Update: Shots fired at Westwood Village; no one hurt; schools take precautionary steps

March 6, 2012 at 1:07 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 66 Comments

1:07 PM: We are on the way to Westwood Village, after a report of possible shots fired. There’s no indication anyone has been shot – no medic calls, for example. Police describe the situation as “still fluid.” Our son, who attends school at Chief Sealth a few blocks away, texted us that they are in lockdown/shelter in place, and we are trying to call to confirm. Again, no reports of anyone hurt, and we will be on scene before long for an update.

1:17 PM UPDATE: Our crew is almost to Westwood but meantime we have heard from a WSB’er who was there (and who sent the photo immediately above this paragraph). She says police are mostly concentrated in the Bank of America area on the east side of the center, and are searching for something/someone. As noted in comments, we have heard from parents who say Denny, next to Sealth, is also in lockdown. Again, no reports of any injuries related to whatever has happened.

1:26 PM UPDATE: Our crew has arrived at Westwood Village. The police activity there is indeed around B of A – we are trying to find someone who can talk to us. But the shopping center itself is business as usual aside from that one particular area, so there does not seem to be an atmosphere of general danger.

1:36 PM UPDATE: One officer at the scene said that they were looking for three people in connection with this incident, and have arrested two. The school lockdown, he said, was indeed a matter of standard procedure when schools are within blocks of an incident. Still no word of any injuries, and we still don’t have the full scope of what exactly happened, but we should be able to put it together before long.

1:39 PM UPDATE: If you’re among the many parents who have been receiving texts from your kids, you probably already heard, but our son just texted us to say the lockdown/shelter in place is over. We haven’t heard back from Seattle Public Schools yet with any official comment.

1:50 PM UPDATE: Conflicting info from commenters regarding the shelter in place, but we have another assurance from the top of the ranks at the Southwest Precinct that it’s a precaution, everybody at the schools is fine.

2:18 PM UPDATE: We’re at the Sealth/Denny campus. Just got this update from Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Steve Paulsen:

Still sorting out the facts given the information we are obtaining from possible involved subjects..There was a disturbance at Westwood Village, exact location is still being determined. Shots were fired with subjects dispersing. We took the extra care in locking down our nearby schools as precaution. We worked closely with our school administrators to ensure the safety of our students. Our Denny and Chief Sealth students were never in any danger.

We are currently interviewing individuals. No individuals were injured by gunfire or property was damaged. The SW Precinct will be providing high visibility in the area of Westwood Village and our schools this afternoon as well as the rest of the week when school gets out.

We can attest to the latter – Denny appears to have gotten out on schedule; there are two police cars visible along Thistle. Sealth assistant principal Lupe Barnes says they will continue sheltering in place till dismissal before 3.

3:15 PM UPDATE: Sealth dismissal happened as usual; we took the photo above at the campus shortly before 3. In comments, Cheryl, a Roxhill Elementary parent, says she got a robo-call saying that school had “sheltered in place” as well and will get out at their normal time.

3:47 PM UPDATE: Here’s the letter that Denny Principal Jeff Clark and Sealth Principal Chris Kinsey sent home with students:

Dear Denny and Sealth Students and Families,

This afternoon gunshots were fired at Westwood village. As a result, to ensure the safety of our students, both Denny and Sealth went into a lockdown. After a few minutes, we shifted to a “shelter-in-place” where we keep the exterior doors locked and resume normal class activities.

We have been in consultation with the Seattle Public School Safety and Security Office as well as the Seattle Police Department to monitor this situation in our community. As always, safety is our top priority.

Thanks for your support,

Jeff Clark, Principal
Denny International Middle School

Chris Kinsey, Principal
Chief Sealth International High School

(The letter also was read in a robo-call.)

66 Comments

  1. …Also received a txt from my daughter…waiting for more information soon.

    Comment by Nancy Cossette — 1:12 pm March 6, 2012 #

  2. Just was at the post office. I lost count after the 10th police car. They all seemed to be at Staples end of the mall.

