West Seattle, Washington
(UPDATED midday Friday with police-report narrative)
11:20 PM: Advance alert that you might be hearing the Guardian One helicopter in Highland Park – police have been searching for a man who might have a gun, in the 8100 block of 11th SW. No injuries reported but a caller had reported a possible shot fired outside a house.
11:41 PM: As discussed in comments, the helicopter is still in the area. Per scanner, the possible shot was not confirmed, but the person who was the subject of the 911 call was reported to have a gun. Police have been tracking one person from the air; it’s not clear what’s happening on the ground.
12:19 AM: In case you haven’t seen this in comment discussion – police have made contact with the man and the situation is declared to be “under control.” Sounds like they are calling Seattle Fire to come check him out for possibly being under the influence of something.
12:25 AM: It also is reported that the person who is in custody – as noted in comments, not necessarily arrested, that depends on whether police believe a crime was committed – was armed. We will follow up later this morning to see what the investigation determines.
1 AM: Guardian One’s wrapup tweet:
Assisted @SeattlePD with an armed suspect near Elmgrove and 11 Ave SW. In custody.
— KCSOAirsupport (@KCSOAirsupport) January 8, 2016
7:36 AM: The King County Jail register shows the 33-year-old man was booked for investigation of unlawful gun possession as well as for a Department of Corrections warrant related to an assault charge. Court records show he was declared ineligible for gun possession because of a domestic-violence assault conviction last fall. In that case, he was sentenced to time served in jail – 84 days – with an additional 364 days suspended. We’ll follow up to see what happens from here.
ADDED 11:12 AM: Here’s the police report narrative, which has a few more details about how this played out and what was found at the end, including a casing in the back yard of the original location, which is described as where the suspect lives. (Note: “C” stands for “complainant”; “S” is usually suspect but we also note one case in which it means subject – someone who was not a suspect, nor victim, nor complainant:
On 1-7-2016 I was working uniformed patrol as 3F33 in a marked patrol vehicle. At 2303 hours I was dispatched to a report of a shots fired at 81XX 11 Av SW. I arrived and made contact with C/XXXXXX who stated that his friend S/XXXXX who resides in a back room in his residence may have fired a gun in the back yard.
C/XXXXXX stated that he did not see S/XXXXX fire a gun he only heard the gun being fired. C/XXXXXX stated that he attempted to talk to S/XXXXX but he ran away from him across the street. He stated that S/XXXXX was mumbling something but it was unclear what he was saying. C/XXXXXX stated that he lost sight of S/XXXXX when he ran across the street.
C/XXXXXX stated that S/XXXXX then returned to the residence and that was when he observed S/XXXXX carrying a gun in his left hand. C/XXXXXX stated that was when S/XXXXX exited the residence and that was when he called 911.
When officers arrived we observed S/XXXXX walking from the rear of the residence. Officers yelled at S/XXXXX to try to get his attention, but he did not acknowledge us and walked away NB on 11 Av Sw. S/XXXXX continued to walk down the street and he went to several homes on 12 Av Sw. Officer continued to try and make contact with him, but he would not comply with any of the commands that were given. KC Guardian 1 monitored the suspect from the air and they were informing officers on the ground with updates and location of the suspect’s whereabouts. S/XXXXX was observed by Guardian 1 running NB down 12 Av SW with two dogs that were not on a leash. It was unsure what the suspect was doing with the two dogs.
Guardian 1 informed us that the suspect was walking to 79XX 12 Av SW and he was knocking on the door. They stated that the homeowner confronted the suspect through the door he stated that he was afraid that the suspect would break his glass door. The homeowner was advised to stay in his residence due to the fact that S/XXXXX may be armed with a firearm. While S/XXXXX was in the 7900 block of 12 Av SW the two dogs that were with S/XXXXX attempted to have sex or attack a dog that was walking with his owner, S/XXXX. S/ XXXX never made contact with S/XXXXX.
