West Seattle Crime Watch: Gunfire on Alki; suspect arrested

(Photos by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)
12:17 AM: Police have stopped what they believe to be a suspect in a case of gunfire reported on Alki a short time ago. No injuries reported at this point, but it is still an active investigation with at least two locations – where the gunfire happened, and where the suspect was stopped.

12:30 AM UPDATE: WSB contributor Christopher Boffoli is at the scene where police stopped the suspect in his car, which matched the description we’d heard via scanner, a Subaru with spoiler. They also reported recovering a .45-caliber handgun. Back in the 2800 block of Alki SW, they are looking for evidence of gunfire.

1:08 AM UPDATE: Police have published a short summary of this on SPD Blotter. One additional detail from their report: This involved two people in “an altercation” outside, not IN a bar. We heard scanner traffic regarding the reported target of the gunfire saying it happened in the alley behind Cactus; one officer reported finding a “live round” in the area.

In the SPD Blotter item, Gang Unit detectives are mentioned, and Christopher indeed said he saw them at the arrest scene, which was near Salty’s.

ADDED SUNDAY AFTERNOON: A few followup details from Southwest Precinct Lt. Alan Williams: The suspect is 26 years old and had been escorted out of an area bar before all this happened, following a “disturbance.” Lt. Williams also clarifies that while Gang Unit detectives were investigating, that unit “investigates incidents of this nature even if there is no indication that those involved are associated with gangs” – so don’t assume that just because the Gang Unit shows up, it’s definitely gang-related.

ADDED SUNDAY NIGHT: The SPD Blotter report also now includes these additional details, and one new one: The man who was shot at was 28 years old. We can’t confirm whether the 26-year-old suspect is still in jail, since at this point we don’t have his name, but we’ll look into that tomorrow.

35 Replies to "West Seattle Crime Watch: Gunfire on Alki; suspect arrested"

  • Megan March 25, 2012 (12:24 am)

    Totally heard this! It sounded like fireworks……thought it was an odd time of the year for that.

  • Teresa March 25, 2012 (12:46 am)

    Oddly I heard fireworks on 63rd and Alki during the day. It was obviously a little firework. I commented to my boyfriend that it was early for fireworks.

    • WSB March 25, 2012 (12:49 am)

      Very often what people think are gunshots turn out to be fireworks – we deal with this several nights a week much of the time. In this case, it seems to have been gunfire … though police are not saying much to our crew at the scene, via scanner, they reported finding “one live round” and also recovering a gun after pulling over the suspect … again, though, nobody is reported to have been shot or injured … TR

  • resident March 25, 2012 (12:59 am)

    I was asleep and heard the shot right outside. Woke me up then I heard a guy say “Get Down! Get Down”. I looked out the window to 62nd and saw one person ducked behind and SUV on the west side of 62nd and the sound of what I thought was a crotch rocket speeding off. I watched the guy behind the SUV slowly look down 62 then run off… A cop showed up in under a minute. No lights.

  • WSLady March 25, 2012 (1:47 am)

    This is one reason I don’t go out to the bars on Alki anymore. From the girl being chased by a guy a few weeks back and the fights and wild people outside bamboo I just stay clear. I use to love Alki over the junction but I feel safer in the junction.

  • MB March 25, 2012 (2:11 am)

    I refuse to party in the junction or on Alki. Its sad that we can’t feel safe around west seattle anymore. Wont be raising my kids here thats for sure.

  • OldSkoolWestSeattleite March 25, 2012 (5:49 am)

    Always hear loud kabooms by my house. Year round, every year, for years.

  • Mike March 25, 2012 (7:38 am)

    The sun came out, and now the rug rats are back. Time to beef up patrols again. I think it would be great if SPD had a serious crack down on cruising along the strip this year and enforced the noise violation laws (when I can hear their sub bumping from hundreds of yards away, it’s a violation). Start pulling them over for any violation, annoy the crap out of them, make it unenjoyable to visit.
    As much as I can’t stand hearing it at the beach, maybe we need more holy roller guitar playing/singing youth groups around. Most of the trouble causing fools can’t stand listening to that stuff either… then again, my ears bleed when I hear it.

  • JG March 25, 2012 (8:02 am)

    MB– I am raising my kids on Alki… And I have to say That I have always felt completely safe! We can’t let a few late night issues (the likes of which happen all over Seattle) ruin a great place to live.

