8:49 AM: Some are asking, so here’s all we know: Heard the helicopter long before we saw it, to the south of where we are (Upper Fauntleroy/Gatewood). Sounded military. We stood outside waiting for a glimpse, finally got it as it passed, eastbound, to the south of us, over Arbor Heights. Hard to tell on a gray morning but it looked private, not military. (If you got a clearer look, let us know!)
9:50 PM: After much discussion in comments throughout the day/evening, we’ve learned that it was most likely the King County Sheriff’s Office Air Support Unit‘s second helicopter, Guardian Two, headed back in from the South Sound. It’s a UH-1H military surplus helicopter, which would explain the loudness.
(ADDED: KCSO aerial video from search that followed Delridge/Trenton incident)
1:05 AM: The Guardian One law-enforcement helicopter was just over eastern West Seattle for a bit, and now we know why. They tweeted that they were helping Seattle Police look for suspects who ran from a stolen car. The search was focused near 18th and Graham. A K-9 team has been helping on the ground, but no luck finding the suspects so far.
2:18 AM: Guardian One is back because of a separate incident, this one at Delridge/Trenton. It drew a large police/fire response because of an apparently false report of “three people stabbed.” So far, they have found one person with a “small laceration” on a finger. Police had been called to the same area for a similar report earlier tonight.
8:05 AM: We’ve added, above, the aerial video from the second incident, Delridge/Trenton, that’s since been posted on the KCSO Air Support YouTube channel. (What you hear over it is the same audio we heard via scanner at the time, SPD on the ground and the helicopter deputy.)
10:44 PM: Thanks for the tips – the Guardian One helicopter is in West Seattle now, in the High Point area, over Graham/Lanham. Not sure yet what it’s about – they seem to be focused on a vehicle – we’ll add what we find out.
10:55 PM: Officers are searching on the ground, too – one tells us this involves “stolen property.”
(Police at the Calugas Apartments in High Point)
11:01 PM: Guardian One appears to have moved on. We’ve heard on the scanner multiple times that this involves law enforcement from Mercer Island as well as SPD. Not sure how much more we’ll find out tonight.
11:06 PM: Guardian One’s Twitter account confirms:
Assisted Mercer island pd on search for burglary suspect in west Seattle. Seattle PD also assisting. @SeattlePD
— KCSOAirsupport (@KCSOAirsupport) February 15, 2015
11:32 PM: Photos added.
11:16 AM: Thanks for the tips about the helicopters. A police search is under way in the Chief Sealth International High School vicinity after, per SPD, a man “reportedly exposed himself (near Sealth) … and ran off.” Police add that they are “evaluating conflicting witness statements.” Earlier this morning, a significant police presence was visible in the area, following the three incidents reported by students yesterday. No description available yet, so we don’t know if this incident matches any aspect of the “flasher” report a few blocks east of Sealth on January 26th.
11:47 AM UPDATE: Just as we were on the phone with police seeking more details, they tweeted this:
2600 SW Thistle call:School staff reported lewd conduct by suspicious man, but did not see man expose himself. SPD Still investigating
— Seattle Police Dept. (@SeattlePD) February 12, 2015
There is some partial description info, Det. Drew Fowler told us: White man, 20s, gray shirt, black boots.
1:11 PM: SPD is searching in the Delridge/Trenton area for a possible burglary suspect. That’s what the heavy police presence is about. More as we get it.
1:14 PM: You might soon see/hear Guardian One in the area to help with the search. No official description from police.
1:23 PM: Partial description of the suspect: Buzzcut, 20s, gray backpack with yellow trim. A neighbor says police also said the suspect was described as white or Asian.
3:18 PM: The search ended without word of an arrest. We now know the burglary was in the 8800 block of 22nd SW.
ADDED FEBRUARY 17TH: Aerial video from the search, available via this new YouTube channel:
9:56 PM: Guardian One is in the area for the third time tonight. This time we’ve heard it’s a call near 20th/Delridge but don’t have details yet. Earlier, according to the King County Sheriff’s Office Air Support Twitter timeline, the helicopter assisted with calls described as a hit-run search in West Seattle and a robbery search in White Center.
