Update: 3 schools ‘shelter in place’ after report of person with a gun in Roxhill Park area

April 1, 2014 at 12:51 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 36 Comments

12:51 PM: We just checked out a report that Chief Sealth International High School students were asked to “shelter in place” – and here’s what Seattle Police spokesperson Det. Mark Jamieson tells us: There was a report of “somebody with a weapon at Roxhill Park area – someone on the walking path that ends at the bus stop on SW Barton, and 10 males in a group, allegedly somebody had a shotgun. The group was looking at the gun, not brandishing it or anything, somebody called it in,” and police responded. They reportedly have found who they were looking for. No shots were reported fired, no one hurt; police say Roxhill Elementary also was in “shelter in place” mode. It appears this incident is wrapping up but that’s all the information we have for now – we’ll be checking back later about possible arrest(s).

1:14 PM: Our crew circled back around to Sealth a few minutes ago and confirmed the “shelter in place” has been lifted. Same for Roxhill, and for Denny International Middle School, which also had briefly sheltered, according to Seattle Public Schools spokesperson Teresa Wippel, who said the three schools were under that status from 12:32 pm-12:59 pm, and she confirms police told SPS they had a suspect in custody.

3:07 PM: More information just in from police, via an SPD Blotter post – the person arrested was a 17-year-old with a sawed-off shotgun, and a badge, both of which were confiscated.

36 Comments

  1. What the hell is going on the past 12 hours?
    .
    FYI, SPD Captain for West Seattle will be at our meeting tonight. Our WWRHAH meetings are on the 1st Tuesday of every every month in the upstairs meeting room of the SW Branch of the Seattle Public Library at 9010 35th Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98126. This is at the intersection of 35th Ave SW and SW Henderson Street. Our meetings are from 6:15pm to 7:45pm.

    Comment by Joe Szilagyi — 1:11 pm April 1, 2014 #

  2. Thanks for the heads up Roxhill and Sealth. I have kids at both and when my high schooler texts me and asks whats happening and the blog tells me instead of schools there is a fundamental problem in our lines communication.

    Comment by Kevin — 1:15 pm April 1, 2014 #

  3. Kevin – fwiw we wouldn’t have known except that OUR child (a Sealth student) texted US. My co-publisher immediately started driving that way to factfind in person, and I immediately called SPD media relations. It lasted less than half an hour, per the info I just posted from SPS’s media office replying to my subsequent ping of them. – Tracy

    Comment by WSB — 1:20 pm April 1, 2014 #

  4. I hate to be that guy, but you may want to have another look at the title of this post. :-)

    Comment by rob — 1:49 pm April 1, 2014 #

  5. I saw this happening. Pretty scary. The guy that was cuffed was wearing a red sweatshirt. Don’t know if it’s a coincidence, but Bloods have taken over this area. It seems to be getting worse, not better.

    Comment by anonyme — 1:53 pm April 1, 2014 #

  6. thanks, rob, sorry, no excuse but was working under less than ideal conditions. fixing.

    Comment by WSB — 2:19 pm April 1, 2014 #

  7. Nice work, WSB. But must agree-what is going on? Stay vigilant, West Seattle.

    Comment by Lox — 3:27 pm April 1, 2014 #

  8. I’ll say it again, though the community leaders have said it already: Especially with regard to Roxhill Park/Westwood/transit center concerns, tonight is a prime and timely opportunity to hear from, and talk with, the Southwest Precinct’s new commander, Capt. Steve Wilske. The meeting is part of our West Seattle Tuesday daily preview published earlier today – or, just be at Southwest Library, upstairs meeting room, 6:15 pm. Someone will of course be there for WSB *BUT* reading about it is a poor substitute for being part of it and hearing/asking for yourself. – Tracy

    Comment by WSB — 3:38 pm April 1, 2014 #

  9. “The guy that was cuffed was wearing a red sweatshirt. Don’t know if it’s a coincidence, but Bloods have taken over this area. It seems to be getting worse, not better.”
    .
    Where to begin with this nugget. Besides the silliness of the comment, we should probably look to something a bit more rational. For example, he could be wearing a red sweatshirt because he supports Manchester United. He seems to be lacking sound judgement.