    Comment by furor scribendi — 1:13 pm March 6, 2012 #

  3. Denny is also in lockdown according to my daughter who texted to say they are in the shelter.

    Comment by dennymom — 1:15 pm March 6, 2012 #

  4. Heard from our son that Denny is in lockdown too

    Comment by Chris — 1:15 pm March 6, 2012 #

  5. I was in the parking lot as it happened but I was eating a Zippy’s and not paying attention. Lots of running and yelling though. What I do know that there are at least two in custody – cuffs and in the back of patrol cars. I also heard from a witness that someone was limping and left the scene.

    Comment by timeslid — 1:21 pm March 6, 2012 #

  6. My wife is a teacher at Chief Sealth. They are sheltered in place. She was informed police are looking for a man possibly wearing a Chief Sealth sweatshirt possibly firing indiscriminately in the neighborhood of Westood shopping center. Be careful out there.

    Comment by Matteo Griffin — 1:23 pm March 6, 2012 #

  7. My kids texted and said it was now over. They are at Sealth.

    Comment by Kmom — 1:25 pm March 6, 2012 #

  8. I was in the parking lot as it happened but I was eating a Zippy’s and not paying attention.

    .

    Shots fired is by no means a laughing matter, but I can’t help but imagine a TV commercial, showing someone so lost in their Zippy’s goodness, that they are totally oblivious to the chaos around them!

    .

    Mike

    Comment by miws — 1:27 pm March 6, 2012 #

  9. DMV across the street is also locked down. My son is there getting his license renewed. Was on the phone with him when he heard the shots fired. He was standing outside and got in right away. They locked the doors withing a few minutes and have not unlocked them as of now.

    Comment by Toni — 1:27 pm March 6, 2012 #

  10. Wow, glad the schools were on it quick. got a text from my kids as well. Thanks to the blog we knew what was up quickly, I tell all my friends, if you want to know what is up right away, look at the blog. Thanks for always being a place we can count on, my heart was pounding when I got the text from my kids and i ran for the computer after texting them back.

    Comment by pam — 1:30 pm March 6, 2012 #

  11. The actual term being used by Staff is “Shelter In Place”. Apparently different than a “Lockdown”.

    Classes are continuing, students are not allowed to exit. All seems OK around here.

    Comment by Adult @ CSHS — 1:30 pm March 6, 2012 #

  12. I just walked out from Marshall’s and saw all the police cars but there was no warning in there. Scary stuff. I assumed it was a bank robbery.

    Comment by st — 1:31 pm March 6, 2012 #

  13. Mike,
    That’s pretty hilarious I was thinking the exact same thing. Except now we’re gonna find out something really tragic happened there and we’ll both look like jerks.

    Comment by D — 1:31 pm March 6, 2012 #

  14. Exiting staples when I heard arguing by the bank. 2 people were in the parking lot between staples and B of A yelling. As I walked away, I heard a pop. Then a second pop and lots of kids running away. As I ran into the liquor store, 2 cars went speeding by. When I left there were 3 police cars and 1 person was in custody.

    Comment by Jen — 1:36 pm March 6, 2012 #

  15. My girlfriend works at a store near staples…she texted me a kid ran into their office and his…police came in at gunpoint and apparently peacefully arrested the kid and hauled him out

    Comment by RR — 1:37 pm March 6, 2012 #

  16. Since when is there a Zippy’s at Westwood Village?

    Comment by justme — 1:40 pm March 6, 2012 #

  17. I was wrong. They are still on lock-down. Got to love texting and ws blog!

    Comment by Kmom — 1:42 pm March 6, 2012 #

  18. Am a volunteer at chief sealth and here at the moment, shelter in place still underway. Calls have been coming in and halls passes have been suspended to limit unnecessary movement.

    Comment by nina — 1:45 pm March 6, 2012 #

  19. We have tried to reach the district for comment. No reply yet – I know the terminology but when we can’t get official response, we can only go with what we have. Thanks for the update. Our son has texted us that it is apparently over. And he knows from working with us since a young age – not to mention, he’s in the Journalism class – to get the facts straight as you can. I believe we have represented this responsibly and calmly – police info has been hard to come by too. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 1:45 pm March 6, 2012 #

  20. I called you as soon as I got the text from my daughter. I am so glad to have the West Seattle Blog as a resource! How did I ever function without you?

