day : 01/05/2009 12 results

Updates: Police search for suspect(s) after shooting on Alki

(scroll down for newest information and photos)

(top photo by David Hutchinson, middle was via cameraphone by Patrick Sand, third is a screengrab from Seacrest-area webcam showing medic unit there for shooting victim)
ORIGINAL 7:43 PM REPORT: We know for sure that there’s a major police response on Alki, an assault with weapons call on fire/medics, and there’s a lot of talk about the Pepperdock. Roads also are being blocked off. According to the scanner, police are looking for a suspect described as a black male, late teens, close-cropped hair, black T-shirt, with a black handgun, last seen running “southbound through Whale Tail Park,” possibly with at least one other person – didn’t catch that description. No word yet whether anyone has actually been hit/hurt by gunfire. We’ve got someone on the way there, while we’re also monitoring the scanner and e-mail/phone/etc. info here at WSB HQ. Police are reported to be talking to “multiple witnesses” – one has told police, according to the scanner, that three black males ran through the south end of Whale Tail (near the “Big Toy” play structure) after the shooting, two reported to be wearing “red wife-beater tank tops” and one “carrying one,” reportedly then getting into a “black SUV.”

7:53 PM UPDATE: A Twitter report says the shooting victim is actually at Seacrest – which explains why the fire/medic call is to 1600 Harbor, while the police search is up at the beach.

8:05 PM UPDATE: Co-publisher Patrick Sand is now at Alki – he is seeing K-9 officers searching in the Alki Elementary playground area – also, officers are diverting traffic southward, from the 60th/Admiral area. We also have a Twitter report that traffic headed toward Alki on Harbor Avenue is being diverted southbound onto Fairmount at Salty’s.

8:17 PM UPDATE: Added another photo atop this report, this time, showing police cars blocking Alki Ave near 59th. No word yet of any arrests. No word yet on the shooting victim’s condition, either, but the medic unit that was at Seacrest has headed off for Harborview Medical Center.

8:25 PM UPDATE: Via scanner – police are reopening Alki Ave to traffic, because they are “done processing the scene.” (A moment later, that was confirmed by police at the scene, who apparently will share some more information soon about exactly what happened.)

8:33 PM UPDATE: Alki’s David Hutchinson just sent more scene photos:

A Seattle Police media officer is on his way to the scene to brief media (us included), so we should have some new details when he arrives.

9:17 PM UPDATE: Officer Jeff Kappel has just briefed the media and Patrick called in with details: The victim, male in late teens, was outside Pepperdock with friends when someone opened fire from behind, shooting multiple times. No apparent argument or clash before the gunfire. Victim managed to make it across the street to the grassy area by the beach, friends then loaded him into a car and headed north on Alki Ave, police intercepted the car by Seacrest, which is where they then got him into a medic unit and took him to Harborview, where he’s being treated for what’s described as life-threatening injuries. Also: A second car was following the one with the shooting victim and friends; it has at least one bullet hole in it, so was impounded. All the people with the victim have been taken downtown for questioning as witnesses. K-9 search of immediate neighborhood didn’t turn up anything. But investigators will be at Alki “all night.” (We have the police briefing on video and will upload it as soon as Patrick gets back to HQ.)

9:49 PM UPDATE: Listening to the media-line recording that has since been updated, the circumstance has changed slightly — the person who opened fire was outside the Pepperdock but the victim was across the street, on the beach side. Police say that “homicide and gang detectives” will be at the scene investigating for some time to come. Still no information on the victim’s condition aside from the earlier report of “life-threatening injuries.”

10:30 PM UPDATE: The police summary is now on SPDBlotterread it here. And here’s the entire, unedited four and a half minute briefing given at the scene by Detective Jeff Kappel from the media unit:

(video not available due to shutdown)

5:15 AM SATURDAY: No new updates from police regarding the victim’s condition or any arrests. We did get a note from a witness describing what he saw and wanted to share that:

A friend and I were walking East/North on Harbor toward Slices, passing just in front of the mexican & thai restaurants (just west of Pepperdock) when the shots were fired (my friend heard 6 – 8, I heard more… like 10). My friend and I ducked behind the small trees there while some folks eating on the patio started heckling us for being spooked over some “fireworks.” As my friend and I got to the cross street, I saw what looked like two kids running south on the street (I’m 25… so they seriously looked like “kids”). There was a bit of confusion in the area as most people naively assumed fireworks was the cause of the disturbance, but as we crossed the street toward Slices, people were still looking back at the scene. Across the street in the grassy area, an african american male was down with his friends surrounding him. The boys looked thuggish (if anything could be said for the gang energy on Alki). These boys loaded their friend into the back of their black chevy impala (license plate 706 **K), and flipped a U-turn on harbor ave and screeched away. As you know, sunny friday’s are not conducive to speedy exits. They nearly ran over a family crossing the street while they tore off down the street. I saw a few of their friends run off down another street, but they could have just been running toward their car. The police arrived a few minutes later.

i spoke with an employee at Slices and she saw the shooter. She desribed him as a “kid” and thought it was a cap gun because he was firing “wildly” and it didn’t look like he was aiming at any thing as he was “shooting wildly” and “laughing.” What a scary scene.

