West Seattle, Washington
Thanks for the e-mails and texts about this – in case you were checking here, just wanted to let you know that we’re covering the search via White Center Now.
3:22 PM: The Guardian One law-enforcement helicopter has been over Alki/West Admiral while police have been responding on the ground to what sounds to have started as a suspected package theft – they had been tracking possible suspects along SW Lander. Now Seattle Fire is responding to a possibly related medical call at 56th/Lander. We’re still gathering information as we send a crew that way. More to come.
3:47 PM: Our crew has arrived and here’s what they have been told by police: No crime committed, after all. The people who were reported as suspected package thieves were carrying a package of firewood. The person who was hurt was the person who reported them, who slipped and fell and hit his head. Guardian One just happened to be up and around and that’s how they got involved, police said.
(WSB photo from November 2015, helicopters at Terminal 5 during drill)
Imagine a 9.0 earthquake so devastating that it impacts the entire Northwest Region. That is the basis for the Cascadia Rising earthquake exercise being held this week in multiple states. When a disaster of this magnitude strikes, a regional air response is necessary to face the challenges of saving lives over a large geographical area.
The Northwest Regional Aviation team will come together at the Port of Seattle Terminal 5 for a daylong series of helicopter drills that will utilize lifesaving skills necessary to meet the challenges of a regional disaster. In coordination with the Washington State Department of Emergency Management, a unified response with aviation resources from 10 different city, county and state jurisdictions including 6 aircraft will demonstrate the technical aspects of search and rescue, moving resources and transporting injured patients.
Observe landing and take-off procedures as multiple helicopters hoist and transport equipment and personnel in and out of the heliport base at Terminal 5. The community is invited to watch the helicopter rescue activities from the view platform located at Jack Block Park.
Agencies participating in the training:
Bainbridge Island Fire Department
King County Sheriff’s Office
Port of Seattle
Seattle Fire Department
Seattle Police Department
Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office
Tacoma Fire Department
Washington National Guard
The drill is scheduled to start around 10 am and continue until about 2, according to SFD’s media advisory.
Just found out tonight that Terminal 5 will host yet another drill with helicopters on Saturday – this time, as part of the Cascadia Rising megaquake drill that’s been happening at a variety of locations around the region. Susan Stoltzfus with the Port of Seattle told us about it at tonight’s T-5 Draft Environmental Impact Report public hearing (report to come). She says multiple agencies are participating with simulations including a collapsed building, and it’s scheduled between 10 am and 3 pm. If you’re interested in taking a look, she says you’ll be able to view it from the Jack Block Park overlook. In the meantime, if you notice the helicopters and/or other unusual activity at T-5 on Saturday, don’t fret, it’s only a drill.
P.S. As we’ve already reported, a much-more low-key – but no less vital – drill will be happening in High Point, and your direct participation is welcome – here’s where, when, and how.
4:48 PM: That big drill we mentioned yesterday, with air and sea action off West Seattle, is ramping up right now. If you missed the advance alert, it would look pretty alarming, given that the intent is “to test and solidify the capabilities of the Regional Maritime Tactical Action Group in response to an active shooter or hostage type event aboard a vessel in the Puget Sound”:
The King County Sheriff’s Office Special Operations Section invited media to go out on the Water Taxi vessel Sally Fox to observe and photograph, and co-publisher Patrick Sand is there for WSB.
5:28 PM: KCSO just tweeted this video of officers boarding the boat via helicopter:
If the ferry line is too long this Memorial Day weekend, try getting on this way pic.twitter.com/1PmfR5iqVM
— KingcosoPIO (@kingcosoPIO) May 26, 2016
Our photo is a different view from below, while that was in the works:
11 PM: The drill was expected to go at least until now, and MarineTraffic.com shows the Sally Fox is still out there. David Hutchinson shares an afternoon view from Jack Block Park:
That’s where media crews went after the briefing at T-5 that started the observation period. T-5 was headquarters for the helicopters, both KCSO’s Guardian One, the same helicopter that shows up to help Seattle Police with searches sometimes:
And a U.S. Customs and Border Protection helicopter:
That agency had a boat, too:
See more photos after the jump:
(WSB photo from November 2015, helicopters at Terminal 5 during drill)
If you see unusual helicopter and vessel activity off northeast West Seattle, and further into the bay, tomorrow afternoon/evening (Wednesday, May 25th) – it’s likely to be related to a drill. Here’s the King County Sheriff’s Office announcement:
The King County Sheriff’s Office Special Operations Section is hosting a multi-agency training drill Wednesday afternoon in Puget Sound between Harbor Island and Discovery Park. Drill participants will include the Seattle Police Department, Washington State Patrol, U.S. Coast Guard, F.B.I., U.S. Customs and Border Protections and King County Medic One.
This drill will test and solidify the capabilities of the Regional Maritime Tactical Action Group in response to an active shooter or hostage type event aboard a vessel in the Puget Sound. As the only agency in the Puget Sound with both air and water assets capable of delivering law enforcement to an underway ferry, cruise ship or pleasure craft, this training is critical for the King County Sheriffs Office to be prepared to protect our citizens.
Numerous law enforcement boats will be involved in the exercise, along with a King County Water Taxi boat. The main landing zone for the King County Sheriff’s helicopter will be Terminal 5. During the exercise there will be NO public access to the pier.
Terminal 5 itself isn’t a public-access area anyway so we’re checking to see if neighboring Jack Block Park will be affected.
8:21 PM: Thanks for the tips. Guardian 1 is helping look for several people reported to be in Schmitz Park. We do not know why yet but will be there momentarily to look for officers to ask on the ground.