S/ XXXX stated that he was able to separate the dogs from fighting by kicking one of them. He stated that he was later contacted by Ofc. Heric # 7528 informed him of the incident that was going on in the area and was advised to avoid the area.
Guardian 1 stated that the suspect was just standing in front of the address knocking on the door. We were later informed that S/XXXXX was walking WB with the two dogs and we later discovered that he was actually walking EB towards 11 Av SW and SW Elmgrove where we were holding containment south of the complainant’s address.
S/XXXXX walked EB on SW Elmgrove until about mid-block and then we believed that he was behind a bush or a tree mid-block on SW Elmgrove because he was not seen by officers anymore. All of the officers at 11 Av SW and SW Elmgrove took cover and concealment while Ofc. Chang #4617 continued to give him commands to come to the intersection to talk with him.
S/XXXXX came back into view and he crossed the street and he continued walking EB towards officers on 11 Av SW and SW Elmgrove St. S/XXXXX was ordered to get on the ground, but he did not comply when officers were telling him to get on the ground. Approximately 2-3 minutes of giving S/XXXXX commands to get on the ground he finally complied and got on the ground.
S/XXXXX was taken into custody. During a search for weapons a Taurus 9mm firearm was recovered along with .40 and .380 caliber ammo. After observation of S/XXXXX it appeared that he was under the influence of narcotics. A glass pipe did fall from S/XXXXX’s hand when he was attempting to go ground,but it was undetermined what the pipe was used for or what was inside of the pipe.
SFD E #11 responded to the scene to treat S/XXXXX. There was some blood located on S/XXXXX’s clothing, but SFD performed a body search and it was determined that blood was not from S/XXXXX, but was probably from one of the dogs that were involved in a dog fight on 12 Av SW with S/ XXXX dog.
S/XXXXX was transported to HMC by AMR. Ofc. Hancock # 7653 rode in the back of the AMR with the suspect. After searching the residence of where the shot was said to the fired we located a .9mm casing that had been fired. S/XXXXX is a convicted felon and it is illegal for him to have a firearm. After S/XXXXX was evaluated and released from HMC he was booked into KCJ for Inv. Of VUFA and the D.O.C felony warrant. I would also like to request charges for 12 A.14.071 aiming or discharging a firearm. Sgt. Trinh #5433 screened the arrest.
(2013 photo of Black Hawk over West Seattle, courtesy Jameson)
We have an advance alert from the Seattle Fire Department about a helicopter you might notice in the area tomorrow: SFD spokesperson Corey Orvold says a National Guard Black Hawk helicopter is expected to land at SFD’s Joint Training Facility on the southeast edge of West Seattle [map] sometime Wednesday. Orvold says the crew’s planning to land in order “to familiarize themselves with the JTF.” Firefighting is one of the roles Black Hawk helicopters have with the Guard.
(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.
ORIGINAL 8:18 PM REPORT: Grant‘s 1986 Porsche was stolen today from the apartment-building parking lot at 6533 California SW in Morgan Junction. Maybe you’ll be the one to help find it.
The car was last seen in my parking lot at 8 am (ish) before I left for work on Saturday November 21st. And when I got home at around 4:30 or 4:45 the car was gone. It is a black Porsche 944 Model Year 1986. It means a lot to me and I would love to see it returned safe and sound. I have included a picture of the car, its not super current (and the white writing over the back window is no longer there, was when I first bought it) but it does show a view of the back and the current license plate.
The theft is already on record with SPD, and tweeted via @getyourcarback – as the tweet says, if you see it, call 911.
ADDED 8:37 PM: Unrelated to the aforementioned auto theft but since we already have this Crime Watch story up – Guardian One just explained what they were doing over Upper Fauntleroy/Gatewood for a few minutes (including a few passes over WSB HQ):
Just helped @SeattlePD with a possible burglary in progress 8000 Blk 46 Ave SW….ended being a false alarm
— KCSOAirsupport (@KCSOAirsupport) November 22, 2015
(Mouse over the video window to bring up the “play” button)
You’re more used to seeing it helping search for suspects – but the Guardian One helicopter also works in search-and-rescue, and right now it’s in action as part of an emergency-preparedness exercise happening at West Seattle’s Terminal 5.