11:15 AM SATURDAY: The latest official police “update” as of a few minutes ago was, “no new updates.” Just in case you were wondering. (5:37 pm note – we’ve been checking but still no updates)

Video: Dedication of future officers’ memorial site in West Seattle

The presentation of the colors opened the ceremony at noon today at Dignity Memorial/Forest Lawn in High Point, with dozens of police officers and community members gathered for a groundbreaking. We reported a week ago about the plan for this site — Forest Lawn is donating it for the construction of what will be Seattle’s first freestanding memorial to officers who lost their lives in the line of duty. The ceremony was brief; speakers included West Seattle’s highest-ranking law enforcer, Southwest Precinct Captain Joe Kessler:

The line of SPD cars nearby was another sign of the police participation:

Also in attendance, representatives of groups that assist the families of fallen officers. Forest Lawn officials explained that the idea’s been in the works for three years, sparked by ongoing collaboration with SPD chaplains, whose leader John Oas was part of today’s event, and helped with the ceremonial groundbreaking:

Forest Lawn will now embark on fundraising to help cover the cost of designing and building the actual memorial; they’re hoping it will be ready for a big dedication ceremony around this time next year. (Forest Lawn has another big event coming up, by the way – 2 pm May 25th, the annual Memorial Day ceremony; here’s our coverage from last year.)

Admiral Adopt-a-Street tomorrow: Pitch in, get treats!

May 1, 2009 3:40 pm
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 |   Environment | How to help

admiralogo.jpgOne more event tomorrow — Admiral Neighborhood Association president Mark Wainwright reminds us that tomorrow’s the day for neighbors to gather outside Metropolitan Market at 9 am to launch the quarterly Adopt-a-Street cleanup. Supplies provided, free treats, plus a chance to do something to make your neighborhood look better (like the North Delridge Neighborhood Council and Chief Sealth High School PTSA did along Delridge Way LAST Saturday!).

Flu update: 5 King Co. schools now closed (none in West Seattle)

King County health authorities just finished a short briefing on the flu situation. One more case of suspected swine flu is now reported, a 9-year-old patient, and because of that, an additional school has closed in King County, Midway Elementary in Des Moines, but no more Seattle Public Schools closures were announced, beyond the current three (Madrona, Stevens, Aki Kurose), none of which is in or near West Seattle. Perhaps the most important thing Dr. David Fleming said: Right now this flu seems to be behaving like “regular” flu – different levels of severity, but no worse than the seasonal outbreaks. Also participating in the news conference was Mayor Nickels, who noted that the city’s Emergency Operations Center has been activated to help track the flu outbreak. And authorities again stressed, the most important thing you can do is to stay home if you feel sick. We’ll add more info here when the official roundup from today’s briefing is available.

ADDED 4:53 PM: As promised, we’re adding the official roundup. It also includes word of a new flu hotline – 877-903-KING – and the total number of schools in King County closed because of the flu situation is now five (so we have changed our headline):Read More

West Seattle Weekend Lineup: Sustainable WS Festival edition

May 1, 2009 2:44 pm
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 |   Fun stuff to do | WS culture/arts | WS Weekend Lineup

wswllicon3.pngSunday’s the big 2nd annual Sustainable West Seattle Festival in The Junction (which is sponsoring, and co-sponsored by, WSB) – and that tops another long list of things to do, places to go, etc., with West Seattle Montessori School (WSB sponsor) and Arbor Heights Elementary having rummage sales (get in the spirit for NEXT weekend’s West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day!), marching drummers in The Junction … more than 40 events in the full West Seattle Weekend Lineup, brought to you by Skylark Cafe and Club:Read More

Welcoming a new West Seattle Blog sponsor: Coffee at the Heights

(from left, Coffee at the Heights’ Jennifer Watson, Paul Binder, Dave Robertson)
Today, we welcome our newest WSB sponsor, Coffee at the Heights at 7349 35th Ave SW (map). Coffee at the Heights is owned and operated by Paul Binder and Dave Robertson, who also own PB&J Textiles, which used to be in that same space.

Why the change?

