UPDATE: Police investigation in Highland Park after crash, gunfire

(WSB photo, added 10:11 pm)

9:20 PM: Thanks for the tips – we’re sorting out a police investigation near 12th and Roxbury, related to a crash that is reportedly linked to possible gunfire. No reports of any victims so far. The scene might span both sides of the city/county line. And if you’re hearing a helicopter, Guardian One has been in the area offering assistance. No injuries reported so far but besides searching for a suspect, police are also looking to be sure there’s not a victim somewhere. More to come.

9:37 PM: We’re on the city side of 12th and Roxbury now; just talked to a neighborhood resident who said she heard the gunshots along the street and “hit the floor.” 12th is blocked on the north side of the intersection while police deal with the crash, in which at least one vehicle is reported to have gone through a fence.

9:44 PM: According to officers at the scene – two vehicles were involved in the crash, at the northeast corner of 12th/Roxbury; the driver of the silver SUV said she was driving eastbound on Roxbury with her sister – they had just picked up pizza and soda to take home – when somebody shot at her from a red SUV, which also crashed; its driver got out and ran, and has not yet been found.

10:48 PM: We just talked with Sgt. Cindi West of the King County Sheriff’s Office, which is leading the investigation since the gunfire was on the county side. Here’s the news release she just sent:

Multiple people living near the area of SW Roxbury St and 12 Ave SW called the police this evening after hearing cars racing in the area and shots being fired.

King County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the area after the 911 calls started coming in around 8:45 tonight. When deputies arrived they found an accident on the corner of SW Roxbury and 12 Ave SW, which involved one of the vehicles that had been chasing another car.

Witnesses told police that a grey 90’s Jeep Cherokee was northbound on 12 Ave SW with a red Ford Explorer chasing it. Occupants in the Explorer were firing shots at the Cherokee as it continued northbound. The Cherokee was able to safety cross SW Roxbury but when the Explorer tried to follow they struck a Chevrolet Tahoe that was driving eastbound on SW Roxbury. The Tahoe had not been involved in the chase and was merely in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Witnesses saw 3 occupants in the Explorer jumped out of the wrecked car and get into a white Toyota car that had been following the Explorer. The Toyota then fled eastbound on SW Roxbury.

Deputies on the scene found 2 guns in the Explorer and found at least one bullet hole that went into a house on the north side of SW Roxbury.

The woman driving the Tahoe suffered minor injuries. It is unknown at this time if anyone was injured as a result of the shooting, or if the occupants who ran from the Explorer were injured.

If you have information about this crime or live near SW Roxbury and 12 SW and find damage to your property as a result of bullet holes, contact the King County Sheriff’s Office at 206-296-3311.

We asked her about descriptions of anyone on the run – none so far – and also whether the Explorer, abandoned by the suspects, was stolen. Not reported as such, she says.

36 Replies to "UPDATE: Police investigation in Highland Park after crash, gunfire"

  • Kat December 18, 2015 (9:22 pm)

    Helicopter above circling, no spotlight though. Lock your doors folks!

  • Chicaboo December 18, 2015 (9:25 pm)

    I’m on 14th and Henderson and we heard 6-8 gunshots about 15 min ago. Now the helicopter. Scary stuff.

  • Miss B December 18, 2015 (9:27 pm)

    I heard at least ten pops. Was hoping it was fireworks but it didn’t feel like it. I was watching tv in my living room and heard it distinctively over the show. Now the copter is hovering round n round. Heard the shots from 13th/Barton.

  • westseattledood December 18, 2015 (9:30 pm)

    Guardian One is making very long North/South sweeps.

    The helicopter is REALLY moving quickly to find whoever this is…but not quickly enough.

    Kind of nerve-wracking when it is so low for so long over and over and over and over…..

  • HP Gal December 18, 2015 (9:33 pm)

    Thank you for reporting on this. I was just putting my son to sleep when I heard the gunfire. Praying for everyone involved and I hope this ends as peacefully as it can.