8:27 PM: We just arrived at Admiral Way park entrance; 3 SPD cars here. Looking for officers to get info.
8:34 PM: A park visitor reported seeing someone with a gun. But the person who called 911 was gone and didn’t give a description. No gunfire, no victim(s). The ground and air search turned up nothing, so it’s over now.
Three notes in West Seattle Crime Watch as we move into Saturday evening:
WHAT GUARDIAN ONE WAS DOING OVER SOUTH DELRIDGE: Thanks for the tips. The Guardian One helicopter has just left South Delridge airspace after helping with an auto-theft case. No other details yet – we had to track down an SPD officer on the ground just to find out that much, since we weren’t hearing anything on the scanner but people kept texting about the helicopter overhead. (Thanks! 206-293-6302 any time.) If we find out anything additional, we’ll update.
OVERNIGHT CAR PROWLS: One reader report today, from Sarah:
Just a quick report that both of our cars were rifled through last night sometime between 10 pm and 6:00 am. The cars were both in our driveway on SW Winthrop St [map]. Nothing of value was taken but a bag with gym clothes was returned to us from Seattle Police this morning.
NEXT WEST SEATTLE CRIME PREVENTION COUNCIL MEETING: WSCPC president Richard Miller sent word today of the spotlight topic for Tuesday night’s meeting (7 pm, Southwest Precinct, Delridge/Webster): “Parking enforcement issues: People will be able to get answers about and make comments or complaints about parking-related issues.” And as always, police from the precinct will be there to talk about crime trends and listen to neighborhood concerns.
6:02 AM: Thanks for the tips about a helicopter over The Admiral District about half an hour ago. It was *not* a police search, but just a media helicopter checking out a traffic situation. We’ve talked to officers at the scene of a crash that happened just before 5 am on southbound California just south of Admiral and is now being cleared – an SUV crashed into the back of a semitruck. Police say one person was taken to the hospital but their injuries were not life-threatening.
6:37 AM: Photo substituted for our original cameraphone photo above, and second one added above this line as semi was towed.
12:10 PM: The truck driver’s wife messaged us to say that while her husband, who was in the trailer when the SUV hit it, wasn’t hurt, police told them the driver fled and the injured person was one of multiple passengers. We’ll try to find out from police if the driver was ever found.
We’ve had a few questions about those helicopters, part of a larger group that flew over West Seattle twice this morning/midday. We don’t have the definitive answer (yet) as to why. We wondered if they might have been headed to/from the big 520 floating-bridge grand-opening celebration, but WSDOT tells us no, no helicopters involved aside from their aerial-video crew. One possibility: The Museum of Flight at nearby Boeing Field is celebrating U.S. Coast Guard Day today, and the advance info mentioned helicopters – possibly including MH-60 Jayhawks, which the helicopters in Christopher’s photo resemble.
1:01 AM: Lots of questions this past half-hour about a helicopter just south of the city/county border. Flight-tracking showed it was Guardian One but there was little discussion on the scanner and no reports of ground activity, so we didn’t know what it was up to until this tweet just after it left the area: “Assisted White Center patrol on person with a gun call in 18 Ave SW. Led patrol in to person in front yard of house. Subject is detained.” That would be a King County Sheriff’s Office case and we’ll follow up later this morning.
ADDED 5:14 PM: We finally have additional information to share. From KCSO spokesperson Sgt. Cindi West: “Around midnight, we responded to the area of the 10400 block of 18 Ave SW for a report of a suicidal man who possibly had a gun. We contacted the man in the area and did not locate a gun. The man was transported to a hospital for a mental-health evaluation. The man is a 66 year old living in the vicinity.”
We’ve received some questions about a helicopter that’s been flying over West Seattle for a while, despite the drippy weather. Here’s what we’ve found out: Online flight trackers say it’s a Department of Homeland Security Eurocopter. Since the Coast Guard is part of Homeland Security, we checked with District 13 Public Affairs, but they don’t have any aircraft up around Seattle right now. That’s all we know so far but we did want to at least let anyone interested know that it’s not Guardian One and it’s not TV. More if we find out anything else.
Finally found out from the King County Sheriff’s Office Guardian One helicopter crew why they circled over Sunrise Heights, North Delridge, Puget Ridge, and vicinity for a little while about an hour ago – they were helping look for a missing person. No other details.
7:19 PM: If you’re seeing police, a helicopter, and/or traffic east of Roxbury, we’re checking out reports of a search for a hit-run driver after a crash in the 3rd/Olson vicinity (map).
7:37 PM: We’re at Arrowhead Gardens (2nd and Olson), where police have reportedly found one suspect. Another is still being sought. Guardian One is circling overhead; the crash scene is along Olson on the north side of the complex, and tow trucks are on scene – traffic is still getting through both ways, but slowly.
Seattle Fire Engine 11 is there and via scanner we’ve just heard them call for SDOT to come out to clean up “a significant amount of oil on the road.” We don’t have details of the crash yet but did see a private ambulance leaving as we arrived.
7:45 PM: Police tell us that two vehicles were involved – the hit-run suspects, who got out and ran (and are reported to have left a gun in the vehicle), were in a dark SUV; they hit a white car. We’ll be adding photos in a bit when back at HQ. Police confirm the suspect they have in custody is male and they are still seeking a female; no further description. They also confirm one person, from the car that was hit, was taken to the hospital by private ambulance. The Guardian One chopper is still circling over Arrowhead Gardens.
(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.