticize the police for doing their job and protecting the neighborhood.

    Comment by KBear — 8:51 am September 9, 2010 #

  43. The cops did what they were supposed to do. They are trained to hit center mass because that is the best place to shoot to stop a person cold in their tracks. Go to a range, put a target the size of a coffee cup out at 20 feet. Just 20 feet, that is all. Now, take ANY pistol and fire 10 rounds. Maybe you hit 5 out of 10…Now…drink 12 monster energy drinks so you have the big BUZZZZZZZZ on…this will simulate an adrenalin rush associated with a life or death situation…you will be lucky to hit 1 or 2. Because of their training, the numbers for a cop go up slightly, but they are still people to…not demonic stone cold killers.

    Just because a person carries a gun does not make them a marksman. Cops shoot to stop a threat (when done right…). This guy emerged from a home with a high powered rifle that would send rounds wizzing thru body armor one after the other without even slowing down.

    Training kicks in, center mass shot (reports are they shot him in the abdomen….that is center mass everyone…)

    Get off of the cops’ back.

    hk

    Comment by HolyKow — 9:29 am September 9, 2010 #

  44. Let me make myself clear.. WHY ARE THEY TRAINED ONLY ONE WAY? he was suicidal he wanted to be shot! We live in a city that has an increasingly number of depressed humans, are they going to shoot all of them that attempt this? Or can they learn a new method to help these people? I understand there was a gun pointed but, was it really necessary to shoot as many times as there was? And he wasn’t firing back, he is one man there were three cops shooting at him. I do understand your points, can you try and understand mine??

    Comment by Obvoius — 10:23 am September 9, 2010 #

  45. Everyone who was interested in this discussion PLEASE READ THE STORY NOW POSTED with the full transcription of the charging document.
    http://westseattleblog.com/2010/09/bulletin-alki-shooting-suspect-thomas-qualls-charged
    .
    Police say he and they opened fire simultaneously.

    Comment by WSB — 10:28 am September 9, 2010 #

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