West Seattle Blog... » West Seattle police http://westseattleblog.com West Seattle news, 24/7 Fri, 28 Nov 2014 06:58:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.4.2 Update: Man shot in arm in Arbor Heights, taken to hospital http://westseattleblog.com/2014/11/assault-with-weapons-call-in-arbor-heights-3/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/11/assault-with-weapons-call-in-arbor-heights-3/#comments Tue, 25 Nov 2014 09:36:02 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=293217

1:36 AM: Police and fire are rushing to the 3700 block of SW 106th (map) in Arbor Heights for a report of a man with a gunshot wound to his arm. It’s not known yet if it was accidental.

1:59 AM: The patient, a man said to be around 30, has been taken to Harborview Medical Center. Our crew is just back from the scene. Police there are still sorting it out but believe it was accidental and aren’t seeking any suspects at this point.

11:45 AM: We don’t have followup information from SPD yet, but we did check with SFD regarding the victim’s last known condition – “stable,” we’re told.

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Staying safe online: Kids 9+ and their families invited Monday night http://westseattleblog.com/2014/11/staying-safe-online-kids-9-and-their-families-invited-monday-night/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/11/staying-safe-online-kids-9-and-their-families-invited-monday-night/#comments Mon, 24 Nov 2014 01:44:12 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=293032 In case you haven’t already seen this in our calendar, or heard about it via your child’s school: Kids 9+ and their families are invited to increase what they know about online safety – from cyberbullying to social networking to gaming, and beyond – at a free event tomorrow night. It’ll be hosted by Denny International Middle School, starting at 7 pm Monday in the auditorium at Chief Sealth International High School next door (2600 SW Thistle). The presenter is Stefanie Thomas, a victim advocate with the Seattle Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, and there’s more info on the official flyer.

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Have you seen Ella? Missing teen might be in West Seattle http://westseattleblog.com/2014/11/have-you-seen-ella-missing-teen-might-be-in-west-seattle/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/11/have-you-seen-ella-missing-teen-might-be-in-west-seattle/#comments Sun, 23 Nov 2014 01:27:38 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=292899

Family and friends are looking for 13-year-old Ella Blalock in this area, two nights after she was last seen, and hope you can help. They say the boy she might be with has friends here, and they might have headed this way. We don’t have details of her disappearance but we know police are on the lookout too, so if you have any information about her whereabouts, call 911.

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West Seattle Crime Watch: Sex-sting arrest in restaurant parking lot http://westseattleblog.com/2014/11/west-seattle-crime-watch-sex-sting-arrest-happened-here/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/11/west-seattle-crime-watch-sex-sting-arrest-happened-here/#comments Thu, 20 Nov 2014 21:43:12 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=292650 ORIGINAL REPORT, 1:43 PM: You might have seen/heard regional-media reports last night about a 60-year-old man described as an Everett firefighter, arrested in a Seattle sex sting. Seattle Police have just released a little more information about the case, including noting that the arrest happened in West Seattle. This afternoon’s SPD Blotter report says the man was arrested …

… Wednesday afternoon after he showed up for a rendezvous with an underage prostitute, who turned out to be an undercover detective.

The Vice/High-Risk Victims Unit (HRVU) detective had exchanged messages with the 60-year-old firefighter during an online sting targeting men looking for sex with underage girls, and the man had agreed to meet up for sex.

The suspect showed up to meet what he believed was an underage prostitute in West Seattle, and detectives took him into custody.

We expect to have more information after the man’s bail hearing this afternoon and will update this report.

3:41 PM: We have just received the court document with the police account of what happened, following the suspect’s bail hearing (he’s now held in lieu of $50,000 bail). Will transcribe here. First, to answer your most likely question, already asked in comments (and we had a call out to police, as-yet unanswered), “where did this happen?”: The initial rendezvous was set to happen in the Taco Time parking lot in The Triangle, and the suspect was expecting to follow his contact (the nonexistent 15-year-old’s “father”) to an apartment from there. Adding …

This is the story told by the detective who wrote the narrative:

He “placed an ad on a popular fetish website’s personals section” one week ago today. “A few days later,” the suspect contacted him, via e-mail (which included his real name and title “Fire Medic”). The undercover detective told the suspect he “had a 15-year-old daughter who has sex with older men in exchange for US currency.” They continued communicating, and finally agreed that “defendant agreed to pay $150 for sex with a minor female child.” The e-mails, the detective wrote, were very specific regarding what types of sex. The defendant agreed to meet the “father” yesterday at a pre-determined location around noon, then to follow him back to a nearby (location not specified) apartment, park in a “secured parking garage,” go up to an apartment, and engage in the specified sex acts for the specified price.

