Update: Gunshots/fireworks-type sounds heard, reported to police

December 21, 2012 at 3:26 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 28 Comments

3:26 AM: We’re receiving multiple texts from Highland Park and Westwood from people who say they heard gunshots or fireworks a short time ago. One says they called 911 and were told multiple reports had been called in. No indication so far of anyone having been injured, nor word of any proof it was gunshots – let us know if you see police in your neighborhood. (Might be a coincidence, but we should also note that the solstice officially happened at 3:12 am. The scanner indicates similar sounds being heard in other parts of the city, and one in the north end already has been determined by police to have been fireworks.)

3:41 AM: Commenters are indicating it was apparently fireworks.


  1. Boy, WSB is so on top of it! Sound woke me up. First 5-6 sounded like gunfire but then a rapid succession made it sound like fireworks.

    Comment by Heather — 3:29 am December 21, 2012 #

  2. 911 told me it was fireworks. Sure sounded like 6 well aimed shots and 3 hurried ones. I would have laid money that was a full 9mm magazine. Still not convinced that was fireworks.

    Comment by Doug — 3:34 am December 21, 2012 #

  3. Nothing on the scanner indicating any proof of either – but then again, during that confirmed shots-fired incident a week and a half ago, we never heard it on the scanner; took a reader report (and photo) before we learned where police had found something (so it was reported here many hours before SPD Blotter published something about it). So again, if anybody’s up and seeing police nearby, do tell. (And thanks to those who texted – you just never know ..) – TR
    Edited – thanks, Mookie (whose comment came in while I was typing mine – obviously before the texts led us to turn scanner back on)

    Comment by WSB — 3:39 am December 21, 2012 #

  4. I heard the police find the remains of fireworks in the street (17th SW, south of WW Village) and he even read off the labels from the debris to the dispatcher.

    Comment by mookie — 3:39 am December 21, 2012 #

  5. I happen to be awake. It was fireworks I could see them in the sky from my window.

    Comment by Diann — 3:39 am December 21, 2012 #

  6. First few were definitely not fireworks. It wss a gun. The sounds were distinctly different and ended with fire works because I could see them from my room. I was awake getting teddy for work and counting down to 3:11 myself. All is back to a silent night. Yay, the worlds still here!

    Comment by Highland-park — 4:29 am December 21, 2012 #

  7. hubz and I were awake as usual, when we heard shots and looked outside, we saw what appeared to be muzzle flash between two houses across the street (15th ave SW & Cambridge). There was around 10 shots and a woman’s scream. This did not sound like fireworks and definately nothing in the air.

    We called the police and reported what we saw and heard.
    We’ve yet to see any police driving about.

    Comment by pfeller — 4:35 am December 21, 2012 #

  8. Sure sounded like gun shots here at 16th and Thistle, woke me up.

    Comment by flowerguy — 4:37 am December 21, 2012 #

  9. It woke me up at 13th & Henderson. My clock read 3:11, and being a dedicated solstice observer I thought “they are a minute early.”

    Comment by BlairJ — 5:58 am December 21, 2012 #

  10. It was fireworks. I could see the glow from my bedroom window. As far as I’m concerned they are forever on Santa’s naughty list.

    Comment by Hillary — 6:21 am December 21, 2012 #

  11. We were on 41st and Morgan and heard them. Saw smoke above the street and it looked and sounded as I they were right at our window.

    Comment by DB — 7:11 am December 21, 2012 #

  12. Bet someone was marking the arrival of winter.

    Comment by gina — 7:23 am December 21, 2012 #

  13. Heard them up on Genesee Hill, and thought fireworks too but glad to hear they were not gunshots!

    Comment by jwws — 7:51 am December 21, 2012 #

  14. This woke me up this morning and I am all the way over on 28th Ave SW. It must have been an impressive firework display but I prefer to not be woken at such an early hour!

    Comment by Big Red — 8:50 am December 21, 2012 #

  15. Woke me up at 3:13. I am not a gun person, but they did not sound like fireworks to me. Much louder. Well, that’s what we get living in this part of town I guess.

    Comment by JH — 8:51 am December 21, 2012 #

  16. By “this part of town” you must mean hippy filled Seattle JH.

    Comment by Amanda — 9:10 am December 21, 2012 #

  17. Woke me up! At first I thought gunshots. But when they had finished I figured they were fireworks. Looked out the window to see if there were any cars or people hurrying away. I only saw 2 SPD cruisers heading through the neighborhood. 17th & Henderson.

    Comment by DRW — 9:10 am December 21, 2012 #

  18. We called 911, and nobody answered. About ten minutes later, the dispatcher called us from Caller I.D. and said it was fireworks.

    Comment by Highland Park Resident — 9:41 am December 21, 2012 #

  19. you guys are so on it I totally thought it was a firefight when it woke me up. glad to find out it was fireworks

    Comment by Nick — 10:50 am December 21, 2012 #

  20. I heard them as well and hope they were fireworks. There was also the jerk who decided to rev his motorcycle at 1am. Oh sleep, what is it like to experience you?

    Comment by tanyar23 — 11:10 am December 21, 2012 #

  21. The sound woke me up and I listened intently and decided it was fireworks.

    Comment by HC @ Arbor Heights — 11:13 am December 21, 2012 #

  22. I counted 24 pops. I thought it actually sounded like gun shots at first, and had it only been 6 or so would have sworn it was, but the almost perfect timing for the first 15 or so seemed too consistent to be gunfire and when the speed of the blasts picked up it clearly became fireworks. That said, idiots!!!

    Comment by jw — 11:55 am December 21, 2012 #

  23. I live in highland park 14th and thistle. Oh yeah, I was getting in my truck for work…looked at my phone for 3:11am “well the world didnt end” laughing. Then 3:12 comes around and sure enough 1…2…3…4…a total of 12 shots followed by fireworks. “how fitting” I thought and rolled my eyes.

    Comment by twinki — 2:32 pm December 21, 2012 #

  24. I heard the shots,thought it was fireworks at first but the delay in each,made me think was gun shots.I live on 9000 block 17th ave sw and with in minutes there was a police car that drove down our street with spot light on to end of road then hit the gas when he turned at the end.

    Comment by LIv Watson — 3:43 pm December 21, 2012 #

  25. I heard them too, form my new home in Highland Park, very near Liv.


    My first thought was gunshots, but then I figured it was a fireworks device that releases in a measured manner. I heard only a few, (6-ish?) evenly spaced sounds, closer to a boom, than a pop, then one more slightly delayed.


    Figured it was somebody celebrating the end of the world! ;-)



    Comment by miws — 6:34 pm December 21, 2012 #

  26. Oh, and what “confirmed” it as fireworks to me, was the fact that I didn’t hear any sirens. Although SPD may arrive “silent” in such a case…



    Comment by miws — 6:36 pm December 21, 2012 #

  27. I don’t understand Loud fireworks. Do people enjoy that sound?

    Comment by J — 12:26 am December 22, 2012 #

  28. they were fireworks. I saw them.

    Comment by Snowflake — 10:22 am December 22, 2012 #

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