Fauntleroy SWAT situation over: Man surrenders

(previous as-it-happened coverage here)
8:13 PM BULLETIN: Just ended. More to come.

(WSB photo by Christopher Boffoli)
8:19 PM UPDATE: The standoff in Fauntleroy’s Endolyne business district lasted approximately 5 1/2 hours. According to our crews on the scene, it ended a few minutes ago as the suspect backed out of the house and surrendered, as police had been shouting through a bullhorn, asking him to do, for the past few hours. Just a short time earlier, police had said on the radio that they had re-established contact with him but he was “not cooperating.” WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand, who has been on the scene since even before the SWAT team arrived, says the man is well-dressed — wearing a tie and suspenders — and was taken to a medic unit that had been called to the scene a few hours ago to be on standby. We will have photos/video soon, but Patrick and WSB photojournalist Christopher Boffoli are still gathering more information now that the situation is over. Added: Seattle Police spokesperson Officer Renee Witt says the man was indeed, as we reported earlier, alone in the building. He says he was walking around with a shotgun – the sighting that touched off the standoff hours earlier – because he thought there were transients in the building. No evidence of transients, police say.

8:51 PM: That’s video of the man as police walked him around the corner toward the medic unit. (We don’t always show faces at arrest scenes, but we are following the rules implemented in all the conventional-media newsrooms in which we worked in recent years: Faces only if you are charged with the crime, confess to the crime, or there is no doubt you are the person who did what you are being arrested for – in other words, you are caught in the act – and that would apply here, with there being no doubt this is the man who held police at bay for 5-plus hours.)

9:06 PM: The last SWAT unit is leaving the scene, and traffic is moving through the area again. As we mentioned in our as-it-happened coverage, Endolyne Joe’s (which was behind the police line) decided to close for the night and send its staff home to be on the safe side, but should be open again for breakfast (and beyond) in the morning. Meantime, we are reviewing video shot at the scene earlier, to add a few more clips here from the 5-hour-plus standoff, and also will be watching the county jail register to see if the man arrested tonight shows up there.

9:54 PM: One thing that came up repeatedly during the standoff was the issue of the loud bangs heard several times, audible from some distance away – those were from devices police can choose to set off during situations in which they need to distract or confuse the person/s they are dealing with. WSB photojournalist Christopher Boffoli got two images related to the use of these – since police sent out a warning of sorts on the radio before setting them off, here’s an officer covering his ears, followed by some smoke in the air afterward:

You can also see some smoke clearing in this video clip, which also includes the sound of the bullhorn orders police were shouting at the suspect:

Here’s a clip of two of the vehicles the SWAT team brought to Fauntleroy this afternoon:

SUNDAY NIGHT NOTE: As of 10:55 pm Sunday, no one by the name we believe to be that of the arrested man has been booked into King County Jail. We will be checking with Seattle Police first thing in the morning to see if they have information on whether he is still in the hospital or whether he was released.

37 Replies to "Fauntleroy SWAT situation over: Man surrenders"

  • Irukandji April 25, 2009 (8:32 pm)

    Wow. Glad no one was injured.

  • Martin April 25, 2009 (8:34 pm)

    I heard what sounded like gunshots around 5 p.m. from the vicinity of the standoff. Any information about that?

  • Martin April 25, 2009 (8:35 pm)

    PS — glad it ended peacefully. What an unusual situation for otherwise sleepy Endolyne.

  • rykrite April 25, 2009 (8:40 pm)

    So glad everyone is safe. Phew!

  • good job April 25, 2009 (8:50 pm)


  • WSB April 25, 2009 (8:53 pm)

    Martin, what you heard were concussion devices that police often use in cases like this to make noise (and sometimes they emit smoke too) and basically force someone out … they tried it several times and it didn’t seem to convince him … finally the negotiators talked him out … TR

  • Regan April 25, 2009 (8:55 pm)

    Thanks for all the up-to-date tweets. You guys are the best and I rely on you for WS news. Thanks!

  • great job April 25, 2009 (8:58 pm)

    GREAT job SPD and SWAT.

