Updates: West Seattle robbery leads to downtown gunfire

(updated info, photos, video being added frequently to the bottom of this post – as well as comments with new info and links – thanks to everyone for helping co-create the updates, and keep refreshing)


(photo added 11:43 am, TV crew shooting door at original robbery scene @ Wells Fargo)
ORIGINAL POST: Just in from Seattle Police: A bank robbery in the 2300 block of California; the suspect was in a brown wig, sunglasses, black mask, black dress, police are looking for a “black Jeep Cherokee driven by a black male.” Call 911 with any tips. (Address check suggests that’s Wells Fargo; we’re headed that way to find out more.) 10:48 AM UPDATE: Confirmed on scene, it’s Wells Fargo, with a note on the door saying they’re temporarily closed for “an emergency.” (photo below added at 12:09 pm) We’re told by a nearby businessperson that one suspect may have been caught on The Bridge – checking that with police – might explain why only one patrol car is at bank.


11 AM UPDATE: Police confirm two suspects have been caught, outside West Seattle – one on Yesler, one on Spring.

11:05 AM UPDATE: Playing out in the comments right now – there’s been a gunbattle of some sort downtown. As a result, traffic is backing up on The Viaduct since it’s in the Seneca vicinity – avoid heading that way if you can. We’re now listening to the scanner and you’re going to want to avoid Spring/Seneca entirely, judging by what we’re hearing. Will continue updating as we hear more.

11:13 AM UPDATE: Scanner is talking about at least one person having been shot. Channel 7 tv has some aerial coverage right now. Our field crew is back out at the Wells Fargo branch where this all started, and Channel 4 has a crew there too. More to come.

11:21 AM UPDATE: Can’t stress enough, stay away from this part of downtown – sounds like absolute chaos/gridlock down there with so many police units involved, streets blocked off, etc. Channel 7 speculates that the shooting victim in an aid car is one of the suspects.

11:30 AM UPDATE: Citywide media is now swarming the original bank-robbery scene at Admiral/California – KING’s chopper sighted as well as somebody in a channel 13 jacket. Still awaiting a briefing there.

11:37 AM UPDATE: Some of the restrictions downtown are being loosened – we”re hearing pedestrians will soon be allowed through part of the area closed down (2nd/3rd/Seneca/Spring seems to be the epicenter of all the downtown activity).

11:49 AM UPDATE: Police have decided to do a combined briefing downtown with info about this robbery and the downtown shootings. We will monitor that and post updates here. Should also have more visuals from robbery scene (including interview with nearby witness) shortly. That witness told us that the robbers parked their vehicle on the California side at the bus stop – the side shown in this photo we just received from WSB contributing photojournalist Christopher Boffoli:


12:08 PM UPDATE: TV reports that the area downtown is likely to be cordoned off a few more hours – so for those who work downtown or were planning to go there, beware.

12:26 PM UPDATE: This link just added in comments from “Fort Cloudy” – video where you can reportedly hear the shots (we haven’t had a chance yet to view it ourselves).

12:31 PM UPDATE: Thanks to Patrick for sending this cameraphone photo from downtown – looking down at one of the areas where you can see multiple police vehicles:


12:40 PM UPDATE: Thanks to Charles Moore for this pic from downtown:


12:52 PM UPDATE: Listening to SPD media officer Mark Jamieson recounting what happened – robbery at Wells Fargo was 10:10 am – officers “located the vehicle as it was leaving West Seattle” and “followed” it to Capitol Hill where in Broadway/Yesler vicinity, one suspect got out (and was arrested), then vehicle went back downtown where officers tried to get the second suspect to leave the vehicle, he didn’t, they opened fire. Jamieson does not know the condition of that suspect, who is being treated at Harborview for gunshot wound(s) – when we heard the scanner traffic earlier, it sounded like at least one bullet had hit him in the neck. No other major injuries reported, possibly one person hurt by flying glass during the downtown shooting. We also just heard scanner traffic about the “dye pack” from the robbery but didn’t hear where.