Paul says, “We were asked by the building manager to consider opening a coffee shop in the space that previously housed our embroidery business. We had just moved out but did not want to get rid of the space because it was in a great location and we knew we could find something that would work well here. At first we were not interested, but then when we realized that the neighborhood greatly needed a good coffee shop that was supportive of our neighbors we started working on the concept. We wanted a nice warm space, with a great product, and a name that connected with the area. I have almost 18 years of food and beverage service, so we knew what we were going to get ourselves into.”

Coffee at the Heights is offering grand opening specials all month, starting tomorrow, Saturday 5/2, when all 12 ounce coffee beverages are free, Sunday 5/3 all coffee drinks are only $1, and Monday 5/4 is Pull Your Price Day. When you order your drink, you will reach into a jar full of various pricing. Paul says all drinks will be discounted and some will be free.

Thanks to Coffee at the Heights for supporting 24/7 community news, information and discussion by sponsoring WSB; our full list of sponsors is here, along with info on how to join them!

2 West Seattle state legislators end session with perfect records

… as in, no missed votes. According to this list drawn up by Washington Votes, Reps. Eileen Cody and Sharon Nelson were on hand for every single vote this session; our area’s State Sen. Joe McDermott missed two. That still puts him toward the bottom of the list for missed votes (note legislators from other areas with triple-digit miss rates!).

2 West Seattle notes from the big screen and the small screen

BIG SCREEN: That’s a trailer for “Walk Right In,” a film that’ll do some shooting at Seattle Lutheran High School this weekend, according to SLHS’s Bil Hood. The film’s website explains some of the Seattle connections.

SMALL SCREEN: Your editor here got to spend some time at City Hall yesterday afternoon guesting on a Seattle Channel show that takes a closer look at the city budget and some of what’s being cut. It starts airing tonight at 7 pm (Channel 21) and at some point after that, you’ll be able to catch it on too – here’s the official announcement:

The recession has chipped away at the Emerald City. Since November 2008, City leaders have been dealing with a $43 million deficit in 2009’s budget. Recently, Mayor Greg Nickels announced a mid-year budget cut, plus plans to tap the city’s rainy day fund. What programs and services will be impacted in balancing the budget? How might the cuts impact the residents of Seattle? And looking ahead, how will the city deal with the $41 million budget deficit that is projected for 2010?

Studio guests include Seattle Deputy Mayor Tim Ceis, Washington Policy Center’s Paul Guppy,’s Joel Connelly and West Seattle Blog’s editor Tracy Record. Tune in, tonight, Friday, May 1, 7 p.m., Cable 21 on SEATTLE CHANNEL.

Three of those four panelists, by the way, live in West Seattle – besides the deputy mayor and us, so does Paul Guppy (who, along with Connelly, had far livelier things to say than we did, but we did recap some interesting WSB comment threads regarding the city budget, including this lively, even investigative, conversation regarding Fire Station 37).

“School Spirit” voting: Chief Sealth High School now in Round 2

May 1, 2009 11:26 am
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 |   West Seattle online | West Seattle schools

KIRO‘s online regional High School Spirit contest, which pitted West Seattle High School vs. Chief Sealth High School in the first round, is now into round 2, and Sue just e-mailed to suggest we remind you that Sealth is among the contenders, now facing Renton. Vote here.

Wondering where your bus is? Metro unveils “new online tools”

(December 2008 photo)
Where’s my bus? Will it ever show up? Those were two of the most frequent questions commuters had during the December snow woes, which resulted in hundreds of people sharing information via WSB comment threads. The county promised to work on better ways to get bus riders information about what’s really happening out there – and just unveiled “new online tools” today – here’s the announcement:Read More

Also about to open in Morgan Junction: Pilates Westside

You’ve heard all about Feedback Lounge (which opened last Saturday) and Zeeks Pizza (which opens at 4 pm today). But the Morgan Junction business boom isn’t just about eating and drinking. A new fitness business is on the way too, in the 6521 California SW (map) space occupied by Aaron’s Bicycle Repair before it moved a few doors south. We first told you, briefly, about Pilates Westside 4 weeks ago; since then, we’ve had a chance to chat with proprietors Jodie Stolz and Jack Lanham, scheduled to move into their new space starting today, and officially opening Monday:Read More

Happening today: Fallen Officers’ Memorial at Forest Lawn

May 1, 2009 7:49 am
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 |   High Point | West Seattle news | West Seattle police

Reminder – at noon today (here’s our report from a week ago), you’re invited to Forest Lawn in High Point for the dedication of a site intended to become the first freestanding memorial to Seattle Police who lost their lives in the line of duty. (Here’s a map to Forest Lawn.)