  • nuni April 25, 2009 (9:05 pm)

    Did that guy time travel from the early 1900’s or something?

  • cruiser April 25, 2009 (9:06 pm)

    Phew, that had me going there. I thought for one scary moment I was going to have to get my Donuts in Safeway tomorrow:)

  • miws April 25, 2009 (9:07 pm)

    Great job SPD!


    And great job of coverage, by the WSB team!



  • d April 25, 2009 (9:12 pm)

    So glad that this came to a reasonably good conclusion.

    Here’s to hoping that all the folks involved can move forward and get the help they need.

  • Mort April 25, 2009 (9:23 pm)

    Like I said in an earlier post, I think law enforcement all too often dramatically overreacts to situations like this. They had enough firepower there to take over a small country. This was a crazy guy with a shotgun trapped in an apartment – it only took 3 professional navy seals to take out a boatload of Somali pirates armed with AK47’s. SPD could have contained this situation with far fewer resources and without all the explosions and bullhorns, for no doubt far less ‘man hours.’ And get a phone. It must have scared the hell out the women in the beauty parlor when you had to use theirs.

    Like I also said – I’ve served as a consultant in the ‘criminal justice’ business on a number of occasions and my take on it is that they were getting in some practice and racking up some very big overtime hours – everybody’s a little short these days – and acting like some of the self important bullies I personally observed.

    That said, Seattle probably has it pretty good and I’m glad they didn’t shoot the guy. I was having lunch at a major local law facility 7 or 8 years ago and the subject of shooting people came up. The client, a longtime cop, said that they only shoot to kill – the center of chest or the head – once that decision is made. Sort of like Nero, up or down. I hope they’ve changed that policy.

  • Under_Achiever April 25, 2009 (9:36 pm)

    Three Navy Seals. 2 Missle Launching Frigates, 1 Distroyer and countless other military support vessels and aircraft known and unknown.

  • WTF April 25, 2009 (10:08 pm)

    This is getting old. Very, old.

  • whatever April 25, 2009 (10:25 pm)

    Mort I can’t believe you are belly-aching about
    ‘man hours’ in a situation like this. The response by SPD is to be commended. The man had a SHOTGUN. Did you happen to read the story about the police slaughter in Oakland? All four killed with a shotgun. Its not like they send SWAT to a routine traffic stop. As well you clearly have negative energy and a axe to grind with the police. From MY professional experience, people like you often have something to hide from the police or you wouldn’t be so threatened by them. And per your earlier comment about the state of the people who do police work – I think if I had to deal with jerks like you I would too would be driven to drink. Get a life.

  • hopey April 25, 2009 (10:30 pm)

    I am really rather shocked that King5’s 10pm news did not mention this event, not even a 15 second mention. Amazing. They covered a fire in Vancouver, BC but not the deployment of the SWAT team for 5-1/2 hours. Amazing.
    I guess because it had a happy ending that makes it not newsworthy?

  • Henry April 25, 2009 (11:15 pm)

    What an over reaction to what to some crazy guy, a waste of tax payers dollars to say the least.

  • uber April 25, 2009 (11:17 pm)

    Suspenders? WTF?

  • WSB April 25, 2009 (11:17 pm)

    Patrick isn’t sure he saw KING at all. Weekend staffs at TV stations tend to be very slim, and there were a couple other stories breaking this afternoon – missing toddler found in Tacoma, for one.
    That aside, having seen this life from both sides, there are a couple factors here that would have made this “meh” to the average tv news producer – for one, no hostages; for two, happy ending. In the TV news world, you stake out something like this just in case something bad happens; but a 5 1/2-hour stakeout on a weekend means you miss a lot of other stories, because you may only have two photographers to cover the whole region. (We had to prioritize, ourselves – we were on our way out to the Snooty Walk at Hiawatha when the first call about this came in, so that didn’t get covered, but in TV, you have the same 30 minutes or 1 hour to fill, so missing something is more acutely felt in that situation than in an expandable/contractable situation like an online news site.)
    To end with the sales pitch, this type of situation/coverage is exactly why neighborhood real-time news, the kind of thing we do here, has ascended. Even if a citywide or regional news outlet parachutes in to cover something, they won’t cover it from the “how is it affecting the neighborhood” standpoint.
    That said, since Patrick saw KIRO’s crew there at the end, I am watching their 11 pm show right now and they did have a short story about it – 8 minutes in, following a standoff in Tacoma. Our guys really did have the better angle when the whole thing ended … TR

  • 56bricks April 26, 2009 (3:13 am)

    Oh goshgolly, I just love a good pissin’ match. This is better’n cable.