  • C December 18, 2015 (9:41 pm)

    I heard at least ten pops. Knew what it was but tried to stay calm for my son. Helicopter circling for 35 min. Just flew away. We are 13th & Cloverdale

  • GoGrrrl December 18, 2015 (9:42 pm)

    I heard the shots – at 8:50. I was hoping it was just fireworks but it sounded like gunfire, bursts of 3-4 shots at least 10 shots fired. I looked out and saw a silver SUV heading north quickly in front of my home on 12th SW (near Barton). Now Guardian One is hovering about. Thank you WS Blog for updating so quickly! Hoping nobody is hurt.

  • miws December 18, 2015 (10:00 pm)

    I didn’t hear the shots (TV turned up), but my apt manager stopped by while G-1 was circling, and mentioned that she had heard the shots. 16th & Barton/Henderson



  • Aubbie December 18, 2015 (10:06 pm)

    Did the police offer a description of the driver who ran (i.e. did the other crash victim see that person)? I ask because I was walking my dog at 9:00. Just moments before I saw the chopper make its approach to our neighborhood, I encountered a man walking briskly northbound on 12th Ave SW–we met him as he came around the corner at Thistle, from the direction of 13th. I walk my dog every night and usually the only people I see at this hour (in the winter) are other dog-walkers, so it struck me as an unusual encounter for us… Now I wonder….?

    • WSB December 18, 2015 (10:08 pm)

      No, we don’t have a description, and I didn’t hear one on the scanner either, sorry. But if you are anywhere in that vicinity and see/hear anything suspicious – when we left, police were still looking around backyards – TR

  • westseattledood December 18, 2015 (10:08 pm)

    Aubbie, Call SPD 911 and report it. They’d appreciate it and so will your neighbors.

    Thanks for being observant.

  • alki resident December 18, 2015 (10:31 pm)

    Aubbie- Canine can pick up a scent possibly. Report this now,please.

  • Alan December 18, 2015 (11:16 pm)

    What is going on?! This is the third gunfire report in five days. Fortunately, none of them seem to be very good shots. I’m betting the car gets reported as stolen shortly, whether it really is or not.

    • WSB December 18, 2015 (11:25 pm)

      The other possibility is that it really was but its owner didn’t know that. Happens fairly often – “unreported stolen” – where the owner wouldn’t have noticed until the next day, except then they get a call from police “your car is crashed at the corner of X and Y – did you give anyone permission to drive it tonight?” … We’ll of course be following up. Scanner indicates somebody on the south side of Roxbury now thinks they found a bullet hole in their house …

  • Alan December 18, 2015 (11:32 pm)

    Understood. Chances are the car was actually stolen and the owner hadn’t yet noticed, though I’m sure they have now been contacted.

  • Patricia December 19, 2015 (12:00 am)

    My husband and I heard at least 10 shots but didn’t hear the car accident. Scared me a lot I am glad no one was killed from all the gunfire.

  • John December 19, 2015 (12:16 am)

    Another gunshot heard on 18th and SW Barton.

  • Brooke December 19, 2015 (12:41 am)

    Just heard another shot a few minutes ago a bit further East than earlier. Related?

    • WSB December 19, 2015 (12:47 am)

      Haven’t heard anything on the scanner about this possible other shot. But please do call 911 if you haven’t already.

  • Amie M December 19, 2015 (4:54 am)

    Just as I was falling asleep around 8:15-8:20 I heard a lot of gunshots. I’m at 17th and Barton. I see this was at 12th and Roxbury. Didn’t know the sound of gunshots carried so far! And I cannot believe no one was hurt after seeing those cars! Wow!

  • Aubbie December 19, 2015 (9:59 am)

    Does the crashed red Explorer look like the “getaway” car in this Gatewood burglary story: http://westseattleblog.com/2015/12/west-seattle-crime-watch-where-burglars-have-hit-this-week-plus-the-suspected-package-thieves-who-werent/? I don’t know car models well enough to identify the car in that image, but they look similar to me.

    P.S. For those wondering, I did call 911 last night to report the man I saw on my dog walk last night at 9 PM. She listened to me, then transferred me to non-emergency to file a “tip.” After 25 minutes on hold, I gave up. But it sounds like witnesses saw three occupants of the crashed shooter vehicle get into another car and drive away, so I think the random walker I saw was just weird coincidence. In any case, the dispatcher didn’t think it was helpful b/c it wasn’t happening “right now.”

