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.)
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