1:02 PM UPDATE: Police say that they will keep the block around the shooting scene downtown – approx. 1st/Spring – closed for at least a few hours. The Wells Fargo branch back here in West Seattle at California/Admiral is expected to be closed for the rest of the day. Next door at Museum Quality Framing, Robert (who didn’t want to give his last name) saw the robber – though he didn’t realize that’s what was happening, as he says people park in the bus stop area all the time – here’s part of his interview with several media crews (including WSB):

Robert didn’t think the suspect was wearing a dress; looked to him more like “baggy pants.” Meantime, the P-I notes this branch has been robbed a few times before; here’s an archive story from 2006.

1:31 PM UPDATE: We are going to start posting some other news atop the page (jumping after the first line so this story doesn’t move too far down) but we will continue to update this post when new information is available, particularly any updates on downtown traffic – since the commute is just a few hours away. We are also monitoring the citywide media sources that are also covering this story so that if someone else reports a significant development we will add a note about it (with attribution, of course!) here.

1:37 PM UPDATE: No sooner do we say that, when Sharonn Meeks sends some photos from downtown, where she says there’s still a “lot of activity” centering on 1st and Spring – including onlookers (second shot):



2:22 PM UPDATE: One TV crew left at robbery scene when last we went by (channel 4; they do news at 4 pm). Channel 7 has posted its raw downtown aerial video online, about 8 minutes worth, which started even before police opened fire on the vehicle; see it here.

2:39 PM UPDATE: The police media unit has posted an update with a full summary of this morning’s events. Noteworthy details include the fact they’re definitely calling the Wells Fargo stickup “a takeover-style robbery” in which the robber was armed and ordered everyone down on the floor, also the fact the suspect who was still in the car by the time it got down had shown a handgun repeatedly before officers opened fire. The one who was arrested earlier had gotten out of the vehicle at 1st and Yesler after the vehicle had traveled onto I-5 from the West Seattle Bridge (NOT onto The Viaduct? eyewitness reports seem to dispute that) and is being “processed” before expected booking into the King County Jail, according to the update from media unit Officer Renee Witt, who also says the officers iinvolved in the shooting were three Seattle Police officers “from various precincts” and one King County sheriff’s deputy, all described as “veteran” officers. No word so far on the condition of the robbery suspect who was shot in the neck. (We will watch the online jail register to see if we can get some info on the non-injured suspect.)

3:19 PM UPDATE: Times says the suspect who was shot is in critical condition.

3:59 PM UPDATE: Sharonn Meeks advises Spring Street is still closed between 1st and 2nd. The city is not expecting to issue official road-closure updates since it’s still a police scene, but we are monitoring traffic reports so we can tell you what we’re hearing – those of you who are downtown, your updates will be helpful too.

4:12 PM UPDATE: The Times says the FBI has identified the two suspects – 50-year-old Douglas Michael Cox and 43-year-old Kevin V. Palmer. We’re checking publicly available databases to see if either has West Seattle ties; Palmer has voter registration – from 2000; his reported convictions must have been later – linked to a South Seattle address. Not finding Cox yet. (He is the one who was shot.)

4:59 PM UPDATE: According to the King County Jail register, Kevin V. Palmer’s full name is Kevin Vernett Palmer. Meantime, the shooting scene downtown is still closed to traffic.

5:12 PM UPDATE: In addition to being booked for investigation of robbery and eluding, Palmer is also being held for a “failure to appear” warrant in another case. The records of that case aren’t available via the online source we use, so we don’t have details. Meantime it looks like Cox’s background traces mostly to Eastern Washington, so we’re still not finding West Seattle links to either suspect prior to today’s heist.

7:03 PM UPDATE: Not having much luck finding out if the scene downtown has reopened yet, so unless word comes in within the next 15 minutes or so, we’re probably just going to head down and check for ourselves. Channel 5, meantime, reported in the 6:30 news that one of the suspects had barely been out of prison a month after another bank-robbery conviction. Their online report also says the FBI is now saying the robber was NOT wearing a dress (if you scroll back up to our video clip with Robert at the frame shop next door, he said it was baggy pants, not a dress).

8:14 PM UPDATE: We’re downtown and the scene’s clear, Spring St. is open again. Two TV trucks and one police unit in sight, but no other obvious evidence of what happened earlier today.

