Update: 2 people found dead in west Admiral home

October 19, 2011 at 4:13 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 48 Comments

4:13 AM: Police and fire crews are in the 2600 block of 50th SW, and visible from Admiral Way nearby, after responding to a call described on the SFD log as “assault with weapons” – which is used in a variety of incident types, so that doesn’t necessarily mean someone has been attacked. We’re still working to find out exactly what they believe happened; more shortly.

4:48 AM UPDATE: We’re down the block from the scene and have heard the use of a bullhorn to try to contact someone inside the house that police were called to. KING 5 reports that police say a man called them from the house after 3 am, claiming to have shot someone. Though this is unfolding just about a block off Admiral Way, it’s not affecting traffic – police are conducting their operation on residential streets, including 50th and Waite.

5:10 AM UPDATE: In the “media staging area” east of the scene (photo above), with all TV stations on hand. SWAT vehicles rolled by a few minutes ago.

5:40 AM UPDATE: Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Steve Paulsen just talked with us briefly at the media staging area. He says they still don’t know for sure whether the man who called 911 is in the house or not. He clarifies that the caller, whom he described as “elderly,” claimed he had shot his wife.

6 AM UPDATE: Loud boom/bang sounds in the area are part of the attempt to reach the man, if he is indeed inside.

7:06 AM UPDATE: Det. Mark Jamieson from the SPD Media Unit just briefed us all. Same information, basically, except that he added that police are not going to rush into the house until they’re sure it’s a safe situation – even though, as he acknowledged, there’s a possibility someone is injured in there. He says they do not believe the neighborhood is in danger, though he doesn’t know if any gunshots were actually heard before the man called 911. They are relatively sure that original call after 3 am was made from inside the house – it was via a land line.

7:22 AM UPDATE: Det. Jamieson had an update just a few moments ago – SWAT officers went into the house and found two people dead, a man and woman. Murder-suicide is suspected; investigators are now at work to find out more, and they will have an update later this morning. The murder victim would be the first in West Seattle since the Fauntleroy stabbing death of the vaudeville artist best known as Hokum W. Jeebs back in February. The last murder-suicide case was the quadruple shooting in Highland Park in September of last year.

7:43 PM UPDATE: The SWAT units are leaving.

(Photo by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)
9:58 AM UPDATE: Added a photo of police investigating at the house – media was not allowed near it, for obvious reasons, while the SWAT team was still there and unsure what was happening inside.

10:32 AM UPDATE: Police have posted their summary of what happened; no new information, though. But unofficial sources have said the wife, 80 according to online records, was very ill – including this WSB commenter.

THURSDAY UPDATE: One of the couple’s children talked with our partners at the Seattle Times, identifying the couple as Helen and Harvey Spicer, and saying Mrs. Spicer had Parkinson’s disease.

48 Comments

  1. I’m at work at the wonderful Alki Mail and Dispatch right now and heard a flash bang go off and the cops on the bull horns. It was all very scary for a moment but I am so glad I was able to come to the blog and find out what was going on! I hope everyone is ok!

    Comment by breezygirl11 — 6:13 am October 19, 2011 #

  2. At a few minutes before 6 am, I heard what sounded like a gun shot and opened my back door and heard the Seattle police department asking someone repeatedly to come the front door over a PA. As far as I can tell everything is silent now. Not sure what happened.

    Comment by holly — 6:15 am October 19, 2011 #

  3. Flash bang, something like a stun grenade to disorient the occupants. Heard it across the Junction.

    Comment by mark — 6:56 am October 19, 2011 #

  4. this is horrible!

    Comment by ln8r — 7:24 am October 19, 2011 #

  5. How terribly sad! I was told by a KOMO news crew member the couple’s son was on scene trying to help coax his father out of the house. It must have been heartbreaking for him.