“Surveillance units” were in place at 11:50 am at the pre-determined location, and “observed defendant arrive at the Taco Time and park facing the agreed-upon meet location. (The detective), who was posing as the father of the 15-year-old minor female, was standing outside the store at the agreed-upon meet location. Defendant intimated that he was nearby and asked (the detective) to bring the 15-year-old down to him. Surveillance units ran the plate of the vehicle defendant was driving and it came back to defendant being the registered owner.” (The document says the suspect had told police he would be driving a black Audi TT.)

After the “surveillance units” identified the person in the vehicle as the 60-year-old suspect, the narrative says, uniformed police arrived and arrested him. He agreed to a search of his car, in which police say they found various sex-related accessories, some of which had been bought at an Everett store less than an hour earlier per a receipt found in the car, as well as Viagra and Cialis. They also say he had $160 in cash on his person.

He’s being held for investigation of commercial sexual abuse of a minor and felony communicating with a minor for immoral purposes. The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office will have to decide by tomorrow whether to charge him.

FRIDAY UPDATE, 5 PM: We don’t have official word on whether charges were filed – the court system lags – but we did find via the King County Jail Register that the suspect posted bond and got out of jail last night.

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Update: Police investigating pencil-stabbing attack reported by Roxhill Elementary student http://westseattleblog.com/2014/11/police-investigating-pencil-stabbing-attack-reported-by-roxhill-elementary-student/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/11/police-investigating-pencil-stabbing-attack-reported-by-roxhill-elementary-student/#comments Mon, 10 Nov 2014 01:53:02 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=291584 (SCROLL DOWN – or jump, if viewing from WSB home page – for Monday update)

5:53 PM SUNDAY: Police are investigating a report of bullying turned violent at a local school. The victim’s mother told them it happened at Roxhill Elementary on October 30th; it was not reported to police until she went to the Southwest Precinct desk on November 5th, according to the detailed report that was added to SPD’s publicly viewable online files this weekend. Here’s what the report says:

The mother told police her 10-year-old daughter has been the victim of bullying for some time. On the 30th, around 1 pm, the girl, according to the report narrative:

… was at the computer desk, working, when the suspect who was behind her stabbed her in the buttocks 4-5 times with a pencil. She said that she turned toward the suspect and he stabbed her on the right forearm with the pencil, drawing blood. She said she told (a teaching assistant, who) said that he would take care of the incident. Victim’s mother learned of the incident, and attempted to contact the school principal, who did not return the mother’s phone calls until she left a message that she was going to take up the issue with the school board.

Complainant said that last night, 11-4-14, she received a (phone call) from the principal, who said that she had not been advised of the incident. Although the injury was close to a week old, Officer Hybak photographed the injury, which was still visible.

We will be following up with the school district to find out about the claim that the incident hadn’t been followed up on at school. We checked the Seattle Fire 911 log to see if medical help had been summoned that day, but there are no calls listed for Roxhill’s address.

ADDED 12:46 PM MONDAY: SPS spokesperson Stacy Howard tells us that the district is “looking into” this. She also says the victim’s family has since taken her and a relative out of SPS. And the “teaching assistant,” she says, was not a district employee, but was a member of the CityYear corps assigned to Roxhill.

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Update: Why Denny, Sealth, Roxhill were ‘sheltering in place’ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/11/why-denny-sealth-roxhill-are-currently-sheltering-in-place/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/11/why-denny-sealth-roxhill-are-currently-sheltering-in-place/#comments Fri, 07 Nov 2014 22:13:39 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=291404 2:13 PM: Police are checking out a report of a man seen in the Roxhill Park vicinity “with a handgun,” and that has led to Denny, Chief Sealth, and Roxhill “sheltering in place.” No injuries, no gunfire reported, but it’s a precaution.

2:24 PM UPDATE: Seattle Public Schools has just tweeted that the “shelter in place” has been lifted, and schools are dismissing at normal times.