74 Replies to "Updates: West Seattle robbery leads to downtown gunfire"

  • be free July 1, 2008 (10:38 am)

    That must be the 4 cars with lights and sirens that just went up Harbor. Good luck guys!

  • WSB July 1, 2008 (10:45 am)

    I was headed south on California toward Morgan Junction after going to check out some other stories when two cars with their rollers going passed me going the other way – couldn’t figure out where they were headed but the word from police came in the second I got back home, so the other half of the team is en route that way. Bank robberies fall under federal jurisdiction so the FBI is likely on scene or en route too.

  • RobertSeattle July 1, 2008 (10:53 am)

    3 News Helicopters and and police cruisers – approx 1st and Seneca downtown right now – not sure if related.

  • vmd July 1, 2008 (10:54 am)

    The chase is downtown now. There are helicopters down by the waterfront. Lots of policr cars racing down 5th ave.

  • Sue July 1, 2008 (11:00 am)

    I’m at 3rd & Seneca and traffic is blocked off, tons of sirens – someone told me that a WS bank robbery suspect was chased here (heard it here while I was offline and couldn’t check here). There’s a daycare in the building that has the kids at a playground around 1st & Seneca and I heard the kids are frightened from the gunshots and sirens – one mom from my company was running down to help calm them down.

  • DavidSeattle July 1, 2008 (11:00 am)

    I am on the second floor of a building facing second between Spring and Seneca. There are a large number of police looking down Spring towards 1st and the waterfront, and there have been at least three sets of gunshots (though the last was a single round). The building across the street has been emptied.

    One more gunshot, 11:00 AM.

  • SuitsarenotBoring July 1, 2008 (11:03 am)

    Guess they caught him a couple of blocks from my office

  • WSB July 1, 2008 (11:05 am)

    We just heard that on the radio too – KIRO radio quotes KIRO tv as saying the downtown gunbattle IS related to the bank robbery over here.

  • SuitsarenotBoring July 1, 2008 (11:12 am)

    A couple of us just went down to check things out. Spring is blocked from Western to 2nd, but the nice police officer told us both were caught – which we had already read on the WSB :)

  • Gina July 1, 2008 (11:22 am)

    I am at the Central Library, 4th and Spring. We were all puzzled at the endless police cars and special undercover cars racing by.

    West Seattle Blog had the scoop!

  • WSB July 1, 2008 (11:23 am)

    If anybody has any cell phone pix to send,

    We have pix from the bank robbery scene but our person there is staying till he can find out more from police.

  • WSB July 1, 2008 (11:28 am)

    And thank you all for the updates. TV news has abandoned it for now (even KOMO which is in the middle of an hourlong newscast) inexplicably … but we’re continuing to monitor the scanner AND expecting an update from our person back at WF Bank at California/Admiral where it all started.

  • Sharonn July 1, 2008 (11:39 am)

    I’m at 2nd and Spring and they have just now unlocked the lobby to get in or out of my building. Unbelievable chaos on the streets below.

  • Quiz July 1, 2008 (11:40 am)

    I work in an office building on 2nd Ave. that looked right out over the scene. Everyone on the office was glued to the windows (which was probably the least safe thing to be doing at the time). It was pretty heavy when the shooting erupted.

  • Diane July 1, 2008 (11:41 am)

    ch 4 showed live aerial from start of 11am news, 1 arrest on Cap Hill, the other downtown Spring between 1st & 2nd, after chase that all started at Admiral Wells Fargo robbery; they are still covering with live aerial; last suspect taken to Harborview; now they’re saying there were “rapid successions of gunfire” at time of arrest, and talking to downtown folks about what they saw/heard

  • Diane July 1, 2008 (11:45 am)

    ch 2, FBI agent, Robbie Burroughs, says 1st suspect jumped out at 1st & Yesler, was caught in foot chase; she also said no shots fired at WS bank

  • WSB July 1, 2008 (11:46 am)

    thanks, they cut away for a long time though and went back to routine coverage. king went back to wimbledon, kiro went back to soap operas. as a former tv news manager, I know what it’s like to make those coverage decisions but this is too big, with downtown tied up, to have decided to go back to routine coverage for even a minute. end of media critique, back to our coverage. komo now rerunning the piece that put the chopper over delridge at 5:30 am yesterday morning (producer biking to work), btw. even though downtown is still a mess from today’s breaking news.

