Update: Police seek robber after Charlestown 7-11 holdup

March 8, 2012 at 9:47 am | In Crime, West Seattle news | 50 Comments

9:47 AM: Police are rushing to the California/Charlestown 7-11, after a report it was robbed by a man with a gun. Seattle Police media relations Officer Renée Witt confirms the robbery report and says they got the call at 9:41 am. Also using information via the scanner, we’ve heard a partial, early description of the robber – black, male, wearing a cap, braids, gray sweatpants, 5’9″, no facial hair, last seen headed east on Charlestown; his gun had been in his right jacket pocket. We’re headed to the scene and will have more from there shortly.

10:25 AM UPDATE: Added a photo. Police at the scene weren’t commenting. No word of an arrest.

11:58 AM UPDATE: There’s been a discussion in the comment section about area schools. We verified with Seattle Public Schools that there were NO lockdowns – the robber was running AWAY from the schools, not toward them (and the schools are about a half-mile away), so there was no danger.

12:51 PM UPDATE: Seattle Parks confirms, as discussed in comments, that Hiawatha was on lockdown for a while as a precautionary measure (though it too was not in the direction the robber was going). They reopened the doors shortly after noon, according to Parks spokesperson Dewey Potter.

3:09 PM UPDATE: Just talked with police. No arrest reported so far.


  1. that explains the 2 police cars speeding past our house 10 minutes ago. hope noone was hurt.

    Comment by KN — 10:00 am March 8, 2012 #

  2. Are the schools near by on lock-down?

    Comment by Parent — 10:06 am March 8, 2012 #

  3. I live near by. Heard the police response. Lovely. The clerks need a trap door and a lever in front on the registers at all convenience stores. “This is a stick up – Empty your registeeeeeeeeerrrrr-ahhhhhhh!” [plunk] — drop them into a holding dungeon until the police arrive.

    Comment by Charlestown Hill Residents — 10:36 am March 8, 2012 #

  4. Drugs are bad…

    Comment by Casey — 10:37 am March 8, 2012 #

  5. I was out for a run when a cop car flew past me north on California. If I was a faster runner I would have been there right as it was happening.

    Comment by Tim — 10:40 am March 8, 2012 #

  6. There should be a lockdown/shelter this situation is closer to schools than the one at westwood the other day! Does anyone know please inform!

    Comment by Hollie — 10:52 am March 8, 2012 #

  7. I buy an energy drink from that store most mornings around that time…God help he who gets between me and my Rockstar…seriously, I’m glad no one was hurt and hope SPD makes an arrest soon.

    Comment by Rob — 11:14 am March 8, 2012 #

  8. I doubt there is any reason to lock down the schools.

    Comment by Atram — 11:17 am March 8, 2012 #

  9. My wife is with our twins at Hiawatha CC and they were just put on lockdown five minutes ago.

    Comment by Nate — 11:18 am March 8, 2012 #

  10. I called Schmitz Park Elem, where my kids attend, and they are NOT in a lockdown but are keeping a close eye on the situation. They had not been informed by the police or district before my call. (Thank goodness for the WSB!)

    Comment by WSMomof3 — 11:18 am March 8, 2012 #

  11. Thanks – I have a message to the district. I am also checking with police re: further developments – we got a call about police activity closer to Morgan Junction that may be unrelated for all I know, but Patrick headed over to check in person. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 11:22 am March 8, 2012 #

  12. +1 for trap doors at all 7-11s.

    Comment by MLJ — 11:24 am March 8, 2012 #

  13. My kids are with their nanny at Hiawatha Community Center and they are now on lockdown. I haven’t been able to reach her since. Anyone know anything?

    Comment by monsterbabymama — 11:26 am March 8, 2012 #

  14. I don’t understand why the schools would not be on lockdown. And Schmitz Park hadn’t even been notified by police? I’m sure children have been out for recess since this occurred. Seems very irresponsible not to take the precautionary measure of sheltering in place. Scratching my head over here…

    Comment by Cstar — 11:28 am March 8, 2012 #

  15. About 20 minutes ago a helicopter flew over my house does that have to do with what is going on

    Comment by John — 11:28 am March 8, 2012 #

  16. Wasnt he seen running the opposite direction of Schmitz Park? A lockdown would be overkill and unnecessarily scary.

    Comment by Westseattleperson — 11:31 am March 8, 2012 #

  17. Co-publisher Patrick Sand is at Hiawatha right now. It doesn’t officially open till 1:30 pm so he has no way to get inside and he is seeing no police, no people. He’s going around back; otherwise, I’m calling Parks Dept. media relations. – TR
    P.S. Yes, the robber, as we reported, was seen heading eastbound, away from schools (Schmitz Park is 6/10ths of a mile from the 7-11, Madison a little closer, but both are to the west). In the lockdown/shelter in place case re: Westwood from earlier this week, the suspect, as we reported yesterday, was last seen heading north, which was toward THOSE schools – AND fwiw, in that case, the person was reported to have fired his gun. No gunfire in this case. Small distinction, but just for context. Patrick is also checking in with the WSHS office next door to Hiawatha, but again, NO police in the area, nothing going on.