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West Seattle Crime Watch: Search for armed robbers in Highland Park, with helicopter, after break-in http://westseattleblog.com/2014/11/west-seattle-crime-watch-burglary-search-in-highland-park-with-helicopter/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/11/west-seattle-crime-watch-burglary-search-in-highland-park-with-helicopter/#comments Wed, 05 Nov 2014 02:41:55 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=291074

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:

Two armed men broke into a West Seattle home Tuesday looking for marijuana and made off with a laptop and Xbox controller after pointing guns at the women living there.

A woman told police she was returning home when she saw two unknown men leaving her house in the 9000 block of 8th Avenue Southwest. The suspects walked past the victim, displayed two handguns and gave her a cryptic message for “Tommy” letting him know the debt has been paid.

The victim went inside to call police and found her two housemates inside already calling 911. The women said they were in the basement working on some crafts when they heard a loud bang from upstairs. When they investigated, the two suspects pointed guns at them and demanded to know where the marijuana was. The victims said they were unsure what they meant, and the suspects proceeded to search the home, eventually grabbing the electronics and leaving.

The victims described the suspects as black males in their twenties and wearing white masks over their faces. One of the suspects wore a gray sweatshirt while the other wore a brown rain jacket. One of the suspects was armed with a silver revolver while the other had an unidentified handgun.

Officers searched the area using K-9 and a helicopter, but were unable to find the suspects. Robbery detectives are asking anyone with information to please call (206)625-5011 and speak with officers.

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West Seattle Crime Watch: Stolen cars; truck break-in; holdup http://westseattleblog.com/2014/11/west-seattle-crime-watch-stolen-car-truck-break-in-holdup/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/11/west-seattle-crime-watch-stolen-car-truck-break-in-holdup/#comments Sun, 02 Nov 2014 21:03:29 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=290846 Three Four West Seattle Crime Watch reports:


My gold 1996 Nissan Maxima was stolen Halloween night from right in front of my house (in the 5900 block of) 37th Ave SW. I’m shocked anyone would want to take the effort for this car, but they did.

Sometimes stolen vehicles are found nearby, sometimes miles away (as reported here last night and on Thursday); if you see it somewhere, please call 911.

CAR BREAK-IN: From Gary:

(Saturday) morning between 3:00 am and 7:30 my truck was broken into on 48th Ave SW between Charlestown and Spokane street. They did a significant amount of damage to my door latch. Please keep an eye out …

STORE HELD UP: Two men held up a clerk at the Rite-Aid store south of The Junction around 9 pm last Monday. We hadn’t heard about this until we saw the “robbery” icon on the police-reports map a few days later; then it took a few days for the narrative to become available. The clerk told police one man (described in the report only as white) came to the counter, asked for a carton of cigarettes, grabbed it away and said he had a gun so the clerk had “better not try anything.” He fled with another man (described in the report only as black) who had been standing by the nearby lottery-ticket machine, and they got away in what the report described as “an older-looking gray 2-door SUV,” no plate info.

(added 5:04 pm) CAR STOLEN, FOUND: Rebecca says her son’s car was stolen from outside her house in the 8800 block of 34th SW last night. Just as they were calling police to report the theft this morning, police called them to say it had been found, not far away, on SW Henderson (right). Now she’s hoping for help in solving the theft, if anyone saw it being taken and/or ditched – contact police.

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Police search two Gatewood houses in marijuana investigation http://westseattleblog.com/2014/11/police-search-two-gatewood-houses-in-marijuana-investigation/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/11/police-search-two-gatewood-houses-in-marijuana-investigation/#comments Sun, 02 Nov 2014 04:33:28 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=290801

(WSB photos by Christopher Boffoli)
Seattle Police investigators spent hours at two houses in the 3500 block of SW Rose in Gatewood this afternoon and evening, confirming to WSB’s Christopher Boffoli at the scene that it’s a marijuana investigation.

They also confirmed what we had heard via the scanner earlier, that when they arrived with warrants, one house was occupied and one was not; they made forcible entry into the latter. Neighbors told Christopher they saw one person in handcuffs; police told him “no one will go to jail tonight” but that “both cases will be referred to the prosecutor’s office.”

Scanner traffic indicated that illegal marijuana growing was suspected. We don’t know yet exactly what police found and/or confiscated, but helmeted police, wearing black, arrived at mid-afternoon to serve the search warrant; evidence-gathering followed.

