West Seattle Crime Watch: Shooting semi-update; attack near park

JUNCTION SHOOTING INVESTIGATION: We just checked with Seattle Police, and Officer Jeff Kappel says there’s no new information in the search for the men who shot 26-year-old Steven Bushaw as he crossed the street in The Junction night before last (Sunday night coverage here, Monday morning followup here, Monday afternoon followup here). As for his family, we have exchanged e-mail with his sister Tanya, who says she will let us know when there is information to share about his memorial service. (As of this afternoon, the temporary memorial set up outside Talarico’s [left photo] was gone; people who knew Steven are continuing to leave comments remembering him in this thread.)

ATTACK NEAR PARK: Police also released information regarding an incident we checked out last night but at the time were unable to verify: The “assault with weapons” call near Riverview Park around 9:40 last night turns out to have been a stabbing. Officer Kappel says a man in his 50s was out for a walk in the 7200 block of 12th SW (map) and was attacked by a man who got away. There’s no information on how the victim is doing. His attacker is described as “a black male, 5-7, 130 pounds, large front teeth, dark coat, light T-shirt, light pants, fled in a white subcompact car.” 9:24 PM UPDATE: From the WSB Blogs page (thanks to “d” for the tip), Highland Park Action Committee chair Dan Mullins‘ blog has more information about the victim, identifying him as David Skinner and saying he’s still in the hospital with injuries including a punctured lung.

26 Replies to "West Seattle Crime Watch: Shooting semi-update; attack near park"

  • onceachef February 3, 2009 (6:45 pm)

    Ugh! what is going on in that area?…an elderly woman is ripped off, a house ransacked and now this…hopefully the police have started to beef up patrols in this area.

  • fed up with crime February 3, 2009 (7:58 pm)

    Welcome to West Seattle 2009 version – a.k.a. – THUG City…unless something is done VERY soon about this.

    it’s been bad, getting worse and as the economy gets even worse the crime will follow.

    in a down stock market one of the best investments is always a company who makes guns or home alarm systems.

  • ln8r February 3, 2009 (8:16 pm)

    I am freaked out by it too! This isn’t the normal level of crime, right? It seems to be every day there is a new one and that new one is often really bad. What is to be done? I don’t know. I don’t think the blame game helps but I am not feeling particularly solution focused. On top of the crime, there seems to be a lots of calls for help. It is very overwhelming and sad :(

  • Kristina February 3, 2009 (8:26 pm)

    I weep for the victims…and for those of us who feel more unsafe in our beautiful community.

  • Roger February 3, 2009 (8:36 pm)

    Can we concentrate on what we can do?

    1. Keep a lookout, keep vigilant (not obsessive) about awareness to people acting odd or suspicious. Write or memorize license plates (can be good memory practice as well). Report things that just seem wrong.
    2. Sometimes, I drive through side-streets on my way to my destinations…perhaps, just once I may deter someone from breaking into a house or car because they see a car coming.
    3. Focus on what’s going around you when you are out. Many of us now talk (Bluetooth), plug-in to our MP3s or text (no!) while driving or walking. We become introverted and miss the warning signs. Criminals, I am sure, count on those distractions to catch us off guard.

    These are just three things we can do…I’m sure there are more. If we start now, we can help our local law enforcement and decrease crime around us.

  • ellenater February 3, 2009 (9:54 pm)

    ya those are good recs. I am also on the lookout for a self defense class. On the other hand, as you pointed out, it’s good not to get too freaked out and paranoid. I don’t want to turn into either a shut-in or a racist jerk.

  • DM February 3, 2009 (10:17 pm)

    I live on 15th Ave SW between Holden and Webster. We were one of the folks that had wheels/tires stolen a couple weeks ago. We felt vulnerable and violated, but those were just stupid expensive wheels/tires. We lost sleep until we could get rid of the marked car….But when innocent people are getting stabbed in our neighborhood vicinity…

    I just sent off for info for restarting our neighborhood watch program. We used to have it. As the previous leader of it said: we don’t all need to “like” our fellow neighbors, but we all benefit from looking out for one another.

    It’s time.

  • BlockWatchMantra February 3, 2009 (11:08 pm)

    DM – Sorry you got hit, but

    AMEN & ALLELUIA that you are restarting the Block Watch for your peeps!!!

    OK West Seattle – follow THIS leader and do the same, even if you haven’t been hit yet. What you do for your neighbors you are doing for yourselves. And, no, we don’t have to be best friends forever with our neighbors in order to effectively to this.

    Call Officer Benjamin Kinlow at the SW Precinct. He’ll get you started. He’s the Crime Prevention Coordinator.

    At it’s zenith, there use to be 600 Block Watch Groups in West Seattle. Now, there are only 250-300, according to Officer Kinlow.

    Imagine if every neighborhood within West Seattle were to purposefully meet your neighbors and jump start their Block Watch participation immediately.

    Conditions are likely to be MORE challenging in the near future, not less. Every street needs to commit and get engaged. There will be reassurance and strength in numbers.