10:44 PM: We couldn’t find any police activity in that area but Guardian One’s subsequent tweet says it was helping with “a robbery north of White Center.” Fragments of scanner traffic lead us to believe it was a store robbery, not a street robbery, but we’re still trying to confirm with police. No helicopter visible in the area (or anywhere else as we drove back north along 16th, and then onto Delridge, from there).
ADDED EARLY SATURDAY: Delridge 7-11, per comment.
Thanks for the texts/other messages about Guardian One circling for a few minutes in the north Lincoln Park/Morgan Junction area a short time ago. Mystery to us until G-1 tweeted:
Assisted @SeattlePD on a family disturbance in West Seattle.
— KCSOAirsupport (@KCSOAirsupport) January 30, 2015
They’ve since moved on.
That’s a recent photo of the King County Sheriff’s Office helicopter Guardian One; today, KCSO sends an alert that you might spot it flying along the West Seattle coastline next Tuesday, and that’ll be part of a drill:
Notice of Joint Maritime Training Exercise
On Tuesday November 25th the King County Sheriff’s Office TAC 30 team (our department’s tactical unit) will be hosting a multi-agency maritime operations exercise in the area of the Des Moines waterfront. Citizens may see our helicopter flying from the Alki Point area south to Dumas Bay. Hours of the exercise will be from approximately 8 AM until 5 PM.
The main landing zone for the helicopter will be the Des Moines Marina. Agencies participating in the exercise include the Washington State Patrol, Seattle Police, Bainbridge Island Police, the U.S. Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection and King County Medic One.
There will be numerous law enforcement boats involved in the exercise, along with one boat from Argosy Cruises. The main landing zone for the helicopter will be the Des Moines Marina. During the exercise there will be no public access to the pier.
We’ll remind you again when it gets closer, but for now, just so you know; the law-enforcement boats might be noticed as they head that way, too.
West Seattle Crime Watch: Search for armed robbers in Highland Park, with helicopter, after break-inNovember 4, 2014 at 6:41 pm | In Crime, Helicopter, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 17 Comments
6:41 PM: Thanks to everyone texting us about Guardian One, the law-enforcement helicopter – it’s over Highland Park because of a search for burglary suspects. We don’t know yet exactly where the break-in was, but we’re seeing some police vehicles along the 9000 block of 8th SW near Westcrest Park.
7:23 PM: Police describe the break-in that led to the search as “an armed burglary.” We don’t yet know if anyone was home or not; there were no medical calls in the area, so no indication that anyone was hurt. A K-9 team also was used in the search.
9:23 PM: According to Southwest Precinct Lt. Alan Williams, early reports indicate “two male suspects armed with handguns entered a residence in the 9000 block of 8th SW) around 6 pm. They “encountered residents inside the house and fled on foot shortly thereafter.” Despite an extensive search, no arrests yet; no one was hurt.
ADDED 1:52 PM WEDNESDAY: SPD Blotter has just published details of how police were told this unfolded:
11:08 PM: We’ve received multiple reports of a helicopter heard in the Seaview and Arbor Heights areas. We’ve checked with Seattle Police, and Lt. Alan Williams says it’s not Guardian One – quiet night for SPD. Still checking, but it’s a mystery for now.
12:08 AM: Just back from tracking it for a while. As noted in comments, it was flying too high for a search. Too dark, of course, to have any idea what it looked like. Not sure if we’ll be able to figure this one out, but we’re still trying.
12:08 AM: Multiple helicopter reports from Arbor Heights to Highland Park. Nothing on the scanner/911 log so far, which might just mean it’s a King County Sheriff’s Office case. If you’re seeing police on the ground, let us know so we can figure out what’s going on!
12:11 AM: And Guardian One just tweeted that indeed, it was a case in the county:
Just assisted White Center Deputies looking for a burglary suspect.