    Comment by Garden_nymph — 1:48 pm March 6, 2012 #

  21. Just heard it from the principal, am in the office. Shelter in place for the rest of the day, and then a normal dismissal.

    Comment by nina — 1:49 pm March 6, 2012 #

  22. Very sad – kids shooting eachother in Westwood. Sad that they make these half-cocked decisions and ruin so many lives in an instant.

    Comment by SJoy — 1:51 pm March 6, 2012 #

  23. Thanks TR. Great job as usual.

    Comment by Here — 1:52 pm March 6, 2012 #

  24. SPD just came in to speak with principal kinsey

    Comment by nina — 1:53 pm March 6, 2012 #

  25. Thanks. We are going to stop by the school shortly, we were on Alki when we heard of this and Patrick had to leave me where I could be in a fixed place to update with the computer while he headed to Westwood – he’s just come to pick me up and we’re heading back that way. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 1:56 pm March 6, 2012 #

  26. Yes, thank you. As a Denny parent, I’m very grateful that I can monitor this from my desk at work reassured that there’s no reason at all to panic.

    Comment by stb — 1:57 pm March 6, 2012 #

  27. I agree STB! Thankful that there is somewhere to go to get some information!

    Comment by DAP — 1:59 pm March 6, 2012 #

  28. I am a student at Denny and we arre still in lockdown.

    Comment by Baxter Palmer — 2:01 pm March 6, 2012 #

  29. I was at Marshalls when this all went down.Lots of people running and on cell phones.Cops coming from every direction and everyone pointing to where the car took off to.I never heard shots and Marshalls didnt have a clue what happened ,so no lock down there.I did witness two black males being cuffed outside the clinic next to the liquor store.I really couldn’t figure out where all of this went down at but it makes sense the B of A because of all the people running away from it.

    Comment by Alki Resident — 2:05 pm March 6, 2012 #

  30. Anyword if Roxhill Elementary was also put on lock down?

    Comment by LAK — 2:08 pm March 6, 2012 #

  31. Scanner reports that extra patrols will be placed around Westwood and Sealth/Denny when school gets out as a precaution.

    Comment by caleegraphy — 2:11 pm March 6, 2012 #

  32. Im curious what time it happened. I went into target at noon and noticed what looked to be an unmarked black patrol car parked in the back of the target lot. When I came out of target it was driving towards the other end of ww village. Then I went to the sw community center to pick up my son and there were patrol cars all over the place… That was around 1245. I knew something was up….

    Comment by Lolaleah — 2:12 pm March 6, 2012 #

  33. RE: Zippy’s, that commenter was “eating *a* Zippy’s, not at it.” Could be a typo, but I took it to mean s/he had taken it to go.

    WSB, thanks for the great coverage as usual!

    Comment by Lachlan — 2:12 pm March 6, 2012 #

  34. There is a comment thread saying kids shooting each other at Westwood – any truth to that?

    Comment by furor scribendi — 2:15 pm March 6, 2012 #

  35. Great job as a always.
    What a news resource, so appreciate the info.
    When my daughter (at CSIHS) sent me a txt, I went straight to the WS blog and got the news i needed
    thanks

    Comment by Levecke — 2:19 pm March 6, 2012 #

  36. what does “shelter” mean at a school? is this the same as a lock down?

    Comment by curious — 2:34 pm March 6, 2012 #

  37. Furor, everything we’ve heard indicates the people involved were all or mostly young, but how young, I don’t know. Nobody was hurt so nobody was “shooting each other” but who or what was being shot AT, I don’t know … we will of course watch for the report.

    Comment by WSB — 2:36 pm March 6, 2012 #

  38. https://inside.seattleschools.org/area/safety/quick-reference-guide09-2011.pdf

    page 7 explains ‘shelter in place’, page 8 explains lockdown

    Comment by Denny/Sealth parent — 2:39 pm March 6, 2012 #

  39. A lockdown is called when there is a potential for violence in the building. All doors are locked outside, as well as classroom doors. The blinds are also closed and students are moved against the wall that provides the most protection. The students are to get as low as possible and to remain quiet. We had a lockdown for 10-15 minutes, then we got a call over the intercom for a shelter in place. In shelter in place, the classroom doors are still locked, and except for emergencies, no one leaves the classroom. However, the students can resume their normal routine and lessons can continue, although they might remain in the same classroom for an extended period of time. We resumed our normal routine with a heavy adult presence in the halls. Students were calm and quiet and took it very seriously. Some were scared. We were updated frequently by administration.