The two houses under investigation are separated by one house that police confirmed is not related or involved. The resident of that house told Christopher he often saw people going between the two houses. Just about all of the neighbors who talked with Christopher said they had smelled marijuana from the houses. We’re not likely to find out more about the raid before Monday.

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Found in West Seattle: Recognize these binders? Or this bicycle? http://westseattleblog.com/2014/10/found-in-west-seattle-recognize-these-binders-or-this-bicycle/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/10/found-in-west-seattle-recognize-these-binders-or-this-bicycle/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 20:14:07 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=289538 Two “found” reports:

WHOSE SPORTS-CARD BINDERS ARE THESE? Southwest Precinct Det. Brian Ballew shares the photo – he is hoping to find either the owner of those binders (and what’s in them) or at least someone who knows whose they might be. He confirms they’re the same ones mentioned at last week’s Admiral Neighborhood Association meeting. If you have any info (or if they’re yours!), please contact Det. Ballew directly at 206-233-7836.

Second, a reader report:

BICYCLE FOUND: As with stolen cars, we spotlight found/stolen bicycles when we get word of them. The photo is from Julie, who says someone left a red, men’s Excitor 21-speed road-type bike in her yard. She’s reported it to police but if you know whose it is, speak up so it can be returned sooner rather than later.

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Update: Seattle Police find missing 10-year-old, safe http://westseattleblog.com/2014/10/missing-child-seattle-police-ask-your-help-finding-10-year-old/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/10/missing-child-seattle-police-ask-your-help-finding-10-year-old/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 19:31:38 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=289426 2:53 PM UPDATE: The 10-year-old boy reported missing after not arriving at his school this morning has been found safe, and police say thanks to everyone who helped be on the lookout for him.


12:31 PM: Just in from Seattle Police via Twitter:

We’re following up to see if there’s any more information to share.

12:53 PM: We’re hearing a TV helicopter is being dispatched just to see if any police activity is visible from the air. So if you hear a chopper here shortly, that’s what it’s about.

1:03 PM: We went to Holy Rosary to see what more we could find out; the principal told our crew Merca actually never came to school today. We’re trying to sort out with police where this actually stands.

1:21 PM: SPD spokesperson Det. Drew Fowler tells WSB they reconfirmed that Merca *is* missing – but not FROM school, as he did not come to school today.

2:05 PM: Police are continuing to look around the area and are following up on tips; please do call if you think you see him. We are told he apparently lives in the Pigeon Point area.

2:38 PM: The name police have circulated is actually the child’s surname, according to HRS parents. Whatever the details, he’s still out there somewhere at last report, so wherever you go this afternoon, keep an eye out.

2:52 PM: Good news! Just heard on the scanner, he has been found – in or near the Admiral District – safe and sound.

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Followup: Woman injured in Junction bus incident expected to survive http://westseattleblog.com/2014/10/followup-woman-hit-by-bus-in-junction-expected-to-survive/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/10/followup-woman-hit-by-bus-in-junction-expected-to-survive/#comments Mon, 13 Oct 2014 16:19:13 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=288591

Continuing our coverage (which started an hour and a half ago in the WSB morning traffic report) of the 7:24 am Junction incident in which a Metro Route 50 bus hit and injured a woman: She is seriously hurt, according to Seattle Fire, but expected to survive, according to Seattle Police. SPD spokesperson Det. Patrick Michaud tells WSB that witnesses report the bus pulled up to the stop on eastbound Alaska just west of California, allowed people on and off, and then as they were pulling away, the woman – who had been “asleep on the sidewalk” – stood up, “stumbled into traffic right in front of the bus,” and was hit.

SPD’s Traffic Collision Investigation Squad is expected to be on the scene until 10 am or so; we’ll be checking so that we can update when the bus stop is open again. As noted in our traffic coverage, until then, the outbound stop on Alaska east of 44th is recommended.

9:38 AM UPDATE: Alaska is now open again in both directions. (The traffic cam at that intersection is among those featured on the WSB Traffic page.)

9:49 AM UPDATE: Metro has just sent out its “routes back to normal” alert.