  • Alan December 19, 2015 (10:19 am)

    Last night, when I told my wife that there had been more gunplay, she was not surprised. She was by an open window and said that she heard the “pop pop pop” of what sounded like gunfire. I didn’t think it was related at the time, as we live about 2 miles north of where this incident ended. The multiple reports of people hearing gunfire in the Henderson/Barton area though make me wonder if this incident started further north.

  • Scubafrog December 19, 2015 (11:01 am)

    My memory may be getting bad as I age – but doesn’t the gunfire usually stop at the end of summer here? And I may be wrong, but is this a particularly bad year for gunshots in West Seattle? Not like 1991 bad, but in relation to the past several years?

  • Alan December 19, 2015 (11:31 am)

    @Aubbie – Thanks for calling 911, even though it does now seem that the walker was just a coincidence.

    I agree that that could be the same SUV. It has the same color, window configuration, racks, black post and grey stripe down the side.

  • Matt S. December 19, 2015 (12:19 pm)

    That really sucks for the people whose promise of hot pizza was ruined by a hot mess. I can’t believe people drive around shooting like it’s the (thuggy) Wild West.

  • Alan December 19, 2015 (12:19 pm)

    @Scubafrog – I don’t recall EVER having so many shootings in such a close period of time and in such a small (about four square miles, maybe less) area. It does remind me of the late ’80s and early ’90s when gang drive-bys were a daily event in the region, but I don’t recall it ever feeling so close to home.

    The good news is that the guys left two guns behind in their car. Even if they don’t yield prints, that’s two more guns off the street.

  • they December 19, 2015 (12:28 pm)

    Thankfully the just going about there business Tahoe occupants dodged a bullet here (no pun intended) back in the day Grandma used to use the words ” boys will be boys” sadly it appears this is the new version of that and doesn’t seem to be going away. Unfortunately most solutions of late always involve more limits/restrictions on law abiding citizens.

  • mrsMarty December 19, 2015 (12:30 pm)

    @Matt S,,,LOL that’s exactly what I said to the hubby this morning when I read this story “who do they think they are cowboys shooting from their horses”!

  • Wsea98116 December 19, 2015 (12:33 pm)

    Aubbie, It appears to be the same vehicle. Same paint scheme, body trim, rack, wheels, etc.. No surprise. What is surprising is that we as a community continue to allow these thugs to burglarize and terrorize us without repercussion.

  • J December 19, 2015 (1:16 pm)

    Did they find any of them yet? The dude hid from cops in our yard last night. They missed him by literally 3 seconds. Didn’t notice until 10 minutes later when I saw the gate open and looked at our video feed. Too bad the video quality sucks, can’t ID him.

    • WSB December 19, 2015 (1:38 pm)

      J – I don’t know and it’s almost impossible to get info on the weekends unless we happen to bump into some of the same officers while out covering something else – so far today we haven’t been on breaking news. I heard the scanner call about your call re: the open gate and surveillance video – this case was active on dispatch for some hours later, also heard something about someone else who found a bullet hole in their house, on the south side of the street, I think. – TR

  • Aubbie December 19, 2015 (4:45 pm)

    @ J, where do you live (cross streets)? Was the guy who hid in your yard wearing a light grey hoodie?

  • Alan December 21, 2015 (2:51 pm)

    I know how busy you are, so I try not to be a nag (seriously), but am wondering if there are any updates on this and the other recent shootings?

    The following notes are for myself as much as anything.

    We had the one on the 14th, indicated to be a “domestic dispute” which suggests they should know who the shooter is.

    The next day, there was another shooting nearby, ending with a search in WC.

    Then we had this one with the accident three days later, involving a vehicle that looks much like one that was involved with a burglary on the 6th.

    • WSB December 21, 2015 (4:54 pm)

      Particularly in incidents without injury, and without immediate arrests, getting updates is close to impossible, and I can only pursue so much. I have one followup coming up on a different incident from last week, though, but that happened to be easier because there was an almost-immediate arrest, and now a charge. – TR

  • Alan December 21, 2015 (8:06 pm)

    Thanks! Hopefully one or more of the shootings will eventually have an arrest.

  • Wsgal December 24, 2015 (7:33 am)

    So strange that all this gun fire has become such a regular part of my reading on the blog. There seems to be more random shooting going on here especially per capita versus places I lived on the East Coast that were considered “dangerous”

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