  • Bikefor1 July 1, 2008 (11:49 am)

    Why do they have to vex us by going downtown? Why couldn’t they have gone down Marginal instead??

  • Patrick July 1, 2008 (11:50 am)

    I watched from my office as they took the guy form the SUV and strapped him to a stretcher and took him away the Story on the PI’s website is pretty funny actually.

  • RobertSeattle July 1, 2008 (11:51 am)

    King 5 is reporitng the robber was wear a black dress…


  • JanS July 1, 2008 (11:52 am)

    wow…I live a block from Wells Fargo, and I heard nothing except one pass of a helicopter. I’m surprised that they were hit. After numerous robberies there they installed that bulletproof plexiglass to deter these kinds of things. Of course, if these guys (wearing a dress?) were willing to shoot it out with the cops, guess the people at the desks were in danger. :(

  • woof July 1, 2008 (11:53 am)

    Seattle is getting worse and worse with serious crime now in our backyard! How the heck did they get all the way over the bridge…..agaion where were the police. Armed robbers on a busy street and they make it to downtown risking lives all along the way. We need to get the police up to speed on this crime wave.

  • RobertSeattle July 1, 2008 (11:53 am)

    Not a bright idea to rob a bank and starting heading TOWARDS the closest FBI office.

  • WSB July 1, 2008 (11:54 am)

    The black dress is mentioned in our very first line above – that was in the description we got from SPD dispatch even before there was word of arrests, let alone the downtown gunfire/etc.

  • WSB July 1, 2008 (11:56 am)

    P.S. If you plan to watch noon TV, KIRO had its chopper over the vehicle (apparently gold, not black) downtown during the gunfire. They usually do the best job of breaking news. KING has Wimbledon so they may not even go back to news covg but KIRO’s soap opera should be over in a few mins.

  • Patrick July 1, 2008 (11:59 am)

    Actually Woof the crime rate in Seattle and most major cities is down. The police do the best jobs they can and cannot be expected to be parked outside every bank. Give em a break.

  • JH July 1, 2008 (12:00 pm)

    Wells Fargo bank employees are wonderful at that branch. What an unfortunate morning they had. I’m glad no cops were shot-just a man in a black dress! I bet his shoes didn’t match.

    And to think I was at that bank yesterday at this same time.

  • Patrick July 1, 2008 (12:02 pm)

    I just went and looked again and there are two vehicles roped off, one a tanish gold and the other black, not sure which or if both were involved.

  • JH July 1, 2008 (12:04 pm)

    By the way Woof, what do you mean where were the cops? They apparently chased the robbers from WS to downtown. Caught one at another location downtown, and shot the other guy. Uh, hello.

  • Patrick July 1, 2008 (12:06 pm)

    I just went and checked again and there are two SUV’s one a tanish gold and the other black. I don’t know if both were involved or not, but both are roped off.

  • Brad July 1, 2008 (12:09 pm)

    In reply to the comment about the police not doing their job… I was heading down Admiral on my bike at 10:25 when 3 police cruisers were hauling up Admiral. The police can’t be everywhere at once. You think the bank robbers don’t have scanners to decide when a good time to target a particular area would be?
    There isn’t a crime wave. Statistically – Seattle is one of the safest cities of it’s size in the U.S. Get a grip – one crime doesn’t equal an epidemic.

  • JH July 1, 2008 (12:09 pm)

    Oops, the man in the black dress was caught in a foot pursuit-the other guy was shot, according to King 5.

  • Fort Cloudy July 1, 2008 (12:21 pm)

    I have a video where you can hear the gun shots if you’d like to watch it..


  • Diane July 1, 2008 (12:30 pm)

    yes, ch 7 had great coverage, for few minutes; aerial & street scene at time of shootings/arrest, few interviews of witnesses, store owner next door to bank, said he thought nothing of gold suv pulling up & parking in bus zone in front of bank, that people do it all the time, and didn’t think much unusual about way robber was dressed (it is hard to distinguish “crazy” or unusual dress in Seattle, as most of us try to be very tolerant of differences, so I probably would have thought the same thing) and he said it happened very quickly, in & out of bank & gone, but saw burst of orange powder, maybe dye pack?