The Port of Seattle sent an advance alert last week and expects the aerial part of the drill, also involving other agencies from around the region, to continue until about noon.
ADDED MONDAY NIGHT: After the drill, Assistant Seattle Fire Chief A.J. Vickrey explained on camera what it was all about – and how many types of events this preparedness practice, years in the making, could help with:
You might have seen and/or heard those two military helicopters headed eastbound over south West Seattle – and then over east West Seattle – late this afternoon. While a flyby wasn’t listed as part of it, this is Military Appreciation/“Salute to Service” night at the Seahawks vs. Cardinals game. Meantime, it’s also an opportunity to remind you one more time about the helicopter exercises scheduled at Terminal 5 at midday tomorrow.
Rare chance to tell you way in advance when and why helicopters are expected in the area. The Port of Seattle just announced that multiple agencies also including Seattle Fire, King County, and Snohomish County “will be conducting a joint exercise involving multiple helicopters for emergency preparedness training” on Monday at Terminal 5. This exercise, the announcement says, “will give the participants better training for rescue situations such as those that took place after the Oso mudslide in 2014.” The helicopter activity, “moving heavy loads of equipment and personnel,” is expected to last from 11 am to noon on Monday (November 16th).
11:55 PM: Police are searching in and around the 5400 block of 17th SW after a report of a possible in-progress burglary. We’re hearing that the Guardian One helicopter is either in the area or on the way – so if you hear a helicopter, this is what it’s about.
12:24 AM: No word of how this resolved; we’ll check later this morning.
10:08 PM: We’ve had a few questions about what appears to be a search off Alki Point. The US Coast Guard has tweeted that there’s a search for someone in the water in Rich Passage, off south Bainbridge. (added) According to a USCG news release (read it here in full), a 54-year-old Bainbridge Island man is missing after his 15-foot fishing boat turned up empty and adrift more than three hours ago. He apparently had launched from the Port Orchard Marina.
9:46 AM TUESDAY: The search was reported to still be under way as of early this morning.
10:16 PM TUESDAY: As noted in comments, the USCG says it searched far and wide but finally had to suspend the search at 1:43 pm today.
12:08 AM: Guardian One is helping police search for a car prowler reported by neighbors in the 45th/Hinds area. A texter tells us car windows were broken, and one report via scanner said the prowler might have threatened someone with a gun.
12:18 AM: Confirmation from a texter: “My neighbor caught him in the act and grabbed him, and the suspect pulled a gun on him.”
12:33 AM: Haven’t heard anything further – the helicopter left before long. Meantime, the texter says it appears this might have been more a case of attempted auto thefts than car prowls: “Our car’s ignition was stripped. Nothing stolen out of the vehicles like our typical car prowlers. Seems they were after the cars themselves.”
10:18 AM: In comments, Beth says her son spotted what turned out to be a loaded gun near 45th and Hinds, and reported it to police, who picked it up.
3:26 PM: The aforementioned neighbor contacted us with more information. The gun, he says, turned out to be “a BB pistol but looks very much like a full size, ‘real’ gun. Model is a Smith & Wesson 327 TRR8 BB Revolver.” He confirms it’s the one the prowler threatened him with last night and was apparently tossed aside at the spot where the prowler got into a car and took off.
Two West Seattle Crime Watch notes before the night is through:
HELICOPTER SEARCH: We’re hoping to get more details on this from police in the morning, but for those who asked about the helicopter over southeastern West Seattle early this evening, it was related to a car crash in the Olson/Myers vicinity, reported as a hit-run; police were looking for someone who wound up in the greenbelt, and eventually, became the subject of a Guardian One search and SFD rescue.
CAR PROWL: From Robert:
My car was broken into last night. No damage and nothing stolen, just rummaged thru my glove box but nothing was of value. Woke up with all my stuff on my seat. I live at 34th and Alaska. Just wanted to give a heads up.