  • carlton March 25, 2012 (8:13 am)

    yaaaaay….warmer weather brings the punks out.

  • MB March 25, 2012 (8:24 am)

    I feel relatively safe in all of West Seattle. I don’t feel like more bad things happen here than anywhere else in the Seattle area. Incidents like this piss me off for sure, but this MB WILL be raising her kids here and am completely unaffraid to do so. In the same breath, I would welcome a bit more police presence in areas like Alki and the Junction near bar closing times.

    – the “Original” MB

  • Dizzle March 25, 2012 (8:34 am)

    Well, here’s to tall the haters that think crime only happens in White Center!

  • W March 25, 2012 (9:11 am)

    So glad I can wake up to WSB and find out what the heck that was last night! My dog and I watched lots of police cars go by and it’s unsettling not to know what’s happning! Thanks.

  • smokeycretin9 March 25, 2012 (9:18 am)

    first sunny day, first gunfire. Not a coincidence.

  • carlton March 25, 2012 (9:18 am)

    its a scary world when you leave your little happy home.

  • Alki Resident March 25, 2012 (9:32 am)

    This confirms my argument I had with my son last night who wanted to go hang out with his friends on the beach after 9:30. Too much happens near those restaurants at night and I get woken up by speeding cop cars and lights heading there. My son was in Whale Tail park watching the shooter run past him three yrs. ago. It’s almost hard to avoid these things.

  • CD March 25, 2012 (10:02 am)

    I am 20 years old, and i have been raised here by my parents and I have always worked at different places on alki. I have never felt ‘unsafe’.

    When the sun comes out it draws people that are not from our close knit WS neighborhood, and we can’t controll that. People just need to take precautions. Know where you are going, be with friends and family, and make sure you are with people while walking at night.

    Please do not think/believe that west Seattle is unsafe. And please don’t rule out raising your kids in the alki west Seattle neighborhoods.

  • Keith March 25, 2012 (10:28 am)

    Alki was a nice place to be at all times, till all of the losers from California began to appear,with their guns, graffiti, garbage…

  • Alki Bee March 25, 2012 (10:29 am)

    12:02 am: Female scream, single gunshot, loud car or motorcycle engine, then silence.

  • Cashmere March 25, 2012 (10:57 am)

    I’m wondering if the cops knew something was gonna happen there last night, because I was at cactus from about 10 till they closed about 1130, and cops were all around the whole time. More than just 1 or 2, like 3-5 all parked together or circling around, it was weird

  • WMF March 25, 2012 (12:18 pm)

    WSB… You should do a write up on the impenetrable bubble that used to protect West Seattle. Because every crime that occurs, people seem to remember a time when we were pristine and crime free… It must have been before my time. Just sayin.

    • WSB March 25, 2012 (12:50 pm)

      WMF – I’ve said it before. But a little historical research could be interesting. The most interesting fact is that this really is an incredibly safe place. Anybody remember the guy shot in the rump on Alki a few years back, and fears that it was the opening salvo to a dangerous summer? Nothing happened after that. Nor the year after. But the Beach Drive murder evokes memories of 1993 … which was a scary year … but did not lead to escalation after that. It was a scary year around the entire city, for some reason. We got here in 1991 and rented a condo on Beach Drive, across the street from Cormorant Cove, in fact, for the first two years, before buying our little house uphill from Lincoln Park. My husband drove an old Ford Escort back then and somebody shot out its window one night. 20 years ago. Not to say ANY LEVEL OF CRIME is acceptable – not ANY – but it does come and go. We also focus here on prevention, on chances to get involved with community groups and Block Watches and to meet your local police (in non-emergency circumstances!), and hope that is helping. We are very glad, meantime, that no one was hurt last night. – TR

  • Noelle March 25, 2012 (12:20 pm)

    Were there extra cops around Alki because of Gregette Guy’s death?


    June 20th is the last day of school for a lot of Seattle kids. Some random hooplah usually happens then too.

  • carlton March 25, 2012 (12:34 pm)

    nothing good happens after midnight.