    Comment by breezygirl11 — 7:32 am October 19, 2011 #

  6. This is horrible news!

    Comment by Bonnie — 7:35 am October 19, 2011 #

  7. My heart breaks for all involved.And to the son who tried to help his dad,I hope you can find peace in your heart and not blame yourself somehow.I hear now and then about hubbys caring for their sick wives,being the main caregiver.I think they’re overwhelmed and don’t know how to ask for help or feel they don’t have the right resources to get relieved of their duties.Then it ends in murder/suicide because he no longer to bear to see her suffering.It’s a sad day in my neighborhood.

    Comment by Alki Resident — 8:57 am October 19, 2011 #

  8. I live in the neighborhood and was surprised to see the police and news crews when I turned onto Waite street this morning(it’s a really quiet neighborhood). I looked to the WSB first, knowing you would have the most accurate updated info.
    I’m sad that it ended so tragically.

    Comment by clementine — 9:14 am October 19, 2011 #

  9. I used to live a block and a half from there; I just heard the news. My heart goes out to the couple’s family… I am sorry that their lives ended so tragically…

    Comment by CT — 9:38 am October 19, 2011 #

  10. I hope the son has support to get through this.

    Comment by G — 9:53 am October 19, 2011 #

  11. Helen was extremely ill and in unbearable physical pain. I choose believe that Harvey took Helen’s pain away as his one final act of how much he loved and cared for her. Living without her would have been unbearable for him, which I believe is why he chose to join her. They have a lot of family in West Seattle, and your prayers and understanding would be greatly appreciated in what is undoubtedly an overwhelming time for all of them. I pray that Harvey and Helen are together and pain free.

    Comment by 4thGenWestSide — 10:00 am October 19, 2011 #

  12. When I first read this story this morning I immediately wondered if this was an act of love. I too want to think that he did this to rid her of her pain and couldn’t live without her. Blessings to those who remain.

    Comment by Hat momma — 10:13 am October 19, 2011 #

  13. I send love and healing thoughts to the family and friends of these two people.

    Comment by seewhatsealionsstart — 10:14 am October 19, 2011 #

  14. Harvey came by while I was working in the yard a couple weeks ago and we chatted about dahlias. You can see his beauties in the front yard in the photo above. He went home and came back with some catalogs that he recommended and was so happy and excited that I showed an interest, too. I’m planning to order some and plant them as a memorial to his wife and him, a genuine and special guy. My condolences on the family’s loss.

    Comment by BF — 10:40 am October 19, 2011 #

  15. Praying (very hard) for this family and hope there can be some solace in their grief. We’re so so sorry.

    Comment by Beth — 10:47 am October 19, 2011 #

  16. How incredibly sad. I echo the posts above and hope that it was his final act of love for his wife. They lived right by us and I was surprised to walk out of my home this morning and get approached by reporters. Our prayers are with this family.

    Comment by traci — 10:49 am October 19, 2011 #

  17. I have no doubt this was out of love. Some people may not understand why. But I’m sure he couldn’t bare to see his wife in pain any longer and felt helpless. Prayers go out to the family and I hope they are together without anymore pain.

    Comment by MB — 11:10 am October 19, 2011 #

  18. It does sound like assisted suicide and not being able to live without the one he loved. I support assisted suicide, but am still so sad about this loss. Hearing about Harvey’s flowers is very sweet. I am glad though that my previous neighborhood (I used to live a block away from this) is not the target of a crime spree as I originally though when hearing about this.

    Comment by D-mom — 11:11 am October 19, 2011 #

  19. R.I.P Helen & Harvey. Condolences to all Family, Friends & Neighbors.

    Comment by Aman — 12:13 pm October 19, 2011 #

  20. This was MURDER and SUICIDE that’s called DOMESTIC VIOLENCE not care and compassion. Who was helping this man in the care of his wife? Had they been educated to reasources such as assisted living, home health and hospice? Many very tragic crimes have been commmitted here the most that this poor man got to this desperate place when west seattle has wonderful compassionate care resources to help them both.

