UPDATE: Why police were at Chief Sealth International High School

8:31 AM: Thanks for the texts. We’re on our way to check on a report of police at/near Chief Sealth International High School and a shelter-in-place situation. SPD has tweeted that it is an “apparent false report of weapons.” More to come.

8:41 AM: Our crew is at the school (photo added above) and have talked to police who confirm so far they haven’t found anyone or anything. This is close to the start of classes and aside from the police presence, activity appears normal – people coming and going, students being dropped off.

8:46 AM: Shelter-in-place has been lifted and police are leaving, our crew reports. Police say that the unfounded report was made by telephone.

ADDED 1:40 PM: Here’s the letter sent to Sealth and Denny families, in English and Spanish, signed by Sealth principal Aida Fraser-Hammer and Denny principal Jeff Clark:

Dear Denny and Sealth Scholars and Families:

We want to update you and share information regarding a situation that occurred early this morning.

At approximately 8:15am, the Seattle Police Department (SPD) received a 911 phone call reporting that there were shots fired at the Denny/Sealth campus. SPD responded immediately and contacted our schools. Although both schools reported that there was no unusual activity, in an abundance of caution both Denny and Sealth went into a brief shelter in place while the police investigated the situation. At this time, SPD believes this was a fictitious or “prank” call and they are continuing their investigation to determine the source of the call.

We are very proud of how our staff and scholars responded to the situation. Prank calls can sometimes increase scholars’ level of concern about their safety – staff are available to provide support as needed.

As always, maintaining the safety of the students and staff on our campus is our top priority. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns. Thanks for your ongoing support.

En Español:

Estimadas Familias y Alumnos de Denny y Sealth,

Queremos actualizarle y compartir información sobre una situación que ocurrió temprano esta mañana.

Aproximadamente a las 8:15 am, el Departamento de Policía de Seattle (SPD) recibió una llamada telefónica al 911 informando que hubo disparos en el campus de Denny / Sealth. SPD respondió de inmediato y se puso en contacto con nuestras escuelas. Aunque ambas escuelas informaron que no había ninguna actividad inusual, como una medida de precaución, Denny y Sealth entraron en un breve estado de refugio mientras la policía investigaba la situación. En este momento, SPD cree que esto era una llamada ficticia o una “broma” y continúan su investigación para determinar la fuente de la llamada.

Estamos muy orgullosos de cómo nuestro personal y estudiantes respondieron a la situación. Las llamadas de broma a veces pueden aumentar el nivel de preocupación de los estudiantes en cuanto a su seguridad – el personal está disponible para brindar apoyo cuando es necesario.

Como siempre, mantener la seguridad de los estudiantes y el personal en nuestro campus es nuestra máxima prioridad. Por favor, no dude en ponerse en contacto con nosotros con cualquier pregunta o preocupación. Gracias por su apoyo continuo.

17 Replies to "UPDATE: Why police were at Chief Sealth International High School"

  • M March 9, 2017 (8:34 am)

    Pretty heavy response. I counted 9 police cars, most of them with lights flashing. 

  • ACG March 9, 2017 (8:41 am)

    I’m not surprised at the response. In this day and age, reported weapons at a school isn’t something law enforcement takes lightly, I’m assuming. Hopefully it is a false report and all is well. 

    • WSB March 9, 2017 (8:45 am)

      Shelter-in-place is ending and police are leaving.

  • Nic March 9, 2017 (8:44 am)

    The auto-alert from the school says they are in a shelter in place. But my daughter says aside from hardly anybody at school yet everything seems pretty normal. 

  • jackie March 9, 2017 (9:34 am)

    Obviously there was a test today and the false call in was from a kid that didn’t study for it!

    • brian March 9, 2017 (11:10 am)

      So glad we have Blog Commenter Jackie on the case.    

      • WSB March 9, 2017 (11:13 am)

        Actually, a couple people at the scene joked along the same lines. Seriously – this was not one of those major schoolwide test days.

        • Sara March 10, 2017 (7:29 am)

          That’s a real reason this may have happened. Had two bomb threats at my highschool back in 200 because of someone not studying for a test. Doesn’t need to be a school-wide test day, just someone with a morning test that has now been postponed an extra weekend since it’s Friday…

  • Jackie March 9, 2017 (11:17 am)

    @Brian…why thank you and the feeling is mutual!

  • Doree Fazio-Young March 9, 2017 (3:00 pm)

    I love The West Seattle Blog, working as I do on this Sealth/Denny Campus everyday I trust them to report the truth about what happens here. And I have full confidence in our Security Staffs and my Principal Jeff Clark and his staff to keep all of our Children and all of us safe Thank u West Seattle Blog I come to u first and foremost for my information 

    • WSB March 9, 2017 (3:07 pm)

      Thanks for your service to the students and staff, Doree. We are only a few minutes away from your campus so when the texts started coming in, it didn’t take long to get there to find out what was happening. – TR

  • TheKing March 9, 2017 (6:11 pm)

    Imagine you arrive at your work, the police show up and are running around with rifles. You are told you can’t leave the building but not why. That is what the students faced today, I will not be dropping off my student if there are police already there. Upon arrival students were told they are on lockdown, then not, then they were again in a matter of 15 minutes. If nobody knows what to do maybe it’s time for someone else to take over. This isn’t the first time this has happened. 

  • Mypatience1978 March 9, 2017 (8:01 pm)

    I am 100% there with you. When my son was dropped off this morning, his father asked the police if everything was ok. The cop said everything was ok and to go ahead and drop him off. As my son was walking up to the school and his dad pulling away, the call for shelter in place was made and more cops were showing up.  So again he asked another cop if everything was ok and this cop said he didn’t know and that he had to leave the premises. Won’t happen again on our end. Cops there, my son is going back home. 

  • Jackie March 10, 2017 (9:37 am)

    I’m sorry if you all took my comment offensively and not seriously but I did comment after reading that EVERYTHING was OK and thought a little humor would lighten things up.


    Seems most people that live in WS and that comment on the Blog are too negative and take everything too seriously…lighten up people life is too short enjoy the time that you have on this great Earth.  

  • zark00 March 10, 2017 (3:51 pm)

    Jackie – as a rule of thumb for your future commenting, please refrain from attempting to “lighten things up” when the story involves peoples children and guns.

    Parents are just looking for reassurance that everything is ok, that the kids are safe, and that the incident was handled well, and will be handled well in the future.  None of the West Seattle parents are looking for a joke form you to make things ok. 

    I think folks here understand you weren’t trying to be offensive, but your comment was in poor taste.

    Also, might want to just apologize for what you said.  Your backhanded apology is quite insincere.

    • Fauntleroyfairy March 10, 2017 (6:06 pm)

      Hey Zarkoo!

      There were no guns…..period! Her comment came after the incident was proved false. I think you need to lighten up!  

      To Jackie – Don’t refrain from being yourself and worry about any negative comments.  Zarkoo thinks she speaking for other “parents”, but she’s not. I appreciated the chuckle!

      Have a great weekend!

  • Jackie March 11, 2017 (4:42 am)

    @Fauntleroy Fairy… Thank you and you too have a great weekend!

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