  • NotMe March 25, 2012 (3:42 pm)

    West Seattle is a very safe place to live – even after midnight. If you don’t go out after dark and you are lucky enough to live on or near beach drive, then you are probably a little afraid of your shadow, too. Please try to remember not to be afraid and let people take your neighborhood away. Staying in only makes it worse.

  • monc March 25, 2012 (4:23 pm)

    We need to remember that spring and summer bring people from all over to are little peninsula. We need to be vigilant and not live in fear. I feel the whole community worked together to contain this situation. Kudos to the ones on the phones, the bouncers and Seattle police.

  • The Shadow March 25, 2012 (5:35 pm)

    Mike has a good idea: have SPD ’emphasis patrols’ where you have 6 – 12 patrol units just swarm the beach and write all the noise citations, etc. they can. Punks like the shooter in this story may find somewhere else to play if they know Alki is crawling with blues just waiting to give them a ticket.

    Anyway, kudos to SPD for the quick collar; nice job!

    PS: WSB, covering the scanner at midnight? Do you ever sleep?

    • WSB March 25, 2012 (11:41 pm)

      Shadow, midnight is early. I was up till 6. That’s a little later than usual. We also have incredible help – if not for contributor Katie, I would have missed this, as she was listening and sent the heads-up, and contributor Christopher, who also happened to hear it and went out to check it out even before I could pry myself out of my chair and get my shoes back on. My co-publisher Patrick goes out when it’s something really big, but as scary as this sounds, nobody was hurt, so he, as the early watch, got to sleep through it.
      Gyngersnap – I am so happy not to have to do “RP” (“real people”) interviews as part of this kind of coverage, but the comments certainly serve that purpose. The one thing they ALSO serve – sometimes the people directly involved even turn up and have something to say. In TV, which was my career (albeit as the manager back in the newsroom) for more than 20 years, it was just “go find somebody nearby to say something on camera.” And regarding “this never happens here” – it actually seldom does, so people aren’t really lying when they say that. I finally got a sec to look up that Alki shooting that freaked people out … the last time someone was actually hit by gunfire on Alki aside from the Thomas Qualls/police case … it’s been almost three years: https://westseattleblog.com/2009/05/police-investigation-on-alki-shooting-reported

  • Gyngersnap March 25, 2012 (5:42 pm)

    I’m thinking of the many news stories on tv where neighbors are interviewed after a shooting. They always say, “This is a quiet neighborhood. Nothing like this EVER happens here.” It always makes me snort.

  • gypsyhippie March 25, 2012 (6:12 pm)

    Dizzle….. Thank u!!!!! My words.exactly…… Dub c represent!!!!!!

  • EF March 25, 2012 (6:23 pm)

    Exactly WMF. I was going to write the same thing. I remember brawls down at Hamilton Viewpoint in the 70s and 80s that would keep everyone up all night. Eventually leading to the gates and a closing time. Cruising Alki has been around forever too, nothing new. Wish there was a blog 30 years ago, it would have said the same stuff: It “used to be safe here”, “things have changed” blah, blah, blah.

  • MB March 25, 2012 (7:50 pm)

    Whether it IS or is NOT safer or less safe here. I do feel less safe that I used to. It may be my age, the thought of starting a family, maybe becoming more aware of my surroundings or maybe it is indeed getting worse around here. Just haven’t felt content going into stores in the evening and I have noticed a lot more shady people and fights in the middle of streets. For example, new years eve I was driving home from an event downtown. I was trying to drive up the street behind the 711 in highland park when my car was blocked by 30+ teenagers fighting in the middle of the road 10 of which were stomping on a girl who at that point had been ripped half naked. The girls were spitting on that girl screaming, “this is west side b****!” <—— THAT is not the West Seattle I remember growing up in. Been here for nearly 23 years and the events that have been taking place lately are very unsettling. But I agree, West Seattle is a wonderful place when there aren't certain people around ruining it for us!!

  • Linda March 25, 2012 (9:14 pm)

    To Keith, who left a message at 10:28am: it’s so sad you have to address people from California as “losers”. You know, we are ALL Americans. “Losers” are from everywhere, from Seattle, from California, from New York!!! You should grow up and stop being so “hateful”.

  • angel March 26, 2012 (8:35 am)

    West Seattle needs an eNeMa :)

  • Terry March 26, 2012 (11:23 am)

    and so it begins…. gutless thug season.

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