(WSB video of SWAT team going into the room to take the man into custody)
7:41 AM: We’ve received calls asking about SWAT team action at the 36th/Alaska motel. Police describe it as a “barricaded person.” They are working to communicate with that person. The situation is affecting traffic in the area, so if you usually go through that area, we’d advise finding an alternate route. More to come.
(Photo of van at SWAT-situation scene, shared by Stephen)
7:52 AM: WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand just spoke with SPD Det. Mark Jamieson at the scene. This started in the 5 am hour, when police encountered a man outside the motel who appeared to have a knife. They told him to drop it; he ran into a room at the motel, and has been there ever since. Just before 7 am, they decided to tape off the area. Right now they are trying to establish contact with the man in a variety of ways but have not been able to reach him. No injuries to anyone have been reported so far.
8:13 AM: Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Steve Paulsen says the man is believed to be “elderly … with mental issues.” Police are asking media, as is standard in active SWAT team situations, to be careful not to show live images that would clue the suspect to what is happening outside his location. Our crew says traffic now appears to be moving OK in both directions along SW Alaska.
8:39 AM: No change in the situation but police continue trying to coax the man to come out peacefully. Their messages via bullhorn can be clearly heard around the area: “We want to help.”
9:18 AM: Still ongoing; man still in room, police still on scene actively working to resolve the situation. We had sent a message to Josh Sutton at the nearby West Seattle YMCA (WSB sponsor) to ask how this was affecting their facility, if at all, and he has replied in the comment section: “… Just to be clear, Y employees have been kept informed of the situation since the beginning and the safety of our kids and members has not been a concern. We appreciate the police’s direct communication in this effort.”
10:23 AM: The man is in custody. Police forcibly entered the room and got him, no injuries reported. He’s believed to be in his early 40s. Det. Jamieson says he’s going to be taken to Harborview Medical Center for an evaluation.
11:07 AM: Video of the incident’s end, added atop this story; here’s video of Det. Jamieson with a quick briefing for the media once the man was in custody:
We are also adding photos from earlier, which we could not use during the incident because, as mentioned earlier, police request that their positions at a standoff scene not be shown, lest it jeopardize the operation:
ADDED 1:13 PM: The SPD Blotter account of the incident:
On March 30th, shortly after 5:00 AM, officers from the Southwest Precinct were dispatched to a motel in the 3500 Block of SW Alaska Street. The 911 call was for a man outside the building, screaming. Officers arrived and contacted the male standing outside one of the rooms. He was clearly agitated and not wearing a shirt. It appeared to the officers that he may have had a homemade knife of some sort in his hand. The officers attempted to contact the man, but he ran inside the room and barricaded himself inside. Officers made numerous attempts to contact the man through the door and by calling the room, but to no avail. Negotiators and SWAT were called to the scene about an hour later and attempted to establish a dialogue with the individual. Negotiators tried for hours to establish some sort of communication with the man.
SWAT officers eventually were able to put chemical irritants inside the room that eventually forced the man to come to the window. Officers were then able to safely secure the man’s hands while they entered the room and took him into custody. He was taken into custody at approximately 10:15 AM without any further incident. Seattle Fire Department arrived to assist with the decontamination of the individual, and then the 40 year old male was transported to Harborview Medical Center where he will undergo a mental health evaluation.