    Comment by KM — 3:49 pm April 1, 2014 #

  10. 1) concealed carry

    2) train train train yrself

    3) organize citizen night patrols in these areas

    Its not that hard to do, but you have to find people determined and fed up with being victimized and seeing the community become victimized.

    Its all about action, not words

    Comment by DeterDefendDean — 4:38 pm April 1, 2014 #

  11. KM – there’s nothing silly at all about the gang activity in West Seattle. If you don’t think that’s legitimate, you’re extremely naïve.

    Comment by Curtis — 4:49 pm April 1, 2014 #

  12. And of coarse, you don’t need a “concealed pistol license” in Washington state – as long as you are not a felon or carrying the gun in an unlawful manner (threatening or taking it into prohibited areas – check the rcw!) then you may “open carry” your pistol in an exposed and clearly visible holster. I am actually seeing this more and more these days so it might be an option again, if you educate and train so that you are not just another “idiot” with a gun.

    Comment by DeterDefendDean — 4:59 pm April 1, 2014 #

  13. Comment: “The guy that was cuffed was wearing a red sweatshirt. Don’t know if it’s a coincidence, but Bloods have taken over this area. It seems to be getting worse, not better.”

    KM: Where to begin with this nugget. Besides the silliness of the comment, we should probably look to something a bit more rational. For example, he could be wearing a red sweatshirt because he supports Manchester United. He seems to be lacking sound judgement.

    Eric: Where do you live KM? Because I live by the park and I agree with the commenter that these wannabe gang bangers are a nusiance in the area.

    Off the top of my head, there was the two guys that got beat up by a rival gang, that wore all red. The police reported this as a gang rival fight.

    Then there was the person that saw a group of youths wearing all red and brandashing a gun at the elementary school next to the park.

    Then there was the stabbing in Westwood with witnesses saying one set of youths were wearing red and were removing articles of clothing before the cops arrived.

    I’ve been personally threatened by someone in the neighborhood who was “claiming Blood”, wearing all red, while motioning as if they had a gun. I was able to keep a distance between us and called the cops on him and he fled. Little did this person know I actually had a gun on me and trained.

    I’ve seen groups of youths wearing predominantly red in the park, being a nuisance, swearing, yelling blood this and blood that, drinking and smoking weed.

    I have a friend that lives in the apartments behind the park who some time ago told me he wanted to move because of the groups of people outside wearing predominantly red, yelling “blood this and blood that; fighting and swearing, talking bleep to people in the area.

    So when a group of 10 youths are standing around this very area where all this BS is already happening and they’re admiring a saw off shotgun ( YOU KNOW, THE VERY SAME TYPE OF WEAPON USED IN STRONG ARM ROBBERIES AGAINST KIDS IN THE VERY SAME AREA!) and the person arrested for it is wearing red. Yeah, I tend to think, “probably one of these wannabe gangbangers.” It’s not a stretch

    Comment by Eric — 5:03 pm April 1, 2014 #

  14. Agree with Curtis, much of the time when you hear about 6-8-10 “youths” out victimizing people in West Seattle you are hearing about gang “gang related” activity. If it looks like a duck..etc.. its close enough. Yes you have “wanna bees”, but so what, its (often) either a gang or somebody trying to join or “impress” a gang or act like a gang. The fact that he was in “red” may or may not be significant so it should not be discounted nor assumed meaningful. Anyway, when I see a “gang” of youths -especially late at night- Im gonna watch em close and expect the worst and still hope for the best – that they are a group of boyscouts out for a late night geocashing session or something. The world can at times be a harsh place, don’t go into denial about that and don’t allow yourself to be a victim, thats my advice.

    Comment by DeterDefendDean — 5:14 pm April 1, 2014 #

  15. Thanks Eric, and others, for defending my comment. I stand by it; those of us who work and live in the neighborhood have witnessed the ‘takeover’, and it has nothing to do with red suddenly becoming a desirable fashion choice.