  • brandon February 3, 2009 (11:20 pm)

    And not to understate the value of a blog, but before WSB began, how much detailed information was really captured and shared with the community? If it didn’t hit the majors, or the Herald once a week (if you read it), word of mouth was probably the line of information. Statistics for WS would bear any of this out. We are all just closer in the loop.
    But with more people moving into our little nest, more crime and bad behavior is just bound to increase. Its the overall culture of violence throughout the city that is alarming too, not just WS. However you can’t ignore the fact that recently 3 cold blooded murders have occured on top of a few other in the last 3/4 years nearby. The big city is moving closer to WS.

  • WSB February 3, 2009 (11:27 pm)

    I appreciate Brandon’s nonjudgmental assessment of that. For the record (and though blog is in our name, WSB is NOT “a blog,” it’s a blog-format news site) … we stand in “knowledge is power,” as opposed to the suggestion from Don Henley’s long-ago song “Dirty Laundry” that went, “You don’t really need to find out what’s going on/You don’t really want to know just how far it’s gone.”
    It seems that thousands share our belief that “knowledge is power,” as not only has readership grown month by month, many of those who discovered this site during the snowstorm decided to stay … Without weather woes, January traffic was up 30% over the one-month period immediately before the mid-December ice/snow began.
    But anyway, here’s a question, for those who are concerned.
    Aside from having all the badness go away … what do you want? What do you most want to know, to hear? We are exploring some ideas for making sure that increased reporting doesn’t necessarily equal a sense of hopelessness. But heaven knows, we don’t have all the ideas. Please share thoughts here or e-mail us:
    and we’ll see what we can brainstorm together.

  • Kristina Govern February 4, 2009 (9:14 am)

    The real story, since I was standing there, is that Steve was outside Talarico’s smoking a cigarette when he was shot. He was not crossing the street!!!!

  • ellenater February 4, 2009 (10:52 am)

    I’ll post mine on here because I hope others will see them. Or maybe a forum post will be better. Here’s what’d I’d like to see on WSNIBF. (west seattle news in blog format).

    -Keep posting good news, too. It helps.
    -Help with people setting up block watch events and meetings. The more community we can foster, the more it will help keep people safe and it might even deter people from committing crime.
    -I’d like to learn self defense. Can you teach me, TR? :)
    -For those of us who are sick of the forum trolls, ignore them.
    -Maybe there is some kind of workshop we could attend where we learn what works in these types of situations. I’m including the dogs attacking dogs in this.

    But I think you already do a mighty job, TR and co. I really respect your sensitivity and dignity-qualities I don’t often find in other news sources. Thanks.

  • BlockWatchMantra February 4, 2009 (11:19 am)

    ellenater –

    good comments.

    TR does self-defense lessons?

    Who knew this? ;)

    I went back and checked my notes & emails with Officer Kinlow of SW Precinct. He also told me that he believes West Seattle should potentially be co-operating with SW Precinct/SPD with between 600 to 1000 Block Watch groups. Yes, that’s what the man said.

    Neighbors, this is a PROVEN neighborhood watch program. It will and has reduced crime. And that was in the years without the benefits of WSB and related technology. A PROVEN program…not hypothetical…not experimental.

    Expansion and revitalization of the Block Watch program for Southwest Seattle does not mean that we don’t or won’t need more police officers or highly effective and trained 911 officers.

    It means, if we take our heads out of the sand a wee bit, that we WILL be upholding our responsibilities and each other.

    We are living here in this lovely place with educated and creative and good people, yet only 25% of West Seattle is representing with Block Watch groups?

    WHAT IS WITH THAT? That’s a rhetorical question. Just go forth and find your Block Watch group. Now.

  • ellenater February 4, 2009 (1:52 pm)


    What about blockwatch flyers around neighborhoods. A lot of people don’t read this blog. Maybe with instructions laid out. Something like that? Maybe stats. on how block watch reduces crime. Thoughts?

  • BlockWatchMantra February 4, 2009 (2:43 pm)

    E-nater –

    Again, good constructive thinking. Thanks for daring to seek solutions. Flyers? Absolutely! Why not?

    The Crime Prevention Council (or whatever it is currently called) would be a logical liaison between groups and SPD/SW, but they have established a different agenda for their action plans for 2009. When I approached them in November, they seemed to agree with the effort, but decided not to pursue it. I don’t know why not. Am I missing something obvious? Anyway, it might simply have overwhelmed them to try to organize on that level.

    To pursue this en masse systematically and keep it organized so Officer Kinlow is not overwhelmed (he’s the ONLY BW person in SW), I believe the most prudent approach might be for the individual Neighborhood Associations and Councils to be umbrella liaisons. If neighborhood groups took the initiative themselves and/or were lobbied so that each council would step up and secure a Chairperson to coordinate recruitment of Block Watch Groups/Captains for their neighborhoods. They could find their own recruitment teams and use their own marketing strategies.

    Then, next level up a Block Watch Assembly of all these neighborhood BW Chairs to share those recruitment, organizing, and communication strategies.

