(UPDATED TUESDAY MORNING with more details from police report – scroll down)
(Photos by WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand, added 7:42 pm)
6:42 PM: Multiple Rapid Ride buses are stopped in Morgan Junction right now on California just north of Fauntleroy as part of a police investigation that’s led to an arrest. We’re still working to find out exactly what happened but avoid the area if you can. More to come.
6:50 PM UPDATE: Our crew at the scene says this is actually happening closer to California/Raymond, north of Graham.
7:00 PM UPDATE: While we have no official information yet, multiple people including commenters say this involved a man pulling a gun on a bus. We’ve reached the King County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson, who would speak for the Transit Police, but we’re told that Seattle Police are leading the investigation, so we’re working to get more comment from them.
7:15 PM UPDATE: Police have now confirmed at the scene that the man they arrested is suspected of trying to rob people at gunpoint aboard the bus. Multiple witnesses tell us he was stopped by riders who tackled him.
7:33 PM UPDATE: Just talked with a man who says he was among those who subdued the suspect. He said he mostly wanted to give “a big shoutout to a guy named Joshua” who was the first to “start bringing him down … he did an admirable thing.” He says the would-be robber had pantyhose over his face and a gun that “looked like a large black revolver” and was “putting the gun against people’s faces, grabbing their cell phones.” (Others we’ve heard from mentioned that cellphones appeared to be what the man was after.) How did Joshua try to stop the man with the gun? we asked. “First thing he did was grab the arm holding the revolver and managed to get his finger in” to where he could stop the trigger from being pulled. “We were sitting on (the armed man) trying to restrain him,” and it seemed like five minutes before police arrived, he said.
7:57 PM UPDATE: A few more details from police now, via SPD Blotter: The suspect is 19 years old and got on the bus at 3rd and Pike downtown, but “kept to himself” until the bus arrived in the 6000 block of California SW. After the arrest, police say, the suspect kicked out a squad car’s window, and was subsequently taken to jail in this van we photographed at the scene:
SPD says the suspect was booked for investigation of three counts of robbery.
ADDED 8:23 AM TUESDAY: Some have asked about the detail in the SPD Blotter report suggesting the suspect was seen wearing a mask long before the robberies. We’ve just obtained a copy of the police report this morning, and the officer did indeed write that one robbery victim “said he noticed (the suspect) because (the suspect) had a stocking covering part of his face.” Also from the report, here’s what police say that victim told them about how it unfolded:
(Victim) told me that the bus made it all the way from downtown to the 6000 block of California Av SW. About that time he saw (suspect) rob a female passenger … of her cell phone by sticking a black handgun into her face and demanding her phone.
(Suspect) then stepped across the aisle and pointed the gun into (victim’s) face and demanded his cell phone. (Victim) initially refused to give his cell phone to (suspect, who) then shoved the handgun into the back of (victim’s) head and said, “give me your phone, don’t make this harder.” (Victim) then gave (suspect) his phone. (Victim) told me that (suspect) then walked further down the aisle and shoved his gun into the face of another male passenger … and demanded his cell phone. (That passenger) grabbed the gun and shoved it away from him. (A passenger) then started hitting (suspect), with several passengers … shoving (suspect) to the floor of the bus. (Four passengers in all) held (suspect) down until officers arrived.
We are checking to see if the suspect will appear for a bail hearing this afternoon. The report also says that while he was described as “very agitated and belligerent toward officers and the other bus passengers after he was placed into custody,” the suspect “did not appear intoxicated on alcohol or narcotics.” So far as we can tell from court records, he does not have a criminal history, at least in this state, just a couple of traffic tickets from earlier this month.