11:43 PM: Don’t know yet what has brought Guardian One back to West Seattle tonight but it’s helping with a search in the Southwest Athletic Complex/Chief Sealth IHS vicinity. More as we figure it out.
12:00 AM: Guardian One left shortly after that update; scanner traffic indicated police had been searching for (at least) three suspects and found two.
12:30 AM: Tweets by Beat finally has the initial classification on the call – robbery. Notable considering there was a robbery about 24 hours earlier in Roxhill Park, as noted here; no helicopter for that one because it wasn’t reported until later, when the victim made it home a few miles away.
7:24 AM: Comments mention G-1 back in the area in the 2 am hour, this time further south. The helicopter crew subsequently tweeted: “Assisted KCSO Deputies on search for subject who ran from traffic stop and possible unreported stolen car.”
Incidents we’ve been tracking tonight:
11:13 PM: Police are responding to the Westside Unitarian Universalists Congregation church in Gatewood (7141 California SW) right now after a report of a possible burglary/theft. The Guardian One helicopter is in the area and offered to help search for a possible suspect, so you might hear it shortly. No description at this point beyond “unknown race male” in a hoodie.
11:20 PM: The helicopter’s in the area now.
11:29 PM: And it’s moved on, while police continue investigating on the ground.
11:50 PM: **Separate incident** but while we have this Crime Watch report open, we’re adding it. Police are investigating a report of someone being robbed at Roxhill Park. No aerial search in this case – the trail was quite cold, as the victim did not report it until getting home about half an hour later. (We have no further info on this one but more often than not, street robberies have a reporting lag because the robber[s] take the victim’s phone.)
12:44 AM: **Separate incident** Police rushed to Fauntleroy after multiple calls about someone screaming for help. After trying to figure out where exactly it happened, they found a victim in the 8600 block of 46th SW, a 21-year-old woman who is reported to have been assaulted. SFD is en route to evaluate her injuries. Police are trying to sort out what happened.
9:10 PM: Guardian One is up west of The Junction looking for prowlers in the Genesee area.
9:25 PM: No prowlers found, and Diego says via comments that it apparently was a false alarm. So does Judy via Twitter:
— TK Judy (@tk_judy) August 28, 2015
Thanks for the texts/calls – you never know.
9:46 AM: Thanks for the tips that Guardian One is up over Puget Ridge, with police on the ground near 18th and Dawson. SPD media relations tells us they’re looking for an assault suspect in a suspected case of domestic violence.
10:02 AM: Our crew reports the helicopter is still up and while there’s a significant police presence in the area, including K-9, Dawson (which takes a much-used turn through that area, between Puget Ridge and North Delridge) remains open.
10:48 AM: Guardian One has moved on, but no arrest is reported yet.
11 AM: Commenters have been asking about whether the closest schools that have Kindergarten Jump Start this week – Pathfinder, Sanislo, and Arbor Heights at Boren are each about 1 mile away – were in lockdown or shelter-in-place; some say they received notice that Pathfinder was, but Seattle Public Schools spokesperson Stacy Howard tells WSB, “We’ve just told them to lock their front doors. No shelter-in-place.”
9:33 AM: Just got a text about helicopters – heard them nearby passing the West Seattle shore – but this time, we already know what it’s about: If you missed the alert we published last week, it’s a big air/sea drill happening all day down in Des Moines, with some air traffic visible as far north as here.
2:08 PM: Some photos tweeted by the King County Sheriff’s Office, one of the participating agencies:
— KingcosoPIO (@kingcosoPIO) June 16, 2015
Most of this will be happening south of us, but this alert just sent out by the King County Sheriff’s Office mentions that helicopter activity might be visible, so take note (and we’ll remind you again Tuesday):
On Tuesday June 16th, 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 8am until 5pm.
The main landing zone for the helicopter will be the Des Moines Marina. Agencies participating in the exercise include the 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 the King County Water Taxi. During the exercise there will be no public access to the pier.
(WSB photos taken between 5 & 5:30 pm)
5:11 PM: Police are searching for a suspect on the north end of The Junction, not sure yet why. Updates shortly.
