West Seattle Crime Watch followup: Saturday night’s standoff

January 12, 2016 8:49 pm
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 |   Crime | West Seattle news | West Seattle police

Another police report we’ve been seeking to follow up on a recent incident became available today. This one is from the police standoff Saturday night at an apartment building north of The Junction.

(WSB photo, Saturday night)

The report says almost 50 officers ultimately were there as police eventually convinced an armed man – originally reported as having threatened self-harm – to come out of his apartment and surrender peacefully. The report says the man was booked into jail for investigation of domestic-violence assault and a gun-possession violation. According to the report, police learned during the standoff that he was a convicted felon, with a record of assault and weapons convictions in Oregon.

The report says his wife told police he was intoxicated, angry, and confrontational after going out for a walk Saturday night. She reported that he had duct-taped a handgun to his right hand, a .357 revolver that had belonged to her father and had been stored in a safe for a decade. She said he threatened to shoot and kill her and “everyone else,” pointing the gun at her, and at himself, saying he wanted “death by police.” He left the apartment with his keys and phone. She called a friend who, the report says, told her to leave the apartment and call 911. She apparently did not, but the friend did, reporting that the man had threatened his wife with a gun and might be seeking a “suicide by cop” situation. Police rushed to the area, found the man’s wife, and set up containment as well as calling for a negotiator.

Several responded, including the officer who wrote the report. He reported talking with the man’s wife and “obtained further background information on (him) that could assist negotiators in resolving this incident in a safe manner for all involved.” For those who wondered about the magnitude of the response, note that the officer wrote, “Due to the nature of the call, involving a suicidal subject with mental-health issues and with prior military-combat experience, SWAT was requested to respond to the scene,” and they decided to wait until SWAT arrived before trying to make contact with the man in the apartment. Meanwhile, they talked with his wife, who said she thought the gun was loaded, and that it had been modified to shoot single-action only.

The report added, “In an effort to resolve this incident in a safe manner, it involved a huge police response of 48 officers” – patrol officers from two watches in this area, officers from the South and East Precincts, hostage negotiators, SWAT, and the Arson/Bomb Squad.

Around 9:40 pm, the officer writing the report “rode in a SWAT armored vehicle” to outside the apartment building, where the man came out onto the balcony in a bathrobe, smoking a cigarette. They noted he no longer had a gun taped to his hand. They started talking to him and “discussed a safety plan … gave him instructions on how to walk to his apartment door and meet with the officers waiting outside.” Within five minutes, he was in custody. The report says his wife gave consent for them to search the apartment, where they found the gun, unloaded, with what “appeared to be tape residue.” We don’t know his name, so we don’t know his current status.

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