    A couple of months ago my fence was tagged with “Blood Killer” (Crips). Anyone who doesn’t realize that territorial lines are being drawn is naïve. It may very well be that the individual wearing red (and handcuffs) was not a Blood. But as Eric said – it’s not a stretch, either. Not by a long shot. I wouldn’t set foot in that park any more.

    Comment by anonyme — 5:22 pm April 1, 2014 #

  16. What do these gangs think they’re going to accomplish by doing all this, do they think they’re going to take over the world??? I just don’t understand the whole point of “belonging in a gang”.

    Whatever happened to being a kid and hanging out at the Drop-in at Hick’s Lake and the worst thing you did was sneak out at nights and try and get back in before your parents woke up…life is too short to waste your life trying to be a bad arse and end up dead. So sad…

    Comment by unknown — 5:30 pm April 1, 2014 #

  17. Those buses have got to be moved.

    I firmly believe that the decreased visibility has greatly contributed to an increase of crime in the park. I don’t doubt it’s gang related but I blame the buses for this rapid increase.

    Comment by come on — 6:02 pm April 1, 2014 #

  18. My guess, the call to the police was a April fools prank by teenagers

    Comment by brad — 6:31 pm April 1, 2014 #

  19. Brad, they arrested someone with a gun. This link is in the article above: http://spdblotter.seattle.gov/2014/04/01/teenager-with-sawed-off-shotgun-contacted-arrested-in-roxhill-park/

    Comment by Jason — 7:33 pm April 1, 2014 #

  20. Just askin’ but, was the crime brandishing a shotgun in public (sawed-off or otherwise) the crime? Or was it wearing red? If they were in suits would it be different? I ask because my child walks thru that park. And I know that accidental discharges can end in death. And accidents happen to trained gun-owners.

    BTW, DeterDefendDean, good back-stepping.

    Comment by curious — 8:36 pm April 1, 2014 #

  21. Great meeting tonight at WWRHAH. Arrests were made in both cases today. The youth with the sawed off shot gun – arrested. The jerks robbing people, arrested.
    *
    I’ve said this so much, and it is rooted deep in my mind. If you, as a legitimate user of Roxhill Park choose to not go to the park because of illegitimate users – guess what? We give the park to them.
    *
    I am all for the Community coming together and having walking patrols in the park after dark. But not armed ones. Violence begets violence. 5 adults with high beam flashlights are very effective in cleaning out teenagers from a park.
    *
    Metro is working on the buses. WWRHAH is working on getting lighting into the Park as well as rehydrating the bog – 12″ – 18″ of cold water will do a lot to keep riff raff out of the area.
    *
    Dedicated volunteers are making a difference. Join us.
    *
    Sincerely,
    Amanda Kay Helmick
    Chair
    WWRHAH

    Comment by AmandaKH — 8:38 pm April 1, 2014 #

  22. I have actually talked to some SPD officers at Westwood village and they said that they were concerned that teens in the area do have weapons and also that for some reason the McDonald’s seems to not call in or press charges for trespassing. If you don’t think there is a gang problem look at some of the graffiti it is around it is not just tagging and is definetly gang related.

    Comment by Nick — 8:59 pm April 1, 2014 #

  23. Curious: Just askin’ but, was the crime brandishing a shotgun in public (sawed-off or otherwise) the crime? Or was it wearing red? If they were in suits would it be different? I ask because my child walks thru that park. And I know that accidental discharges can end in death. And accidents happen to trained gun-owners.

    Eric: Is this satire or are you just trying to be “clever”? Are you really implying that the crime was actually about profiling the color of clothes rather than what actually happened?

    A person saw a group of youths going into the park with one carrying a sawed off shot gun.

    1. It is against the law for a youth to be carrying a gun, unless I suppose the youth is hunting under the supervision of an adult like when I was a kid.

    2. A sawed off shotgun is pretty useless for hunting and is used for self defense, easy concealment, etc. And even if it was a hunting shotgun, the park isn’t a place to hunt or target practice.