5:22 PM: The suspect police are looking for is someone wanted on a warrant. They were apparently trailing him near California/Dakota when he bolted.
5:31 PM: Helicopter has headed south. Our crew is out trying to find out more from SPD on the ground.
5:35 PM: Police tell us one person is in custody, found by a K9, another still on the loose.
5:43 PM: Another officer we asked said this involves felony theft warrants. And no, we have no description at all of the person being sought.
7:55 PM: Someone asked us if the search is still active; no, it was wrapping up two hours ago as we left The Junction. The post-search Guardian One tweet says the same thing police told us – it started as police tried to arrest someone for whom they had a warrant. The one arrest happened close to where the search started, in the California/Dakota area.
9:01 PM UPDATE: We checked with Lt. Alan Williams at the Southwest Precinct to see if the second suspect had ever been found; he confirms BOTH suspects are now in custody.
12:03 PM: Don’t know yet what it was about, but a group of military helicopters flew northbound over the west-facing West Seattle shore a short time ago. Anybody get a photo/video? We ran out the front door with the phone (resulting in this video, but they’re somewhat tiny-looking in the distance). One observer said via Twitter that it looked like four Chinooks and a Blackhawk.
12:24 PM: Thanks to James Bratsanos and to Joe for sending photos so far. The two above are from James – first the wide view of all five, then a closer look at two of the Chinooks and the (Blackhawk?).
12:28 PM: More info in comments – including Jim Clark spotting what might be the answer to the question of what this was about.
12:33 PM: Further verification of what Jim found – a program on that Facebook page says Special Forces from JBLM were to fly by/in (Paine Field in Snohomish County), with “Chinooks x 4.”
(Added: Photos by WSB’s Christopher Boffoli)
10:54 PM: Don’t know yet what they’re looking for, but police are searching the Broadstone Sky construction site at 40th/Edmunds right now – thanks to the people who texted us that tip. And we’re mentioning it because you are likely to see/hear the Guardian One helicopter in the area shortly if you’re not already – they happened to be up and available, so they offered to help. If/when we find out more, we’ll update.
11:42 PM UPDATE: WSB’s Christopher Boffoli went over to see what more he could find out. Police told him they started searching the site after neighbors called to say they were hearing noises – they were still looking when he left. Guardian One didn’t spot anyone but the police officers at the site.
Two West Seattle Crime Watch notes this morning:
STOLEN BICYCLE: From JC:
My 12-year-old son’s bike was stolen from the Seattle Public Library on 35th and Henderson. The bike is a Silver Fuji Absolute. It has an aftermarket rack on the back and a new gel seat. The bike was stolen May 28th before 4:30 pm. We are offering a $100 reward.
This has been reported to police via the online system, but the incident # isn’t available yet; you can reach JC at 206-261-2410.
OVERNIGHT HELICOPTER: Guardian One was in West Seattle briefly around 1:15 am; the crew tweeted later that they were helping SPD with a car-prowling incident “off Delridge Way,” no block specified.
11:46 AM: Our area’s only law-enforcement helicopter unit, King County Air Support (Guardian One), spent a few minutes over Gatewood/Sunrise Heights a short time ago, and now we know why. They tweeted that they happened to be in the area, so jumped in to help Seattle Police with a response to a situation described as a “fight” in the 3700 block of SW Webster. According to a neighbor, also via Twitter, police are still there, but they’ve said the situation is under control. When a Guardian One pilot/tactical flight officer spoke to the West Seattle Block Watch Captains’ Network last month (WSB coverage here), they mentioned that they do monitor emergency radio while they’re in flight, and if they happen to be in the area of an emergency call, they might turn up even without having been requested, so that’s what happened here.
11:51 AM: Unrelated but also involving a helicopter over West Seattle, and also bringing in texted questions – the KING/KOMO-shared TV helicopter is in the Admiral area right now because the governor of Alaska is visiting the Polar Pioneer oil rig at Terminal 5.