3:48 PM UPDATE: The driver is 62 years old and has been with Metro for more than 13 years, according to spokesperson Jeff Switzer, responding to an inquiry we sent this morning. He adds, “The operator was relieved of duty pending post-accident testing. Based on preliminary information about this unfortunate incident, we expect the driver will likely be back to work in coming days.”

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West Seattle Crime Watch: Police report from gunfire arrest http://westseattleblog.com/2014/10/west-seattle-crime-watch-police-report-from-gunfire-arrest/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/10/west-seattle-crime-watch-police-report-from-gunfire-arrest/#comments Fri, 10 Oct 2014 22:29:16 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=288385

(WSB photo by Christopher Boffoli, taken after suspect was in custody)
Right about this time yesterday, an intense police search including Seattle Police SWAT and the Guardian One helicopter was under way after gunfire was reported over the west side of Fairmount Ravine (WSB coverage here). Five schools sheltered in place as a precaution. Finally, police reported an arrest. After checking nearby homes and cars, they determined no one had been shot. Today, in hopes of finding out more about what happened and why, we obtained the official report – with addresses/names redacted – from SPD, and have just transcribed the bulk of the narrative:

From the report written by SPD Officer Stuckey:

… A male called 911 to report a shooting outside of his home [on Belvidere].

The male, later identified as (redacted), reported that someone was trying to get him. (He) told the calltaker that he only had one clip left for his handgun. (He) was very agitated and screaming into the telephone. He refused to answer further questions from the calltaker. While en route to the scene, dispatch advised that the calltaker heard more gunshots. A female got on the line with dispatch and confirmed that (the man) was shooting at someone that she could not see. The female, later identified as (redacted), told the calltaker that (the man) was bleeding from the head but she did not believe that he was shot.

I arrived on scene along with Sgt. Britt. I did not hear any further shots, but I could hear yelling from the area in front of the home. More units arrived and we secured the area down the driveway from (2100 block) Belvidere Ave SW and waited for SWAT. SWAT arrived and slowly cleared the scene, looking for suspects along the way.

SWAT checked all three houses and the surrounding hillside, and they were able to locate (the man) and (someone else) near a truck parked in the curve of the driveway. SWAT officers secured (them) and escorted them down to where I was stationed at hte command post.

(The man) was crying and yelling. He had several scratches to his forehead and was bleeding from the wounds. I asked (him) what happened, and he started yelling and crying again. I was able to calm him down enough for him to explain to me that he saw three men dressed all in black with masks over their faces, and they told him they were there to kill him. (He0 alternated between calm and agitated while speaking with me. I smelled the strong odor of alcohol coming from (him). He told me that he had drank a few shots of rum over lunch earlier today. It should also be noted that while searching (him) for weapons, officers found 12.9 grams of marijuana and a pipe for smoking marijuana on (his) person.

(He) was still very agitated, but he was able to sit still for medical personnel from Seattle Fire Engine #29 to treat his wounds. Medical personnel stated that (he) had several scratches to his forehead. They cleaned the scratches for (him) and stopped the bleeding.

(He) was still very agitated and was crying and yelling. He told me that someone had damaged his vehicle three nights prior and he was afraid that whomever damaged his vehicle would come back and hurt him. He started breaking down and was unable to tell me anything further about the shooting.

Once SWAT had cleared the scene of potential threats, I responded to the shooting scene with Officer Mazzioti and (the other person … who) was able to walk us through the scene and advise of what she was able to see during the incident.

(She) told me that she was visiting (the man) at his home. She is a longtime friend … (She) stated that when she was ready to leave, (he) decided to walk her down the very long access road to where her vehicle was parked. (He) had a .45 caliber handgun and two clips on his belt, and he insisted that (she) carry his shotgun. (She) stated that she did not want to carry the shotgun but (he) insisted.

(She) stated that about halfway to her vehicle, she and (he) heard a noise that sounded like footsteps further up the road around the curve. The noise came from an area that (she) could not see. (He) told her to stay put and he moved up to the curve in the road where the noise came from. (She) stated that she did not hear any further footsteps at that time. When (redacted) arrived at the curve, he started yelling and shooting downhill. (Redacted) ducked down behind another vehicle parked alongside the road and hid. She did not see anyone but (the man).

(She) stated that she was not sure how many shots (he) fired, but that it was less than twenty. She risked a look at (redacted) and he wobbled on his feet and fell to the ground as if he had passed out. She called police at that time and reported the shots to the calltaker. (He) appeared to wake up and started yelling downhill again. (She) made it over to where (he) was stationed and checked on him. She stated that he had blood coming from a small abrasion but did not appear to be shot.

