West Seattle, Washington
(Asst. Chief Jim Pugel and Sgt. Sean Whitcomb, at the scene of last Thursday’s murder-suicide)
Story and photos by Christopher Boffoli
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
When Seattle Police officers responded to the location of this past week’s deadly shootings, they arrived to what Assistant Chief Jim Pugel (above, left) would subsequently describe as “an uncertain and chaotic scene.” There had been multiple 911 calls with word of shots fired, potential gunshot victims who needed medical attention, and a shooter possibly on the loose, close to busy intersections filled with people.
Though the circumstances of the event were far more severe and quite different than what most officers experience on a routine patrol, what was similar was the method by which they all applied their training and experience, with ambiguous information, in a rapidly developing scenario with the lives of citizens and emergency personnel at stake.
(Officers Chris Meyers and Dallas Murry demonstrate the X-26 TASER)
Just a day before the quadruple murder-suicide in West Seattle, the Seattle Police Department invited media, including WSB, to a training facility in Tukwila for a primer in how officers are trained to deal with equivocal, potentially dangerous situations. Though the outreach was clearly designed to engage the media in the wake of the downtown shooting of Native American woodcarver John T. Williams, as well as a handful of recent, racially charged interactions, the behind-the-scenes look at current training methods is relevant to Thursday’s West Seattle shootings as well as the recent Thomas Qualls shooting in the Alki area.
As the saying goes, “try before you buy.” In that spirit, Seattle Parks is in another round of “Try It for $2” (as advertised on WSB) – and that goes for certain programs and classes at the Parks facilities around West Seattle. Matt Richardson from Southwest Pool has some suggestions on what you can get for your two bucks:
The Seattle Parks Department is repeating its popular “Try It for $2” promotion through October 9th. All Community Center and Pool sites are offering selected classes at a reduced promotional rate. The first class of a course for a trial $2.00 fee. If you enjoy your first visit, you are invited to sign up for the remainder of the session.
At Southwest Pool, we would like to invite everyone to try our Fitness Classes at the $2.00 promo rate for their first visit. This includes Water Aerobics (both deep and shallow water) and Masters Workouts. It is a great way to get out of the house, have some fun, and do something good for your body.
Our regular attendees can get an even better deal. If you have taken Water Aerobics classes or Masters Workouts and would like to get back into it, your visit will be free if you bring in a brand-new participant to try a class.
The eligible classes are listed below.
Once again today, the Sustainable West Seattle crew at the WS Farmers’ Market was getting the word out about Eat Local Now! – the dinner/auction/education/entertainment gala this Thursday night at Herban Feast‘s Sodo Park (buy tickets online now!) – but that’s not the only local-food event on the horizon: Tonight, Stu Hennessey of SWS (he’s in the center of our photo, with Christina Hahs and Chas Redmond) sent this announcement:
Community Orchard of West Seattle work party for 350.org
Join Community Harvest of Southwest Seattle and Sustainable West Seattle as we build a community orchard that will provide locally grown fruit, nuts and berries to the Seattle area. This event takes place on the campus of South Seattle Community College, 6000 16th Avenue SW, at the south end of the school property.
We will meet at 1 pm and work to 5 pm. on 10/10/10. Community gardens and orchards are being built throughout our nation to bring seasonal fruits, vegetables, nuts and berries to local residents with low to NO carbon demand. Since the Community Orchard of West Seattle will be built with organic farming techniques and will be distributed locally, the fossil fuel element will be left out of the equation. To find out more about the Community Orchard of West Seattle go to: www.gleanit.org
And back to event #1 – find out more about Eat Local Now! (with co-sponsors including WSB) at eatlocalnow.org.
Just heard on the scanner, and confirmed via Twitter from @macjustice (who also shared the above photo) – a Seattle Police car was involved in a crash in the Admiral District, at California/College. No word on circumstances yet – no serious injuries reported so far. Mac reports, “I was walking the other way and heard a minor crash, then the (police car) rolled across CA from the (Blockbuster store) and hit the truck pictured … looks like the PO clipped or was clipped by SUV (not pictured) as it pulled out of the parking lot.”
(This was our Sunday coverage of the incident, from first report through evening updates – The Water Taxi *will* run a normal schedule, with an Argosy boat, Monday, says the county)
(Top photo courtesy Roy, who was on the Water Taxi when it hit, added 12:27 pm; below photo, WSB cameraphone, added 11:56 am)
ORIGINAL 11:29 AM REPORT: From the scanner, and we are en route – the medic call to Alaskan Way involves the Water Taxi from West Seattle
colliding with crashing into its downtown dock. Minor injuries are reported. We’re on the way to find out more. No word yet how this will affect service.