  • Patrick July 1, 2008 (12:38 pm)

    The arial picture whas thaken from the 29th floor of Eleven, Eleven Third Ave building, it shows the gold SUV and an unknow black vehicle next to the white truck.

  • S5 July 1, 2008 (1:13 pm)

    Has anyone heard whether that gold SUV was stolen?

  • WSB July 1, 2008 (1:20 pm)

    Good question. We’ll see if we can get the answer.

  • marty July 1, 2008 (1:22 pm)

    Let’s see, African American, black dress…. Could it be Dennis Rodman?

  • ellenater July 1, 2008 (1:33 pm)

    Hubby works right there. He lucked out and missed the gunshot area by deciding NOT to go to Starbucks.

    He said the same as above: streets were total chaos, his building was in lockdown, they could hear the gunshots from the 39th floor. He said the guy in the dress pulled a gun and the other guy just took off.

    Who tries to rob a bank these days?!

  • JH July 1, 2008 (1:52 pm)

    Who would wear a black dress when it’s so hot out? Didn’t he know that black just makes you hotter? And I don’t mean that kind of hot.

  • ellenater July 1, 2008 (2:01 pm)

    the same kind of guy that would rob a bank, I guess ;)

    Also, I have found that while women often look very attractive in black, it does little to flatter a man in a dress. He should consider a floral pattern next time around.

  • CB July 1, 2008 (2:40 pm)

    I ended up behind this guy on 99. I could not figure out why he was not slowing down as there were easily 10 police cars behind us. (no shoulder to pull off) He suddenly pulled out and took off with the police right behind him.

    It was like a scene out of Smoky and the Bandit.

  • WSB July 1, 2008 (2:45 pm)

    Was it really 99, as in The Viaduct? Police recording I listened to (and posted notes above) said they went from the WS Bridge to I-5. But given the location, The Viaduct makes more sense.

  • JH July 1, 2008 (2:56 pm)

    I probably wouldn’t give my last name either if I didn’t notice the man was wearing a dress.

    Good one ellenater!

  • Patrick July 1, 2008 (3:18 pm)

    I heard that first they went to First Hill/Capitol Hill (they have a better selection of dresses in Men’s sizes, speaking from experience) then went downtown. I would love to see the route on a map, how do you end up going up Spring from the Hills?

  • cjboffoli July 1, 2008 (3:18 pm)

    CB: It was like Smokey and the Bandit except that the police caught up to him and shot him in the head. Would have made for an awfully short movie. The robbers clearly didn’t have Jerry Reed in an 18 wheeler telling them where the smokies were in relation to their 10-20.
    WSB: There is no way they took the West Seattle Bridge to I-5 N. That interchange is at a perpetual crawl. If they had made that mistake the chase would have ended there.

  • Trevor July 1, 2008 (3:19 pm)

    I was on third and seneca, coffee in hand, watched about 20 cop cars pull off the viaduct and chase the cherokee up seneca the wrong way. went right past me.the passenger looked pretty freaked out.

  • Michael Stusser July 1, 2008 (3:22 pm)

    We hope everyone at the Admiral branch of Wells Fargo is doing all right. They’re an amazing, helpful group, and we’re proud to be customers there.
    See you soon.

  • Diane July 1, 2008 (3:36 pm)

    the FBI agent also said WS Bridge to I-5

    hopefully they’ll all get the real story by the 5pm news

    but I’ll be downtown for a meeting by then, so will have to wait for 11pm news

    and of course can always rely on the most accurate scoop at our own beloved wsblog; we’re so lucky!!!

    the other significant news today, that I think was worthy of breaking away few times from robbery, especially when they were still trying to figure out what really happened, was that Darcy Burner’s house burned down, and it was their 5 yr old who alerted everyone; so glad they’re all ok

  • brj July 1, 2008 (4:07 pm)

    I can’t believe Wells Fargo uses dye packs. More dangerous for the tellers. When I worked for a bank about 10 years ago the bank wouldn’t allow them for reasons of our safety.