    If you want to secure Block Watch data and current stats, call Officer Kinlow. He’ll point you to where you need to go to get it.

    I do know that my own neighborhood council has put the Block Watch revitalization on its list of desired action items for 2009. How long it will take to organize and execute is unknown. I think that in terms of organizational approaches, that might be the only way to get it done.

    But, if individuals just want to act independently and contact Officer Kinlow at SW Precinct, they can and should! There is no requirement for people to organize Block Watches through neighborhood associations. Not at all.

    Anyone can take whatever approach they want, within the law of course, to get a BW group organized. The idea of putting up fliers is great. Hard as it is to believe that many folks don’t read the blog ;), you are absolutely spot on. There are people out there who don’t have computers, ESPECIALLY the elderly. Anybody remember phone trees? That will have to be used for LOTS of folks….

    Thanks peeps!

  • W Sea Jim February 4, 2009 (4:19 pm)

    Good luck for those expecting more police presence in West Seattle. They are “too busy” patrolling Delridge Way is the excuse I always heard. So, I am still unclear if this was a “random” shooting or not. Did he know the perpetrators? Also, I have heard at least 6 stores have been burglarized on California over the past few weeks. Again, Delridge is the priority. Sigh!!

  • ellenater February 4, 2009 (6:14 pm)


    I want to think about this. The best way to go about it. I don’t know much about it but am an anal retentive hyper persistent Virgo with good organizing skills. Is there anyway to get in touch with you? I have the same name on the forum. I may have questions. No, I WILL have questions. I think it could work. And thanks. :)

  • onceachef February 4, 2009 (6:18 pm)

    WSB rocks! Okay, not a blog but a “blog-style news site”…but you rock anyway…knowledge is powerful and we can prevent/stop some of this criminal activity through communicating with each other and solidifying our neighborhood efforts to put an end to the spree. Desperate times or not no one has the right to steal from, harm or kill someone…the police can’t do it alone..we need to get involved.

  • DM February 4, 2009 (8:07 pm)

    To Ellenater,

    There’s a tendency to “over think it” when it comes to starting a block watch. I did. I wondered whose house we could do it in, if any one would show up, or if I would be the only one who attended. I’m STILL wondering that, but I plunged ahead and wrote to Officer Kinlow last night anyway. He wrote back today with his information.

    I’m just going to dive in and see what happens. My experience with our previous block watch was positive. If you let your neighbors know about it, many of them will actually show up. It’s so easy for neighbors to feel isolated, especially during the Winter, but when you give them the opportunity to meet up, people feel more related and relaxed about communicating when something odd happens in the neighborhood.

    It’s a small step, and it doesn’t solve all crime, but it’s something. What could it possibly hurt?

  • ellenater February 4, 2009 (9:49 pm)

    We have a block watch (good one) on my street already. I am thinking of how to get other neighborhoods to start them.

  • howie February 5, 2009 (8:27 am)

    I know my previous remark in this thread was eliminated by the timid monitors, but I’ll try again (well… at least one or two people will read them, if not the whole W. Sea. Blog).

    When will we stop being all hung up on “tragedy”, “mourning” and mindless self-incriminating chatter, like little mice? People in traditional cultures rose up in communal spirit of self-protection and righteous anger. When will we do THAT? and not all the twittering?

  • Mustafa February 5, 2009 (1:13 pm)

    A block watch is great, but when will we stop just watching the block and actually do something about it. I can watch the crime on my block all day long, but unless I report it, my “block watch” serves no purpose. I think it should be “Block Watch AND Report What You See.” “BlockWatch” is not enough!

  • Mustafa February 5, 2009 (1:34 pm)

    So Steve was smoking a cigarette. If the law hadn’t changed forcing smokers to smoke outside a bar, maybe Steve wouldn’t have been shot. Sure, smoking kills, but apparently so does the anti-smoking ordinance. Damned if you do or don’t. It’s horrible.

  • Tom February 5, 2009 (4:11 pm)

    We need to get our heads out of the sand People, report those suspiciuos noises, persons and vehicles in your neighborhood. Don’t be afraid of sticking up for yourself and by all means, don’t take any crap from anyone. Stop these idiots from taking over our neighborhoods, there are more of us than them. I’m getting sick and tired of listening about a few groups than think they are being profiled, well if you didn’t commit most of the crime you wouldn’t get profiled. We just have to be strong and not afraid to get involved and report these offenders. And I would never bring a knife to a gun fight.

  • jackson5 February 6, 2009 (12:16 am)

    Why would those two guys want to shoot Steve for no reason? Enquiring minds want to know?

  • seatown February 21, 2009 (5:50 pm)

    Crime in west seattle has always been bad,It just took a shooting on the right side of the tracks for you to see it,You dont give a sh@! until it happens in your neighborhood.Now we want to wake up,now we want to start block watch,It really sucks that it took this shooting for you to see what really goes on around here,Typical west seattle tight asses!!

Sorry, comment time is over.