  • homesweethome April 26, 2009 (7:25 am)

    I can only assume that those that complain about the amount of SPD presence have never actually lived through a critical situation where a person is roaming with a firearm. Wake up folks, yes this ended well due to the diligence of SPD (thank you) – but it may not have and it is far better to be prepared than not.

  • Krystal April 26, 2009 (9:22 am)

    I love when people dress up to commit crimes, or what not.

  • Jim Puckett April 26, 2009 (9:28 am)

    Can anybody tell me what the man did that alarmed the police? It is rather bizarre that it is difficult to determine what the alleged crime was, other than he possessed a shotgun and was wearing some suspenders. The news seems to wish to black this story out so it is impossible to comprehend what it was all about. Please let me know, if you know more….

  • WSB April 26, 2009 (9:45 am)

    Hi, first, we ARE the news. But I am guessing you mean “conventional media.” As I explained above (spent 30 years in conventional media so I know how their coverage rationale goes), this was no big deal to citywide conventional media once it became clear that (a) he had no hostages and (b) it came to a peaceful ending.
    Meantime, sorry that our coverage has left you unable to comprehend what it is all about. Police say neighbors saw the man outside with a shotgun. They called 911. That’s how it started.
    He claims he was going around his building with a shotgun because he believed there were transients there. Once you hole yourself up someplace, allegedly armed, and refuse police’s demands to come out and surrender, it takes on something of a life of its own. The SWAT team was NOT there from the start – this was going on for a while before they were called in… TR (about to check whether the man was ever booked into jail)

  • myohmy April 26, 2009 (10:06 am)

    Welcome to the life of a police officer. Armchair quarterbacks everywhere who have never walked a minute in their shoes. They actually TRAIN for these situations. If this person went off with the shotgun in this neighborhood then everyone would be freaking out and saying they didn’t do enough. Although it is not fun watching this situation with police in heavy gear all over the place, you can’t win in these situations people. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Focus on the positive, no one was hurt – not even the man taken into custody. He had a chance to come out but he chose to wait 5 1/2 hours. Is that the fault of SPD? Life is about choices.

  • MIKEY April 26, 2009 (10:22 am)

    Hey news media,
    Next time they deploy The SWAT Team in a neighborhood loaded with children,How about some local coverage.You did a pathetic job informing the public.


  • Mort April 26, 2009 (10:49 am)

    Went to the Kiro to see if they had any coverage during this spectacle and the first headline I saw was “Police Office Arrested for Child Rape.” I rest my case.

  • WSB April 26, 2009 (11:04 am)

    KIRO was here – they did a :40 story at 11 pm. We didn’t see anybody else stay through the end. But again, see my explanation above of why citywide media doesn’t – and frankly, never will, now that they are contracting further – pay attention to neighborhood news unless it’s a spectacular catastrophe or catchy human interest. (KOMO a couple nights ago did 2 minutes — which is a LONG story for TV news — on a guy on Alki who is upset about an otter eating through his fence.) I was part of that world for a long time, made a nice living at it before leaving voluntarily, so I have been guilty of it, but now the reality is that neighborhood news sites like ours are on the rise because you are not going to get the information elsewhere, and we are relentlessly dedicated to providing it 24/7. Anything more we find out about this, you can count on us to follow up here. So far, the jail register doesn’t show the name I believe is that of the person arrested after surrendering last night – but I will be checking with police; he was reported to have been taken to Harborview for evaluation, for starters – TR

  • William M. Button April 26, 2009 (11:42 am)

    First time I have looked at the “West Seattle Blog”. Heard brief news last night on TV. Could find nothing. Wife would not let me walk up and investigate. (grin) Great coverage – thanks!