  • CB July 1, 2008 (4:18 pm)

    Yes it was 99… the suspects got off on Seneca along with a parade of police cars.

  • R July 1, 2008 (4:21 pm)

    Well wishes and support to the bank staff. They are always so helpful and nice and I hate to think that someone could have been hurt today.

    We will see you soon & take good care!

  • S5 July 1, 2008 (4:34 pm)

    I would say it was a lucky day for everyone (bank employees, innocent motorists and bystanders and the police) except the alleged robbers. This could have easily been a whole different story…
    Kudos to the SPD.

  • MJSeattle July 1, 2008 (4:38 pm)

    If only the police responded so quickly to other life-threatening crimes.


  • JH July 1, 2008 (4:56 pm)

    MJ-SPD officers do their best. I checked out your negative website and you say you don’t want to bash police. Sounds like you are on this blog. A takeover bank robbery is pretty serious, and life-threatening. Most bank robbers don’t take it that far. A guy with a gun racing away is life-threatening to others. The cops won in the end, thankfully. They respond as well as they can to 911 calls, given the shortage of cops. Until you’re in a law enforcement position, don’t judge so easily. Really, come on, they caught a guy wearing a black dress! That’s a felony in itself.

  • MJSeattle July 1, 2008 (5:19 pm)

    No argument there — especially about the black dress.

    I think police officers have a hard job, and I want to see more of them downtown.


  • JH July 1, 2008 (5:22 pm)

    Well, hopefully with the recent salary increase, they can retain and hire more police officers!

  • WSB July 1, 2008 (5:51 pm)

    While watching yesterday afternoon’s council meeting live, I heard someone from the city (can’t remember now if it was a councilmember or staffer) say that recruiting was going well since that was announced. Hope it’s true.

  • ML July 1, 2008 (6:59 pm)

    my boyfriend was walking our dog this morning, was near Met Market and saw this goldish/silverish Jeep go by with red powder coming out the windows all over the place. He was like “WTF?”. DYE PACKS!!
    I was just at this WF ATM @ 8:30am today! Scary!

  • Jo July 1, 2008 (8:08 pm)

    What an awesome play-by-play reportng job, WSB.
    It was almost like being there.
    Thanks once again for your professionalism.
    Jo Ofsthus

  • JH July 1, 2008 (8:14 pm)

    So now all my dress jokes are out the window…except the witness next door to the bank (first name Robert guy) was on the news saying he didn’t see anything unusual about the bank robber when he went into the bank, and then he mentioned that the robber was wearing a mask. And I believe he then giggled on the news. But of course, that’s normal wear for a bank customer! Hmm, I think I’ll stick to NW Art & Frame for all my framing needs! Oh Robert, next time you see a guy wearing a mask that walks into the bank, do us all a favor and call 9-1-1!!!! That’s 9, 1, 1…please don’t try to find “11” on the phone.

  • Crimereporter July 2, 2008 (8:05 am)

    Another case of the not so fine SPD making a big mess out of a smaller situation. Big city crime is here and the police need some big city training.

  • SomeGuy July 2, 2008 (11:09 am)

    Crimereporter, I think the SPD did a fine job with one exception – more time at the firing range. The “neck shot” was six inches too low for this particular dirtbag.

  • Jen V. July 2, 2008 (11:19 am)

    The robber who was shot had just been released from Federal Prison in AZ less than a month ago…for robbing a bank. Either he’s really stupid, or he really missed prison…or a combination of the two. Obviously desperate. I think the police took it way out of hand, firing over seven shots in a crowded downtown area- taking the chase downtown in the first place and putting people and other drivers at risk. For what? A little bit of ruined $$ that is insured for loss anyway? He didn’t hurt anyone at the bank, regardless of whether he was brandishing a weapon. While I am glad he was caught- I just think this could have had a bad outcome for the SPD….

  • SomeGuy July 2, 2008 (12:09 pm)

    You’re right, Jen V, he didn’t hurt anyone and it was just a little bit of cash, and that was insured anyhow, so sure, let’s get him a band-aid and maybe he could shake hands with the bank workers and say “I was just joking around with that pistol, heh he…” and we’ll just forget it ever happened.