    Comment by madison parent — 12:43 pm October 19, 2011 #

  21. This is very tragic, but it is violent tragic deaths like this that create hauntings in homes for years to come.

    Comment by Other realm — 12:48 pm October 19, 2011 #

  22. So very sorry for this family’s loss. Sending lots of love and prayers.

    Comment by cmc — 12:50 pm October 19, 2011 #

  23. Helen and Harvery were wonderful people.

    Comment by Badger — 12:57 pm October 19, 2011 #

  24. The Bible says suicide and killing are sins, but Love and Grace I believe steps in for those like this loving husband. I wish I knew love like that… my prayers go out to their son. I lost my mother this year due to cancer at a young age of 72 and she was in great shape. I always figured she’d out live me:( Blessings

    Comment by Gman206 — 1:10 pm October 19, 2011 #

  25. I was so sorry to hear this had happened. I live a block and a half away and woke up in the middle of the night abruptly. Now I wonder if this unfortunate situation was in the air in some way… My condolences to the family, especially the son who was with police/SWAT teams. What a hard thing to witness…

    Comment by Admiral neighbor — 1:21 pm October 19, 2011 #

  26. Tragic Love story. I wish this wasn’t the ending but it warms my heart to know it wasn’t a violent or random act. My heart goes out to all there loved ones and I hope the neighborhood can find peace.

    Comment by bsmomma — 1:35 pm October 19, 2011 #

  27. Condolences to the family and friends…

    .

    Mike

    Comment by miws — 2:05 pm October 19, 2011 #

  28. One can only imagine the despair felt by this couple that led to such an end, and the anguish suffered by family and friends left behind. I hope peace embraces the departed and finds its way to those left in mourning. Condolences to all.

    Comment by RichWSeattle — 3:07 pm October 19, 2011 #

  29. Where was their doctor in all this? Who was helping him w the great burden of the wifes care? What about hospice? In home care? Assisted living? I feel for this family greatly I just hope he had all the education about reasources….maybe such violent deaths could have been prevented

    Comment by madison parent — 4:07 pm October 19, 2011 #

  30. May they both rest in peace and their family find comfort in their loved ones.

    Comment by NativeToSeattle — 5:10 pm October 19, 2011 #

  31. Where would I contact someone about this case? I was approached around 2:30 by a man in a red truck that was very drunk or on something not to far from there i can give further details just need a contact number.

    Comment by Spencer — 5:29 pm October 19, 2011 #

  32. Seattle Police Homicide Unit, most likely. I would call the nonemergency number at 625-5011 and ask how to offer information that might relate to a homicide case …

    Comment by WSB — 5:55 pm October 19, 2011 #

  33. My sympathy goes out to Helen and Harvey’s family!! May Helen and Harvey Rest in Peace together!! God Bless!

    Comment by Tracy — 5:56 pm October 19, 2011 #

  34. if only we could be as loving and compassionate with our human spouses and loved ones as we can be with our animal family members. this could have been something gentle and calm, a transition surrounded by loving family…instead of bullhorns and swat teams……another failure for our disease care system.

    their love remains unchanged, even as they change form. may the family find grace and peace.

    Comment by shfy 1 — 6:40 pm October 19, 2011 #

  35. This is so sad and I am so sorry for what this couple must have gone through prior to and up through early this morning.

    Want to echo so many others in wishing peace, compassion and comfort to those the couple loved and left behind, especially the son who was part of trying to prevent the final death.

    shfy 1 – I agree with you. We need to find so many resources to deal with severe pain and for more people (and doctors) to understand how much it can turn your whole world upside down…and if it’s unbearable, to find more humane ways to eternally escape our physical bodies.

    Peace to the friends and family.

    Comment by alki neighbor — 10:56 pm October 19, 2011 #

  36. there is no reason for anyone to be in the kind of unbearable pain that would make their loved ones feel that killing them was the only option.

    fear of “addiction” and “cost controls” create a lot of unnecessary human suffering…

    my heart goes out to this couple and their family.