  • WSB April 26, 2009 (11:54 am)

    Thank you, and welcome. We cover what’s happening NOW – what’s going to happen – and we do indepth articles too, enterprise coverage; if you get some spare time, use our “categories” list in the sidebar at lower right to browse around – every category will take you to an archive of news covered in that category, newest to oldest. Also, any time you have a question about something happening or a “news tip” – we work 24/7 and always answer the phone, 206-293-6302 … TR

  • JH April 26, 2009 (1:11 pm)

    Oh please Mort…I won’t even waste my time responding to you too much, except that of course law enforcement shoots to kill! Geez, what do you think…they shoot to hurt? Shoot someone’s toe and break it? Yes, chest and head kills…I think you should go on a ride-along with a cop. It might do you wonders…and maybe you’d get a clue what it’s like to be in law enforcement. Happy Sunday!

  • amused April 26, 2009 (4:22 pm)

    Mort is a cop wanna-be and has no foundation or experience in proper police procedure. If Mort had to confront what the cops confront in this liberal city on a daily basis he would go into the fetal position and suck his thumb. Shut up Mort, you don’t know what your are talking about.

    Good job SPD, thank you all!

  • JimmyG April 26, 2009 (5:04 pm)

    Ha Ha, Mort’s a real comedian.

    He admits to being a criminal justice “consultant”. In every industry and line of work are the consultants who everyone knows is code for a person who couldn’t hack the hard work of the actual job but is going to come tell everyone who is doing the job how they’re doing it wrong.

    Besides, the criminal justice world isn’t law enforcement, so working in the criminal justice sector doesn’t mean you know one iota about police work.

    And Mort, for as long as law enforcement has existed the policy has been shoot to kill. I dare say you’ve watched a few too many Westerns with the marshal shooting the gun out of the bad guys hand, and you’ve never gone target shooting with a handgun of the caliber police carry. If you pull the trigger on the job as a cop you’re aiming center mass in order to kill.

  • Mort April 26, 2009 (6:37 pm)

    No Jimmy, a consultant is someone who has the courage to go out and work 80 weeks and make it on their own. I suspect you aren’t one of those (freelance aisle stocker doesn’t pay that well anyway).

    What I’m really curious about is why did they go into a hair salon to use the phone when one of the best donut shops in the city is just a few steps away. I guess Bernie is usually out by that time of day.

    2 WSB photos struck me as particularly preposterous – the one with five cops in full Rambo gear pointing machine guns at this crazy tiny little guy with his hands up, and the one with two little boys sitting in the street watching the whole thing come down. Like I said, they we’re getting in some practice and racking up the hours. Plain and simple.

  • hopey April 27, 2009 (12:05 pm)

    Mort, I believe the “little boys” you are referring to are actually teenagers — 17 or 18 years old. Since the photo is from the back I cannot make a 100% positive identification, but I am fairly sure the photo is of my neighbor’s son and one of his friends. (I will note that the parents of this young man are both King County judges.) I recall seeing him and his friend return up the hill at some point during the standoff. They may have been down there with another neighbor who is a SPD sergeant.
    For someone who decries the sensationalism of this situation, you sure do a good job of it yourself.

  • T.Carney April 29, 2009 (1:10 pm)

    There were two children age 3, and a 5 year old playing in the front yard of this 4-plex when he came out with the shotgun and asked me to watch the door of the alleged transient hold out. Just 10 feet from this guys front door. Would You want to go and knock after you saw him looking distraught and confused with a loaded 12 gauge pump shotgun, two hand guns and a pile of bullets???? Neither did I. My Sons Safety was my #1 priority.. We were in the middle of a birthday Barbeque on that property when this all went down. Could SPD have done this with less man power? No Doubt, From a monday morning quarter backs perspective. Put your children in the front yard and see how you would have handled it. They tried negoitiating with him over the phone and he kept hanging up on them. With the information they had, They did a stand up job.

Sorry, comment time is over.