— KCSOAirsupport (@KCSOAirsupport) October 18, 2014
Per scanner, they are now headed over to SODO to check out something else.
Two West Seattle Crime Watch notes:
GUNFIRE SUSPECT OUT OF JAIL: 30-year-old Daren Atwood, charged with a firearms offense after last Thursday’s gunfire incident near Fairmount Ravine, is out of jail after one day. We reported Tuesday night that he had been charged and booked; this afternoon, he appeared in Seattle Municipal Court. According to the online docket, the city asked for $50,000 bail; a judge let him out on personal recognizance. His next court appearance is set for November 13th.
ABOUT THE HELICOPTER: Just before 9 pm, a relatively brief burst of helicopter activity brought some questions from north and northeast West Seattle. Via Twitter, the Guardian One crew confirmed it was them, helping Seattle Police with “a disturbance call.” No further details, so if we find out anything in the morning, we’ll add it here.
(Added: Guardian One video from the arrest scene)
5:46 PM: We’re getting a few questions about helicopter activity near east West Seattle. KIRO TV says it’s a search by the 1st Avenue South Bridge related to a stolen car, and that three people have been detained. Aerial pictures show a King County Sheriff’s Office vehicle, so we’re trying to contact KCSO for more information.
6:34 PM: KCSO confirms 3 – all the suspects they had sought – are in custody.
Thanks to everyone who’s reported a helicopter seeming to be searching for something off the west-facing West Seattle shore. Don’t know yet what it’s up to, but wanted to let you know we’re trying to find out.
1:12 AM: No info so far.
SATURDAY MORNING: Commenter FM says they were searching for overdue paddleboarders. (Here’s hoping they turned up, safe.)
We’ve received a few phone calls about unusual helicopter traffic today – and have heard/seen a few going over WSB HQ. Turns out there is a huge “emergency exercise simulating an aircraft accident” at Sea-Tac, going on for another hour or so. Participants include “eight evacuation helicopters, more than 175 emergency vehicles and 300 victim volunteers.” Airlift agencies that are participating, according to the summary, include “the U.S. Coast Guard from Port Angeles and Astoria, Oregon, U.S. Navy Air Station Whidbey Island, Washington Air National Guard – Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Snohomish County Sheriff, King County Sheriff, and Airlift Northwest.”
(Mostly cloudy by sunset – some drizzle, too. Photo by JayDee, from Upper Alki)
With the SPD promise of presence on Alki for potential last-day-of-school gatherings, we’ve been monitoring the situation since afternoon. Nothing major. We did see officers at the beach during our afternoon and evening drive-throughs. We ourselves had a bit of a close call just after sunset at Me-Kwa-Mooks, dodging a group of teens running back and forth in the street on Beach Drive. Not long afterward, the Guardian One law-enforcement helicopter was over that same area for a bit and subsequently tweeted that they “assisted @SeattlePD near 56/SW Oregon with a large group of teenagers partying that took off into the woods. Patrol contacted them.” (Right after that, the helicopter headed north to Ballard, tweeting that they helped SPD handle “a large fight disturbance” at Golden Gardens.)
In case you also noticed the small yellow helicopter circling/hovering over Gatewood/Upper Fauntleroy (almost directly over WSB HQ for a while, so we grabbed a bit of video), thanks to Shannon for noting in a Twitter discussion that it was a tour-company helicopter. (Photo added, shared by Rey via Facebook)
11:06 PM: The Guardian One helicopter is on the way to join Seattle Police in a Lincoln Park-area search. We’re still tracking down details but wanted to let you know that’s what’s happening, in case you see/hear the helicopter (or are seeing police on the ground).
11:15 PM: They’re looking for multiple suspects, one of whom was described as armed with a knife, last seen running into the north end of Lincoln Park. There’s a K-9 team in that area too.
11:32 PM: They’re still searching the park. Still no word on the nature of the call; all we know for sure is that there have *not* been any major-injury incidents in the area tonight.