  • Jen V. July 2, 2008 (12:16 pm)

    SomeGuy- that is not what I meant at all. The SPD has a long-standing policy not to become engaged in high speed chases specifically so people don’t get hurt. This just seemed like it should fall under that since it was on crowded streets with pedestrians and traffic. The SPD is lucky no bystanders were hurt or killed. I am not in any way condoning bank robbery – and for you to take it that way is ridiculous. I said I was glad this idiot was caught. I just think it was ridiculous for the police to chase them all over hell and back – risking auto accidents – and then open fire in the middle of downtown – risking innocent bystanders – including a daycare nearby full of toddlers- getting shot. But I guess you would think that was ok, as long as the bad guy gets caught?

  • MJSeattle July 2, 2008 (12:34 pm)

    Jen, what would you suggest? Let an armed robber with a violent history escape? The *threat* of force is the *use* of force.

    Shoot him fewer times, leaving him armed and even more dangerous? Ask him nicely not to lead the chase downtown?

    I agree our officers need the best possible training.

    We’re talking about spending $3M to level the hills of the park near Pike Place Market to make it “safer.” Wouldn’t stationing a couple cops there be cheaper and more effective?

  • MJSeattle July 2, 2008 (12:39 pm)

    Would you prefer to live in a city with a reputation for letting bad guys get away? Do you think that would make you safer?

    I *live* downtown and regularly have to deal with the consequences of this city’s tendency to coddle criminals.

  • SomeGuy July 2, 2008 (12:47 pm)

    SPD has a reputation for being on the overly cautious side in vehicle pursuits, so one can only assume that this pursuit met their criteria for safely continuing to track the vehicle.
    Media reports indicate that SPD opened fire only when the suspect brandished his pistol and after repeated (10+) admonishments to disarm and exit the vehicle or he would be shot. SPD had that area cordoned off very well and it was a contained environment, meaning any bullets fired would remain in a small area, with minimal risk to the rubber-neckers on 1st and 2nd.
    SPD would not have begun firing unless they absolutely felt that was required to stop this guy from injuring or killing an officer. They showed good restraint in firing only seven shots, and as we know the situation was defused and the criminal taken into custody.
    The bad guys defined the situation, and the SPD reacted and did what needed to be done. Huge kudos to the men and women of the SPD who daily risk their personal well-being to keep our communities safe.

  • Jen V. July 2, 2008 (12:57 pm)

    geez. simmer down. I am NOT knocking the SPD. I was just wondering if that were the safest course of action. Apparently, according to MJ and SomeGuy, it was. Good for the SPD and I reiterate I am glad no one else other than the bad guy was hurt. I guess I just misunderstood their policy of not getting involved/limiting involvement in high speed chases, and I am glad that there are so many people here willing to educate lil’ ol’ me.

  • Kristi July 2, 2008 (2:51 pm)

    The man who robbed the bank and was shot was a close friend of mine. It is surreal to read through blogs when it hits so close to home. I appreciate the diversity of opinions.

  • JH July 2, 2008 (4:01 pm)

    Jen, count me in with the rest. The guy showed a gun. The cops repeatedly ordered him to put the gun down or they’d shoot. He didn’t. They shot him. End of story. They did the right thing. You should spend a day at a police academy. Get a feel for law enforcement and their policies. If they hadn’t shot him (and darn that they missed the important part of his body!), he probably would have shot all the onlookers. What would you say to that? Then a bunch of daycare kids get shot because the cops didn’t shoot a violent bank robber who was waving a gun around?

    Plus he reportedly was wearing a black dress. That’s justification right there.

    SomeGuy, you rock! Gotta love this blog and a little fun.

  • MJSeattle July 2, 2008 (4:54 pm)

    Now it turns out he was armed with a pellet gun.

    Doesn’t change much in my mind, except maybe explaining why he forced the police to shoot him rather than him shooting himself.

  • JH July 2, 2008 (5:24 pm)

    He probably would have missed himself.

Sorry, comment time is over.