    Comment by school staff — 2:53 pm March 6, 2012 #

  40. Shelter In Place just lifted at CSHS
    After school activities will resume “as normal”

    Comment by Adult @ CSHS — 2:57 pm March 6, 2012 #

  41. Yup Zippy’s to go. Zip Royale to be exact.

    Comment by timeslid — 3:01 pm March 6, 2012 #

  42. Just got a robo message from Principal Dellino at Roxhill Elementary. They have been sheltered in place today as well b/c of the shooting and will be until the bell rings for normal release time (3:35pm). Jeebus!

    Comment by Cheryl — 3:08 pm March 6, 2012 #

  43. Thanks, C, hadn’t heard from a Roxhill parent (and still hadn’t gotten a district callback) so wasn’t sure about that. Will add to the story. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 3:18 pm March 6, 2012 #

  44. My question is what is Westwood Village doing in regard to lock downs? They closed schools several blocks away but I was in Marshall’s and could have been shot walking out? This is crazy. Get it together Westwood Village!!

    Comment by come on — 3:31 pm March 6, 2012 #

  45. My, how times have changed (for the worse).

    Comment by WSratsinacage — 3:40 pm March 6, 2012 #

  46. Let me get this straight: Yesterday there was a shooting at High Point. This morning there was an apparent shooting on 16th. And later this morning there was a shooting at Westwood Village? And all three of these shootings occurred less than a mile from SPD’s Southwest Precinct headquarters?!

    Comment by bridge to somewhere — 3:47 pm March 6, 2012 #

  47. Thanks TR. I have to say her message sounded a little harried and out of breath, so I’m sure they were more than a little freaked out by the whole thing. Maybe they’ll answer the phone now that school has been dismissed?

    Comment by Cheryl — 3:54 pm March 6, 2012 #

  48. Wow, just got back to WS after being out all day and received the robo-call from Principal Kinsey at CS. I immediately logged on to WSB and felt instant relief. Thank you for the detailed updates – it made me feel better knowing the whole story and not just the outcome. **deep cleansing breath**

    Comment by add — 4:06 pm March 6, 2012 #

  49. Not the first time this has happened in westwood village. A couple years ago, someone was shot in the McDonald’s parking lot. They did live. Also, a man went to that same bank of America, and shot himself while doing a transaction, because he knew it would be filmed. Let’s hope an incident like this doesn’t happen again. It’s a shame because a lot of families shop in this area, and I would never want to witness something like this. I hope the other person is found, and put into custody.

    Comment by Kayla — 4:08 pm March 6, 2012 #

  50. Thanks! I love the WS Blog. Have a daughter who was at the village during lunch. Thank goodness it was Target and not B of A. It’s nice to have this up-to-date information.

    First, I thought: Thank goodness she’s safe.

    Second, I thought: I hope nobody was hurt, and that they’ve been arrested.

    Then: Wow! Wouldn’t it be great if she was AT Zippy’s in the Village, instead of eating Zippy’s at the village. lol. Love Zippy’s.

    Thanks for everything you do WSB. We Love You!

    Comment by Amom — 4:26 pm March 6, 2012 #

  51. So love you, West Seattle Blog. When I heard of the “shelter in place” @ Denny, I knew just where to go. Thanks for being an amazing resource for our community.

    Comment by Michaela — 4:36 pm March 6, 2012 #

  52. These were school kids. Assumably from Sealth. What will happen next? The shooter has to know that others will i.d. him. Or will they? As far as it being at westwood village or high point or wherever – this is the world we live in. Kids have access to guns. What do you expect westwood village to do exactly? Lock down public stores??? Gotta live your life. I need to go to the bank, get groceries, eat a burger, taco or slice of pizza. Maybe Sealth should get metal detectors!