(She) stated that while she was on the phone with the call taker (he) returned to (redacted)’s original hiding place behind the vehicle. He continued to cry and yell from behind the vehicle. (She) stated that at one point (he) was on the ground on his hands and knees behind the vehicle. She stated that about that time, SWAT arrived and secured the scene.

I spoke with Sgt. Hancock and several other SWAT officers at the scene and they pointed out several bullet holes in vehicles parked downhill from where (he) had stationed himself while shooting. It should be noted that the vehicles and long road up to (redacted)’s home overlook several neighboring homes, and those homes were in the line of fire. Sgt. Hancock also pointed out a small pick-like tool on the ground where (redacted) was hiding that was consistent with several scratch marks over the original abrasion to (his) forehead. (He) stated that the men he saw had held him down and scratched up his face prior to police arriving on scene, but that was not consistent with (redacted)’s statements.

Sgt. Britt and I then responded to the house and we were able to speak with his father (redacted) showed us where (redacted) kept his weapons. Sgt. Britt confiscated a rifle, shotgun, and a handgun. It should be noted that the (redacted) had a hundred-round-capacity magazine. All of the confiscated weapons were transferred to the custody of Officer Mckenzie, who placed them into evidence. …

The report also says bullet holes were found in three cars, with damage estimated at up to $8,000.

The 30-year-old suspect was taken to Harborview Medical Center for a mental evaluation. Beyond that, we don’t know his status; hospital information is subject to medical-privacy laws. The King County Jail Register does not appear to show anyone held in connection with this kind of investigation. It would be too soon for prosecutors to file charges, but we’ll be checking on that next week.

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Update: Man arrested after ‘numerous’ shots fired in Fairmount Ravine area; no shooting victims found http://westseattleblog.com/2014/10/assault-with-weapons-call-in-fairmount-ravine-area/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/10/assault-with-weapons-call-in-fairmount-ravine-area/#comments Thu, 09 Oct 2014 21:53:26 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=288264 (TOPLINES: Gunfire reported, no one shot, one man taken into custody)

(Added: WSB photo by Christopher Boffoli; we’ve obscured face of man who was being treated)
2:53 PM: Police and fire are rushing to the 2100 block of Arch Place SW (map) – a dead-end road near Fairmount Ravine – on an “assault with weapons” call. Scanner report indicated shots were heard, but no report yet on victim(s). More to come.

3 PM: Via Twitter, SPD has confirmed that they have no report yet on whether there’s a victim – although emergency-radio discussion indicates there may be someone “down.” Police/fire are not certain yet whether it’s safe to go in – please note that, if you are anywhere in the area.

(WSB photo by Patrick Sand: Where fire crews are waiting, a few blocks away for safety)
3:07 PM: Scanner indicates police do not believe it’s safe to get close to the area. In comments, it’s reported that West Seattle High School and Lafayette Elementary are in shelter-in-place mode; let us know if you hear of any others. (added a moment later) Via Twitter, Seattle Public Schools says Madison, Schmitz Park, Alki also sheltering in place.

3:19 PM: Again, there is still no word of whether anyone is hurt. Police are still not sure of the status of the person who was reported to be shooting, so that’s why the abundance of caution. We have a crew in the area near where emergency responders are staged in case they’re needed – adding a photo, but take note, that’s a couple blocks south of the actual scene, since everyone is being kept back for safety. You might hear/see a law-enforcement helicopter there shortly. The suspect they are trying to find is described only as a white man in his 30s, blue shirt.

3:27 PM: The Guardian One helicopter has joined the search.

3:41 PM: Again, this is happening in a greenbelt area around a dead-end street in north Admiral, over Fairmount Ravine. That’s where police are concentrated. There is a report now via scanner they might have heard more shots. Still no confirmation whether anyone anywhere has been hurt.

3:55 PM: One person is in custody. We had heard via scanner that police had found a man – who we believe lives in the area – that they were looking for.

(WSB photos from here down are by Christopher Boffoli)
4:05 PM: Police have declared the scene “secure.” Our crews at the scene got word there might be one patient related to this – how they were injured, we don’t know yet.