    3. The youth tried to conceal the shotgun in his pants. Considering the youth is a youth and shouldn’t be in possesion of the gun in the first place, it would then seem unlikely he would have a concealed weapons permit. Walking around, oncealing a gun without a permit to do so is also illegal.

    4. Considering that some time ago in the very same area, youths were strong arm robbing 8th graders with a shotgun, seeing this would automatically raise any red flag to those familiar with the area and history.

    5. Not to mention when the youth was contacted and the gun was taken out of his control, it was found that the gun’s serial numbers were removed, which is illegal in itself, but also points in all likelyhood that the gun is stolen.

    6. Nowhere in the initial report does it mention clothing colors. This was mentioned by someone that witnessed the crime.

    In your attempt to be clever, you overlooked the obvious.

    Besides, if I saw anyone carrying an unholstered weapon around, I would call the police in a heart beat.

    And as for your remark about accidents happen to trained gun owners, if this is in reference to what I said about carrying a gun and being trained to use it when I was confonted, you’d also know that instead of confronting the person because I had a gun, I did the responsbile thing and I called the police. Just because I carry a gun, doesn’t mean I want to use it.

    Comment by Eric — 9:18 pm April 1, 2014 #

  24. Don’t know exactly how I “back-stepped”
    .
    For the commet by “unknown” as to “What do these gangs think they’re going to accomplish by doing all this..?”
    .
    Gangs are organized crime. They seek “turf” so they can establish lucrative criminal operations such as burglary, theft, robbery, fensing stolen items, drug trafficking and selling, prostitution etc.. They may not be able to “take over” the world but in some cases even in our US history they can become so powerful that they end up defacto agents/associates of the government. But like a lot of things, there are “gangs” and then there are “gangs.”
    .
    In West Seattle, the gang situation is relatively micro scale (part of the attraction they sense, there’s little competition). Chicago in comparison has had gangs embedded within the cities government at times, certainly as recent as the 60s-70s with the “Black Gangster Disciples” and probably later.
    .
    Gangs like to function in the dark on intimidation by mass force, but if you “shine a light” on them before they drive all the “good folks” out of the neighbhorhood you can manage to make it so difficult on them that they eventually move on to greener parts. But like I say, if people get intimidated or just stop caring and decide to move away then the gangs take over…usually long after most “good folks” have moved out and stopped caring. This will happen one house, one apartment building, one park and one block at a time, it happens gradually.
    .
    The choice is you either make a stand and organize, or you sell the farm and move to Mayberry. Seattle has no idea how bad things can get really, especially West Seattle. One thing that people have to get over tho is their own denial. When the is evidence of gang activity that means the gangs are here. At that time it does no one any good to “mince words” or hide behind a self assigned air of intellectual superiority, instead, you have to tell it like it is.

    Comment by DeterDefendDean — 9:47 pm April 1, 2014 #

  25. Take the picnic tables away from Roxhill. No need to make it more comfortable for the troublemakers & bums to hang around all day. At least put the tables somewhere far away from a nice new playground that kids should be somewhat safe at. The picnic tables invite undesirables to ‘sit and stay awhile.’

    Comment by studly — 11:54 pm April 1, 2014 #

  26. Thank you DeterDefendDean for the explanation…I guess I just didn’t want to think in a bad way but you made me understand and we must do something about this problem! :>(

    Comment by unknown — 6:35 am April 2, 2014 #

  27. Eric is spot on again.
    The question is what are the police doing to put an end to this?

    Comment by Fritz — 7:19 am April 2, 2014 #

  28. Studly, I don’t think the picnic tables are the problem. I walk through the park many days a week, and the groups of teens congregate on the bridges and paths near the bog, since they are at least partially concealed. Thanks to everyone who has been working on cleaning up and trimming back the vegetation, it’s getting better!

    Comment by PG — 7:19 am April 2, 2014 #

  29. Comeon said:

    “Those buses have got to be moved.

    I firmly believe that the decreased visibility has greatly contributed to an increase of crime in the park. I don’t doubt it’s gang related but I blame the buses for this rapid increase.”

    The turning of the whole westwood mall area into a bus hub for myriad bus lines going out all over from downtown to renton has facilitated ingress to and ESCAPE from the park (swamp) area.