    Comment by forrealtho — 4:48 pm March 6, 2012 #

  53. Yes thank you WSB! I received the confusing school Robo call long after it was all over. Only by looking at the WSB could I be reassured the students were all OK and things were back to “normal”.

    Comment by wsparent — 5:06 pm March 6, 2012 #

  54. So quick to judge and blame. Do no assume the people involved with this incident are from the school nearby. The number of good kids around OUR neighborhood far out number those that ‘get into trouble’ like this. Stand together as a community.

    Comment by Parent — 5:32 pm March 6, 2012 #

  55. my son texted me saying that there was a shooter at school.but thanks to Seattle blog that’s false.
    -thank you

    Comment by Denny Mom — 5:35 pm March 6, 2012 #

  56. “My wife is a teacher at Chief Sealth. They are sheltered in place. She was informed police are looking for a man possibly wearing a Chief Sealth sweatshirt possibly firing indiscriminately in the neighborhood of Westood shopping center. Be careful out there.”
    .
    Somebody should find out who Matteo Griffin’s wife is and reprimand her for spreading false information that potentially scared the crap out of people. How crazy were those few moments that people believed Sealth was possibly under attack from some bent shooter? Man, this pisses me off.

    Comment by NotMe — 6:52 pm March 6, 2012 #

  57. NotMe – FYI, that comment was in the spam queue until long after the incident was over and school had let out. Its time stamp is earlier because that’s when it was submitted, regardless of when it was approved. I didn’t see it during the incident – about half a dozen comments wound up in the filter and didn’t get approval till fairly late in the afternoon – but to be honest, I would not have let it through at the time if I had, because we didn’t know what was going on. People who posted or tried to post here were just trying to help. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 7:19 pm March 6, 2012 #

  58. NotMe, relax. If you’ve live anywhere in / around White Center, Westwood Village to North Admiral, this “incident” is no surprise and the cops usually have it under control before the public gets wind of it. What should piss you off is that AHs are shooting guns in our neighborhoods…for any reason, at any time. Now THAT is worth getting pissed off about.

    Comment by WTF — 8:54 pm March 6, 2012 #

  59. I live in England and my son goes to Sealth (complex situation, don’t ask). Just got off the phone with him and he told me what happened at school. Glad to have WSB to give me information about what happened as there was nothing in the Times. And you keep me up with other things going on where I used to live.

    Comment by Chris Nickson — 9:45 pm March 6, 2012 #

  60. Chris – The Times (with whom we are informally partnered) did run something in their “Today File” but it mostly quoted WSB, at least when I saw it go by in a Google Alert late this afternoon – Anyway, always glad to be of service. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 9:57 pm March 6, 2012 #

  61. I live in North Admiral, though I don’t know what that has to do with a bank robbery in Westwood. I just find it upsetting that people, especially teachers, don’t behave responsibly during a time of crisis. If Matteo’s wife really is a teacher at Sealth, and if this really happened, then it should be reviewed. I can’t imagine what those kids may have felt given all the news recently about school shootings. Thankfully, two of the three bad guys are already caught and it’s only a matter of short time before the third is behind bars.

    Comment by NotMe — 11:05 pm March 6, 2012 #

  62. I ‘m more interested to find out what happened and why shots were fired. Crazy amount of chaos going on in this hood lately. I dont necessarily want the fuzz crusing by my house 24/7 but it would be nice if the thugs just gave it a rest or better yet left the area.

    Comment by Sophista-tiki — 2:01 am March 7, 2012 #

  63. The school kids are all safe. After all, there are signs in all the schools notifying one and all that the schools are weapons free zones. So, nobody needs to worry,right?

    Comment by phil dirt — 6:47 am March 7, 2012 #

  64. Notme:

    I didn’t get that she spread false info. It did not specifically state that the cops were at the school looking for the shooter there just that they were looking. Calm down.

    Comment by NotYou — 6:50 am March 7, 2012 #

  65. NotMe- It says Matteo’s wife was informed… Not that she informed students… Use your reading skills please… And thank a teacher or two.

    Comment by mehud7 — 6:54 am March 7, 2012 #

  66. it was a guy shooting at crows eating his fries

    Comment by W.S. maverick — 5:06 pm March 7, 2012 #

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