    Comment by JoB — 8:08 am October 20, 2011 #

  37. I was shocked when I first discovered that there had been a ‘murder’ / suicide on my street. As details were shared by neighbors, I have come to understand what was really happening. I feel that this is a new face for assisted suicide. Who are we to decide if someone can get help with the end of a painful and agonizing battle with poor health? Where is Dr. Kevorkian to help this couple when they needed him? (I know he’s dead, this is symbolic)

    Even if Harvey was willing to continue on for a few years after his wife’s passing, the anguish of assisting with her death coupled with the thought of being demonized would be too much to bear. That poor couple, and that poor man. He has demonstrated the highest level of bravery and love that we can imagine.

    My heart goes out to Helen and Harvey, may they Rest in Peace together. I send my condolences to the family, and I hope that they can understand and find peace with what has happened.

    Comment by Admiral neighbor — 11:32 am October 20, 2011 #

  38. And if one of his bullets shot through a innocent victims window and injured or killed them would you still have all of this compassion? You people scare me

    Comment by Paul — 2:03 pm October 20, 2011 #

  39. Paul, Your thoughtless & cruel comment scares me.

    Comment by Aman — 3:19 pm October 20, 2011 #

  40. This is not what it seems. Ask the children and family members!!

    Comment by visitor — 3:51 pm October 20, 2011 #

  41. What is not what it seems? Other motives? Would like to have more details “Visitor”.

    Comment by MB — 7:20 pm October 20, 2011 #

  42. Re: MB’s comment, I need to note, if there is an allegation of other motives, that needs to go to the police, not here, if you have firsthand information. Regarding the family, a child spoke to the Times, per the link I added to the story much earlier today … TR

    Comment by WSB — 7:37 pm October 20, 2011 #

  43. My special condolences to uncle Harvey and aunt helen’s children I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m Jason Linzi living in Maryland. I heard of this tragedy when my mom went to the hospital from having a heart attack after hearing the news. Aunt Helen was like a mother to her, mom is ok. May god bless the spicer family.

    Comment by Jason Linzi — 7:04 pm October 21, 2011 #

  44. This is a very sad story, but there is so much more to it that is not being published here. Just curious ? Does the WSB censor their comments ?

    Comment by Wetone — 8:48 am October 22, 2011 #

  45. Many different reader viewpoints as to what may have happened. Check out the comments below the story.
    http://www.westseattleherald.com/node/182751#comment-342292124

    Comment by Aman — 9:48 am October 25, 2011 #

  46. I checked into public records after declining to approve a comment along the lines of those (which due to the similarity of the language could be one person with multiple screen names, something we also have a rule prohibiting, only the admins would know that, but if they didn’t review the original accusatory comment, they may not be watching). I found nothing, no court cases, no arrest records (even paid for an online background check to see if I was missing something). That’s what happens if you don’t have comment rules – anybody can accuse anyone of anything. (That organization did not cover the story in person, either; it was me and four TV crews all morning long.) If someone has public records – police reports, arrest reports, case numbers – to substantiate an allegation, I welcome them to contact us (or the journalist/news organization of your choice!). – TR

    Comment by WSB — 10:39 am October 25, 2011 #

  47. having read the comments on the external website, i too am wondering about the balance i normally see here in the WSB. how is a comment stating
    “i’ve know him for years he was mean,abusive, hurful…etc” how is that different from “i knew him for years he was a nice guy” ?? it is still a personal commentary/experience. just because there is no public record does not mean their experiences are not valid and truthful.
    thank you aman for posting the link. always good to see a more complete picture.

    Comment by Shfy1 — 9:17 am October 30, 2011 #

  48. I send only blessings and love to the family and friends of this couple. I hope they can find some peace in the midst of this tragedy. My heart truly breaks for them.

    Comment by Jasperblu — 2:10 pm October 30, 2011 #

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