11:35 AM UPDATE: From Amy, in comments:
My husband is on the water taxi that crashed with our two young sons. Apparently the boat crashed into the dock on the Seattle side. He has heard reports of someone with a bloody nose and can see a broken window, but otherwise it didn’t sound too bad. He said they are telling everyone to stay seated while they decide how to get everyone off the boat.
According to the scanner, seven people are believed to be hurt, and one may have been briefly knocked unconscious, but is conscious now. Also from the scanner (we are almost to the scene), rescuers are using the fireboat Leschi to help get people off the boat. Nearby Fire Station 5 (on the waterfront between Colman Dock and Ivar’s) is being used as a base of operations to stage medics.
11:57 AM UPDATE: We are downtown finding out more about what’s happened. Four ambulances are at Fire Station 5 awaiting the patients, who will be brought over from the dock. We’re adding photos.
12:03 PM UPDATE: Note that traffic on Alaskan Way is being affected – as is obviously the Water Taxi schedule – we are working to reach King County DOT to find out about their plans. At least 5 are confirmed hurt – 4 being put on stretchers at the scene, 1 who is “walking” – the 4 will be taken to the hospital by ambulance. Police and Coast Guard, meantime, are assisting on the water:
We have just spoken at the scene with a passenger named Mike from West Seattle who says they got warning at the last moment – the captain said, everybody hold on, we’re going to hit – but they were not traveling at excessive speed, in Mike’s opinion.
12:29 PM UPDATE: Five patients are going to the hospital – from the scanner description, one is more seriously hurt than the other four. We have just added a photo atop this story from Roy, who was on board when it happened (husband of Amy, who has reported twice now in comments). Christopher Boffoli has joined Patrick Sand at the scene for WSB coverage; Christopher stopped by the West Seattle dock on the way here and says people there hadn’t yet gotten news about what had happened and were wondering where the boat was.
12:38 PM UPDATE: The Rachel Marie is the boat that hit the dock – recently there was a substitution for maintenance, but we have confirmed this. The other boat that serves Water Taxi runs, usually to Vashon, Melissa Ann, will be summoned into service later today, says Linda Thielke of King County Department of Transportation, but West Seattle Water Taxi service is suspended until then (no estimated time yet).
1:06 PM UPDATE: From “E” in comments:
We were on the boat too! I luckily had just strapped our 11 week old baby in the bjorn. My husband was helping with our 3-year-old son in the stroller. They took a pretty good hit. Sad for my son because he’s still a little traumatized!!! We are at Seahawk game now and he’s doing a little better. Hopefully one day he’ll remember how fun it was to get rescued by the police boat!!
Meantime, Amy’s husband Roy, who shared the top photo, checked in:
He reports, “We were cruising into the dock. I had noticed the boat went past where it normally stops, then I heard them say something like ‘Jones to the Control Room’ and then ‘everyone please brace for impact, we have an emergency’ and boom, we crashed into the dock. It felt like being hit while in a moving car.” He held onto the kids and they were ok, although a seat came loose from the base of the floor. He observed one end of the pier now sticking through the window of the water taxi, where thankfully no one was sitting. He said, “I’ll put it this way: I’m glad we weren’t going any faster.”
Just got an update at the scene from Seattle Police Det. Jeff Kappel of the Media Unit, who will be briefing us and others shortly – he says seven people went to the hospital, all with “non-life-threatening” injuries. (Update – USCG did the briefing instead – photo below:)
1:39 PM UPDATE: Briefing from Coast Guard: Mechanical failure is suspected. They say no one went into the water. (added later – video of the briefing in its entirety)
Meantime, King County DOT says water-taxi service has resumed – the Melissa Ann went toward West Seattle at 1:30 and should be back on the regular schedule.