11:47 PM: Basically the helicopter – which has been circling for a full half-hour now – is helping point police to just about anyone in the park/vicinity.
11:57 PM: Possible suspects found in the park, toward its central area.
12:06 AM: They’re still working to figure out if the possible suspects are who they’re looking for. And via multiple sources and bits of information, we believe this all started with a business robbery.
12:14 AM: Chopper has moved on – but the case isn’t necessarily closed yet. Their tweet confirms this is a robbery case:
Assisted @SeattlePD on search of Lincoln park for robbery suspects.
— KCSOAirsupport (@KCSOAirsupport) May 31, 2014
12:23 AM: Seattle Police add that it “started as a shoplift call in 7400 block of Fauntleroy – male suspect drew a knife and fled into Lincoln Park.” (That’s the mini-mart/gas station across from the north end of the park.)
10:59 AM: Just checked with Seattle Police; the Guardian One helicopter is helping them look for a domestic-violence suspect. That’s all we know so far; thanks for the texts about Westwood/Roxhill chopper sightings.
11:23 AM: No update on the search but the scanner indicates Guardian One is off to another case elsewhere in the city. On their Twitter feed, the helicopter crew describes the West Seattle assignment as having assisted in a case involving a “foot pursuit.” We’re also checking with Seattle Public Schools regarding commenters’ reports of shelter-in-place at Chief Sealth IHS.
11:48 AM: Still trying to get more info on the incident itself, and whether the suspect was arrested, but we did confirm with CSIHS by phone that the brief “shelter-in-place” has since been lifted.
12:15 PM: SPS spokesperson Lesley Rogers tells us Denny IMS and Roxhill Elementary also were in “shelter in place” for about 20 minutes, and that it was lifted an hour ago. (Added: An Explorer West MS [WSB sponsor] parent tells us they got word that school also took precautions for a similar amount of time.)
Texts indicate some in Arbor Heights noticed the Guardian One helicopter checking something out in the North Shorewood/White Center area in the past half-hour; we’ve published an update on partner site White Center Now but are mentioning it here too – King County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Sgt. DB Gates says they were looking into an assault case that was a disagreement between people who knew each other, and they’ve moved on.
7:03 PM: Just in case you see the law-enforcement helicopter overhead: The King County Sheriff’s Office has been over High Point for a bit assisting with a search – but the person that was being sought has been found. So, according to the scanner, the helicopter might be Alki-bound, where, in an unrelated incident, we’ve heard about a guns-drawn stop in the 1700 block and are trying to get details on that. Thanks for all the tips and texts – 206-293-6302 any time!
7:08 PM UPDATE: The High Point search that’s now over was for a missing child, Guardian One has tweeted. Still trying to get info on the Alki situation. Thanks to Mike and Steve for photos and to @ohwellmaybenot for tweeting this one:
— ohwellmaybenot (@ohwellmaybenot) May 1, 2014
ADDED 12:38 AM: We finally have been able to get a bit of information about the nature of the Alki response, thanks to Southwest Precinct Lt. Paul Leung. He didn’t have access to the full report, handled by an earlier watch – we will see if we can track that down later this morning – but it was a “gun call” (no shots fired that we know of).
While the officers did stop the vehicle that was reported to them, they did not find the gun that had been the subject of the original complaint.
King County Sheriff’s Office Air Support has just published the video – and dispatcher/pilot/officer audio – from this morning’s helicopter-assisted search following an attempted burglary in the 9000 block of 16th SW (map). We reported on this as it unfolded just after 1 am. We have also followed up with SPD, which tells us four teenage boys were arrested, three of them booked into the Youth Services Center, one “declined by YSC and released to Spruce Street because officers could not locate a parent/guardian.” No one is living in the apartment where the break-in attempt happened, according to the police report, and there was no sign anyone actually got in. A neighbor heard the sound of breaking glass and called police, who spotted suspects on the run as they arrived; Guardian One was nearby and asked to help. The incident report says one of the suspects had a felony warrant out for his arrest, on a recent “taking a motor vehicle without permission” charge.