4:14 PM: Schools are no longer sheltering in place. Police are still checking homes in the area to look for anyone possibly hurt.

4:28 PM: Police are reopening northbound Fairmount. They also are still checking the area (including some parked cars) to make sure there isn’t anyone hurt anywhere. An SPD media-relations detective is expected at the scene shortly for a briefing, and we will of course add whatever more we learn then.

4:57 PM: That hasn’t happened yet. Guardian One came back for a while but has been cleared again. Meantime, we’re adding some photos from the ravine part of the investigation.

5:17 PM: SPD spokesperson Det. Drew Fowler has just finished his media briefing – we have it on video and will upload when photographer’s back at HQ. (Added: here it is)

The toplines: Police first got a report of multiple shots fired, but couldn’t figure out where callers’ stories and locations differed. Eventually, with Guardian One’s help, they found one male suspect in the ravine. They have not found anyone who was a shooting victim. The suspect had some cuts and was treated by firefighters; now SPD is taking him to a hospital for a mental evaluation. They say he had a shotgun and handgun. They don’t know how many shots he fired but described them as “numerous”; some bullets hit cars.

ADDED 9:54 PM: SPD Blotter has a summary of the incident; no additional information except that the man arrested is described as 30 years old. We’re adding a few more photos and a short video clip from this afternoon’s investigation/search:

WSB’s Christopher Boffoli hiked into Fairmount Ravine, closed to vehicles while the investigation continued, and reached the scene where police and fire had gathered, with the suspect being treated (in the medic unit) for cuts:

Back uphill, WSB’s Patrick Sand noted police on bicycles – an initiative of SW Precinct commander Capt. Steve Wilske (who was in the ravine) – helpful tools given that some of today’s searching involved hillside paths:

We mentioned Guardian One several times; this is what it looks like:

A Fairmount Ravine resident shared some imagery from his surveillance camera, as SWAT officers staged – though police say this was never a standoff, since the suspect’s status and whereabouts weren’t known, these reinforcements were called out:

We will continue to follow this. Since tomorrow is Friday, charges would not be likely before Monday.

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New SPD Chief’s first City Council update on Monday; notes of interest include wireless-mesh system & unsolved murders http://westseattleblog.com/2014/10/new-spd-chiefs-first-city-council-update-on-monday-notes-of-interest-include-wireless-mesh-system-unsolved-murders/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/10/new-spd-chiefs-first-city-council-update-on-monday-notes-of-interest-include-wireless-mesh-system-unsolved-murders/#comments Mon, 06 Oct 2014 05:43:37 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=287939 Tomorrow morning, Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole reports to the City Council on her first three months leading SPD. The agenda includes this written report, with multiple points of special interest here. For one, she briefly mentions a potential change in the future of the surveillance camera/wireless mesh system first reported here in January 2013 – a system that has been put on hold pending SPD development of policies for its use, as mandated by the City Council a year and a half ago. Now, it seems SPD might be seeking to hand it off:

In accordance with City Ordinance 124142 the department has not utilized the Port Wireless Mesh system. We are exploring the prospect of transferring the management and administration of the Wireless Mesh system to the City IT Department.

Our last update on the system’s status was in March, when Mayor Ed Murray told WSB he didn’t expect them to be used for a long time – if ever.

Many other aspects of SPD operations are mentioned in the report, but this one caught our eye – the subject of unsolved murders. West Seattle has at least four in the past few years – Stephen Jeffries, Jr. (January 2014), Greggette Guy (March 2012), Kaari Higgins (January 2011), and Jeremy Peck (December 2010) come to mind, for starters. The report does not mention specific cases but says this:

The Criminal Investigations Bureau Chief and Violent Crimes Captain have conducted a thorough review of all unsolved homicides twice during 2014. While I cannot discuss specifics of those open investigations in this report, I can tell you that the cases that remain unsolved have either problems with the integrity of evidence or a lack of cooperation from witnesses. I hope that we can develop greater trust and communication with our community so that individuals with information about these cases or other unsolved crimes will come forward.

Chief O’Toole’s briefing is scheduled for 10 am during Monday morning’s City Council “briefing” meeting. Immediately afterward, she and other SPD leaders will update the council on bias crimes/incidents in the city; the accompanying report says five were in the Southwest Precinct, out of 60 citywide, in the first half of this year.

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