    Your taxes at work — thanks metro

    Comment by Bill — 8:02 am April 2, 2014 #

  30. AmandaKH – I couldn’t disagree with you more. I’ve lived right next to Roxhill Park for many years and I NEVER go there unarmed and without my large dog. Due to the amount of violence that goes on in that park (I could write volumes from what I’ve seen there over the years) anyone who goes into that park unarmed or without a police escort is asking for trouble and putting their own life in danger. This situation is absolutely a disgrace and the City and Metro have completely let the residents of Westwood and Roxhill down and are placing all of us in jeopardy with their indifference. Flashlights? Are you kidding me? This is a situation that demands a constant police presence/patrols. Other than that, turning Roxhill Park into condos will be the only way to end the Roxhill Park crime-fest.

    Comment by Joe — 3:43 pm April 2, 2014 #

  31. I am a recent transplant to West Seattle from Baltimore, and I can tell you firsthand what happens when gangs take over. The Wire? Yeah, it’s really like that. It’s a big reason why we moved. The gangs had taken over the streets, but also the prisons (not as just prisoners but as guards, as well), the police department, and even city hall. People ignored it at first, thinking it wasn’t a big deal because it only affected the “bad” areas… and guess what? It trickled out and eventually affected everyone. I lived in a “nice” neighborhood, right off of the campus of Johns Hopkins University, and someone got stabbed to death directly in front of my apartment. I heard gunshots everynight. It wasn’t just “criminal on criminal” crime, but it was “criminal on everyone” crime. So, my point is, ignoring it and pretending it doesn’t exist will only make it 1000X worse.
    Oh, and someone else pointed out, “wannabe” gang bangers are actuallly more dangerous than “real” ones, because they feel the need to “prove” how legit they are, usually by extremely violent measures.
    Finally, if you are interested in seeing what can, and does happen, start here…
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/05/baltimore-jail-scandal_n_3392052.html

    Comment by Mike — 8:49 am April 3, 2014 #

  32. Thanks for posting that, Mike. Scary, but enlightening, especially with Seattle’s “head-in-the-sand” philosophy.

    Comment by Brad — 1:24 pm April 3, 2014 #

  33. “I am all for the Community coming together and having walking patrols in the park after dark. But not armed ones. Violence begets violence. 5 adults with high beam flashlights are very effective in cleaning out teenagers from a park.”

    I’ve read naive opinions on this blog many times, but I think this one takes the cake. The author of this statement would be well served to read, again, what Mike said.

    Comment by phil dirt — 7:55 am April 4, 2014 #

  34. Not that it adds much to this dialogue, but sawed-off shotguns are illegal in this state. You may legally possess one if you complete the necessary federal paperwork, but still not allowed in Washington (check the RCW). Having one without the requisite paperwork is a 15-year federal offense. I would think this would be the thing to nail the perp with. Unfortunately, he will likely instead receive a stern warning from the judge to not do it again, and then released with the resulting increased street cred.

    Comment by Peter — 10:52 am April 4, 2014 #

  35. The gang problem is very real. I became educated on this issue when working at King County Jail. The jail is filled with rival gang members, and they flow through the jail like a revolving door. Their gang affiliation is evident by distinctive tattoos and clothing. Police and prison guards have charts that list each gang name, territory, identifying features, and targets. Rival gangs sometimes aim to kill one another, and sometimes committing crimes (ex. murder) is a prerequisite for membership in a specific gang. Ir’s a very real issue.

    Comment by evergreen — 7:40 am April 5, 2014 #

  36. Last night just before 9pm I was at the McDonald’s drive-thru when several SPC cars came racing up and surrounded the restaurant. They had 3 young males in custody, all wearing red gang attire with badly-sagging pants. Apparently, from talking to witnesses, these three had been threatening people in the area and one threatened to “bust a cap” in someone. I was impressed by the huge SPD response and the rousting they did on these bad apples. It was also reassuring to see that witnesses were not afraid to give SPD information on these three thugs.

    Comment by Bradley — 1:06 pm April 5, 2014 #

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