1:21 AM: If you’re hearing a helicopter – Guardian One is helping with a police search in the 17th/18th/Henderson vicinity. Police were called by someone who heard glass break at a neighbor’s house. At least one suspect is reported to be on the run. More to come.
1:26 AM UPDATE: And it sounds like the search has ended, successfully.
1:40 AM: From Guardian One via Twitter:
Assisted Seattle PD with a burglary in progess in the 9000 blk of 16 SW. Four subjects were detained
— KCSOAirsupport (@KCSOAirsupport) April 11, 2014
FRIDAY MORNING UPDATE: Guardian One’s video/audio (including dispatchers and officers) has been made public, and we’ve obtained more information about what happened. Here’s the followup story.
11:38 PM: Happened to hear this on the scanner – Guardian One was in the vicinity and volunteered to help check out a call police were en route to, a possible prowler sighting/possible shots heard in the 30th/Roxbury vicinity. Now we’re hearing that sheriff’s deputies told police the shots were in
White Center county territory to the south, involving someone firing a gun after an incident involving a car. No report of injury. The helicopter isn’t seeing any evidence of a prowler so might not be around for long.
ADDED 12:10 AM: A texter on the county side of the line says deputies are still out looking for evidence of the reported gunfire, in the 28th/104th vicinity.
ADDED 12:31 AM: Our texting tipster adds that deputies did find shell casings in that area. But still no indication of any shooting victim or damage. The deputies arrived on the scene quickly, he says, because they were in the area for canvassing related to the ongoing search for the Roxbury rapist.
(Photos by Christopher Boffoli for WSB, added 9:37 pm)
8:32 PM: On the way home from a meeting, we have spotted Guardian One circling north of High Point. Not sure yet what’s going on, but we’re checking.
8:40 PM: One commenter reports what appears to be a search in High Point.
8:45 PM: Tweet from Guardian One confirms it.
9:18 PM: Found the house on which police had converged, along SW Juneau a couple blocks east of 35th; added a photo. Commenter “Soul Cat“ adds some context.
9:33 PM: New information via WSB’s Christopher Boffoli and Katie Meyer: Christopher confirmed at the scene that it was a narcotics warrant – adding his images shortly. Katie reports that scanner traffic indicated at least two people in custody.
9:42 PM: We have been chasing reports of a helicopter for half an hour and have finally found Guardian One over the Greenbridge area. We have just found sheriff’s deputies to ask on the ground – they say it’s a “possible armed robbery suspect” from a White Center business.
10:19 PM: Commenters say the chopper’s gone – we left the area it was circling (the wetland just west of Greenbridge) in hopes of finding the reported robbery target, described as a produce stand, but didn’t see anything on the ground along any of the main business streets. Will follow up with KCSO tomorrow.
10:41 PM: Via Twitter, the Guardian One team says the suspect they were seeking was not found. Description: “… male … about 5’9″, wearing a red hoody, blue jeans, wearing a black beanie.”
WEDNESDAY MORNING UPDATE: KCSO spokesperson Sgt. Cindi West says, “(Last night) at about 8:40 pm at the Best Roasted Corn Stand on the corner of SW 98th and 15 Av Sw: A male suspect walked up to the stand, displayed a handgun and demanded money. The suspect also demanded the employees cell phone. The suspect fled on foot. The suspect spoke to the victim in Spanish. He was described as a Hispanic male, skinny, about 5’8″ tall, mid 40′s and was wearing a red sweatshirt, blue jeans and a black beanie. The victim has seen him in the area before.”
One more early warning – as first noted here last week, White Center Heights Elementary is due for a special visit by the King County Sheriff’s Office helicopter Guardian One around 1:25 this afternoon, as part of a special project kindergarteners have been working on. The North Highline Fire Department will be there too. WC Heights is at 6th SW and SW 100th, so Highland Park’ers might notice this too.
4:24 PM NOTE: We’ll publish a separate story here later but photos and video are up right now, if you’re interested, on our partner site White Center Now.
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