2:09 PM UPDATE: Adding more photos – the ones we’ve had till now (except for Roy’s, atop the story) were from the WSB BlackBerry. Here’s a closer look at where the Rachel Marie hit the seawall – right where the ironwork at the historic Washington Street Landing is:
Here are Coast Guard boats getting the injured people to shore:
2:49 PM UPDATE: The damaged Rachel Marie has been pulled away from the seawall, Christopher reports. He says it’s now tied up to its dock at Pier 50, while Seattle Police photograph damage to the seawall. Christopher says the impact appears to have taken out at least one piling. We’ll be checking with King County DOT regarding both the Rachel Marie’s condition and how, if at all, tomorrow’s Water Taxi schedule will be affected, since the Melissa Ann serves Vashon Mondays-Fridays. Meantime, Jason Grotelueschen just sent this photo of the Melissa Ann just arriving at Seacrest, with passengers disembarking:
3:34 PM UPDATE: We just added our video of the full briefing by USCG Lt. Jon Lane, following the entry two hours ago in which we summarized it. He said 73 people were on the Rachel Marie when this happened, including the crew, and it was reported to have been going about 6 knots at the time.
ADDED 4:17 PM: Two photos from Christopher, showing damage to the Rachel Marie, including the broken window, from outside:
7:43 PM UPDATE: Water Taxi service will be normal tomorrow, according to the latest from King County:
Water taxi service between West Seattle and downtown Seattle will operate on a normal schedule Monday, Sept. 27 between Seacrest Dock and Pier 55, according to the King County Department of Transportation.
Service was briefly suspended Sunday when the vessel Rachel Marie struck a waterfront landing adjacent to its regular docking location along Alaskan Way in downtown Seattle. Preliminary reports point to a mechanical malfunction. The U.S. Coast Guard is currently investigating the incident.
While regular service will resume Monday morning with the 6:50 a.m. sailing using an Argosy Cruises vessel, passengers should visit the King County Marine Division’s website at
http://www.kingcounty.gov/transportation/kcdot/WaterTaxi/WestSeattleRoute.aspx for updates and potential schedule adjustments.
Tonight we also have Christopher’s video of the Rachel Marie being pulled back from the collision scene:
ADDED 9:04 PM: West Seattleite Andrew Harms also was on board the Rachel Marie when it crashed into the seawall/historic pier and is sharing photos tonight – including one from the police boat that took him and more than 30 others to shore:
This is the piling mentioned earlier as having been taken out:
And from inside the Rachel Marie, seats tossed about:
We aren’t likely to get more details on the damage – to the seawall/pier as well as the Rachel Marie – till tomorrow.
West Seattle is home to many notable bakeries – from Bakery Nouveau to Heavenly Pastry and Cake to Shoofly Pie Company to Coffee to a Tea with Sugar to The Original Bakery, and more! We happened onto the story of a one-person bakery too … Manderin Cookie Company.
(Amanda Nokes, photographed during WSB interview at Uptown Espresso in The Junction)
Story and photo by Keri DeTore
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
“Cookies have become sophisticated — they’re not just for kids any more.” If you needed permission to eat more cookies, Amanda Nokes of Manderin Cookie Company may just have granted it — provided of course that you are indulging in her freshly-baked and delivered traditional cookies with a twist.
A self-professed “food junkie,” Amanda creates recipes in her head that combine the perfect balance of sweet and salty flavors and textures. She adds caramel to the peanut butter cookie and dried cherries to the oatmeal raisin cookie. Her next cookie creation tentatively called “Bean’s Kitchen Sink Cookie” will combine goldfish crackers with vanilla Oreo cookies, butterscotch chips and malted milk balls. She says, “I love desserts and want to find new ways to deliver them to my thighs.”
All her cookies are given family names — “Bean” is her daughter’s nickname and son Max has his own mega-chocolate cookie: “The Max.”
Amanda’s cookie venture began a year and a half ago as something to do while looking for work.
From the WSB West Seattle Events calendar: In addition to the Fauntleroy Church/YMCA dedication (previewed last night) at 2 pm, today’s list also includes free Sunday Yoga at Sound Yoga (WSB sponsor) 11 am-12:15 pm; Bowling for Bullies, a benefit to raise funds for, and awareness of, what organizers call “the amazing Pit Bull ‘breed'” and rescued dogs who need a second chance, partial proceeds to Bullseye Dog Rescue with rescue dogs on hand for adoption, 1:30 pm at West Seattle Bowl … and as always, the West Seattle Farmers’ Market, 10 am-2 pm, The Junction (44th/Alaska), with apples and wild mushrooms among the new items on today’s Ripe and Ready list.
Thanks to Julie for the tip (which we just verified with a late-night drive) that 16th SW is now fully open again, after two months of a northbound detour for the latest round of road-rebuilding work. The original projected completion date was September 27th, and SDOT had reconfirmed for us this past week that they expected to be done “by the end of the month” – but it’s all open again now, a bit ahead of schedule. (We’ll check with SDOT Monday to see if there are still any final touches ahead.)