    P.P.S. Patrick has just checked in. WSHS office hadn’t even heard of it. But keep in mind, they are comparatively far away too – a full half-mile per Google Maps. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 11:36 am March 8, 2012 #

  18. I have a kid at the Hiawatha preschool and the teacher says that they’re staying inside, but it sounds like the toddler gym is still happening. Another parent is heading over there to check it out.

    Comment by Ali Brownrigg — 11:41 am March 8, 2012 #

  19. All clear at Hiawatha. Doors open now. They did lock everything and dim lights for awhile. Police said ok to resume normal stuff.

    Comment by homesweethome — 12:02 pm March 8, 2012 #

  20. Lockdowns are not a bad idea in general .. a couple of years ago a guy being chased by police ran into the crowd of kids at recess at Schmitz Park. Police had to pull their weapons and have the kids hit the dirt while they fished out the bad guy.

    Comment by Angel — 12:28 pm March 8, 2012 #

  21. Thanks WSB! The info is very helpful for parents monitoring the situation.

    Comment by Parent — 12:44 pm March 8, 2012 #

  22. Surprised holy rosary didn’t go into lock down I think any situation were a gun is involved there should be a lockdown

    Comment by John — 12:45 pm March 8, 2012 #

  23. Actually John Holy Rosary did go into lock down.

    Comment by Paul — 12:49 pm March 8, 2012 #

  24. Never mind I just can’t believe none of these schools knew about it

    Comment by John — 12:59 pm March 8, 2012 #

  25. This is the same response as last year at WSH. Why in the H3LL would they take any chances with the kids at school when a man is running around with a gun. I dont see how you can justify one place being locked down but not another, especially an elementary school. What will the police say when something bad does happen because they felt it wasn’t necessary to inform the schools. This needs to be addressed by the Seattle school disctrict. This is NOT acceptable. I for one will be contacting the SPD and the Seattle school district to voice my opinion.

    Comment by monroe1200 — 1:43 pm March 8, 2012 #

  26. I was at the Hiawatha toddler gym with my son, and was glad for the lockdown. Anyway, how do we keep tabs on weather or not they arrest this guy?

    Comment by april — 1:46 pm March 8, 2012 #

  27. SLHS went into lock down. They are only 2 blocks away. There are other schools not just public schools in the area.

    Comment by Mom — 2:00 pm March 8, 2012 #

  28. Seattle Lutheran is half a mile from California/Charlestown, per Google Maps, as is neighboring Holy Rosary. http://g.co/maps/k49j5 We only checked with SPS because people asked about them; you’re the first to mention SLHS, and I still haven’t been able to get police on the phone or via e-mail, not that they would necessarily have an overview of who had been in lockdown and who wouldn’t. The other day when Denny and Sealth went into lockdown/shelter in place because of the Westwood gunfire incident, we were swamped with calls, texts, and e-mails, and we always welcome that kind of communication, including from the schools themselves if they have anyone able to get information to the media (which would spare their offices some calls) – 206-293-6302, text or voice, is the number we answer around the clock – TR

    Comment by WSB — 2:07 pm March 8, 2012 #

  29. Just got confirmation from HR principal, HR did go into lockdown, but lifted it just before noon after consulting with law enforcement officials.

    Comment by wsmom2three — 2:15 pm March 8, 2012 #

  30. I think it’s strange that Seattle Public Schools wouldn’t at least do the shelter-in-place. If you map the distance between the 7-11 and SLHS, Holy Rose, WSHS & Lafayette; they are all .5 to .7 miles away. Knowing someone attempted to rob a 7-11 in broad daylight with a gun and is on foot in the neighborhood heading east? Seems reasonable to lock a few doors.

    Comment by Parent — 2:43 pm March 8, 2012 #

  31. Personally who cares how far the schools are away from the incident they are all still surrounding 711 so why worry about the distants

    Comment by John — 2:48 pm March 8, 2012 #

  32. Any updates by chance? Am I going to find this guy hiding in my garage? I’m cool with a pep stick and a melted slurpee -but am not looking forward to the butt of a gun against my nugget.

    Comment by watertowerjoey — 3:03 pm March 8, 2012 #

  33. No arrest so far.

    Comment by WSB — 3:09 pm March 8, 2012 #

  34. I’m with WatertowerJoey, any updates???? I can’t seem to shake my upset about this, after being part of one of the lockdowns this morning (and grateful for some sense of protection the lockdown gave me in terms of protecting my toddler.)

    Comment by April — 3:10 pm March 8, 2012 #

  35. Not to make light, but it takes ten minutes to break a 20 at 7-11.

    Comment by odroku — 3:27 pm March 8, 2012 #

  36. his gun had been in his right jacket pocket . . .

    What? Another gun crime? Hm. Wonder where the guy got that gun.
    If we had a national gun registry, we’d know where he got the gun. Or maybe the guy wouldn’t have even HAD a gun. Because if we had a gun registry, it wouldn’t have been SO EASY for him to GET a gun in the first place.
    [Insert something about "my God-Given Second Amendment Rights blah blah blah blah blah" below.]

    Comment by DBP — 6:03 pm March 8, 2012 #

  37. There are tens of thousands of unregistered guns out there currently. Odds are it was one of those.

    It’s easy to get a gun whether there is a registry or not.

    That said, I’m all for it.

    Comment by Smitty — 6:17 pm March 8, 2012 #

  38. God may have given us our 2nd Ammendment Rights, as a soldier, I protect them…enjoy your yogurt

    Comment by Rob — 6:19 pm March 8, 2012 #

  39. The guy who works mornings at that 7-11 is really nice. I hope he’s OK and not too shaken up.

    Comment by soosan — 6:28 pm March 8, 2012 #

  40. Thugs with their guns. Just watched the ‘First 48′ and it cracks me up to see the hardcore gangstas cryin and boohooin’ once caught. Raise your kids right. Criminals just remember to shoot yourself BEFORE anyone else.. You punks make me sick. Get a job.

    Comment by aw — 7:10 pm March 8, 2012 #

  41. Making it harder to legally obtain a firearm doesn’t make it any harder to illegally obtain one.

    Comment by Bryan T — 8:56 pm March 8, 2012 #

  42. Rob, our forefathers wrote the 2nd Amendment into the U.S. Constitution, aka #2 in the Bill of Rights. God had nothing to do with it.
    Thank you for serving in the U.S. armed services. However, I’m lactose intolerant, so I don’t eat yogurt. I do pay taxes, enjoy the L-ATV I bought you.

    Comment by Mike — 10:35 pm March 8, 2012 #

  43. One more reason why guns should be used for scrap metal. Just saying…

    Comment by Lisa S — 6:20 am March 9, 2012 #

  44. Maybe they ran the other way, maybe they turned and came back on 44th … but there IS a school 2 blocks away! James Madison Middle School!

    Comment by rmp — 8:42 am March 9, 2012 #

  45. Thanks Mike, it’s gotten me into and out of some tough spots

    Comment by Rob — 10:39 am March 9, 2012 #

  46. “I live near by. Heard the police response. Lovely. The clerks need a trap door and a lever in front on the registers at all convenience stores. “This is a stick up – Empty your registeeeeeeeeerrrrr-ahhhhhhh!” [plunk] — drop them into a holding dungeon until the police arrive.
    Comment by Charlestown Hill Residents”

    I LOVE this idea. You have my vote…

    Comment by ~~HockeyWitch~~ — 10:05 pm March 9, 2012 #

  47. The idea of schools sheltering in place grants a greater safety to a building during a possible event, learning continues.
    The actions taken during a lock down are what is asked of inmates during an event, learning stops.
    What is the impact on the rest of the day for the students, all clear bell rings back to the books.

    Comment by Oldsitecouncil — 6:41 am March 10, 2012 #

  48. actually holy rosary did not go into lock down,all it was was the kids couldnt go outside,when they have lockdown they close all the doors,put up papeer to cover see through parts on doors and hide under desks

    Comment by wscommuter — 12:26 pm March 10, 2012 #

  49. There is absolutely no reason to lock down the schools in situations like this, since there are signs in all the schools reminding everyone that the schools are weapons free zones.Thus, nobody with a gun will dare enter one of the schools.

    Comment by phil dirt — 6:51 am March 13, 2012 #

  50. People who oppose guns should put a sign in their window announcing that there are no guns in their house. That way criminals will not be tempted to have one when they break into their house. That will make them safer—— right?

    Comment by phil dirt — 7:01 am March 13, 2012 #

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