West Seattle Crime Watch: Police report from gunfire arrest

(WSB photo by Christopher Boffoli, taken after suspect was in custody)
Right about this time yesterday, an intense police search including Seattle Police SWAT and the Guardian One helicopter was under way after gunfire was reported over the west side of Fairmount Ravine (WSB coverage here). Five schools sheltered in place as a precaution. Finally, police reported an arrest. After checking nearby homes and cars, they determined no one had been shot. Today, in hopes of finding out more about what happened and why, we obtained the official report – with addresses/names redacted – from SPD, and have just transcribed the bulk of the narrative:

From the report written by SPD Officer Stuckey:

… A male called 911 to report a shooting outside of his home [on Belvidere].

The male, later identified as (redacted), reported that someone was trying to get him. (He) told the calltaker that he only had one clip left for his handgun. (He) was very agitated and screaming into the telephone. He refused to answer further questions from the calltaker. While en route to the scene, dispatch advised that the calltaker heard more gunshots. A female got on the line with dispatch and confirmed that (the man) was shooting at someone that she could not see. The female, later identified as (redacted), told the calltaker that (the man) was bleeding from the head but she did not believe that he was shot.

I arrived on scene along with Sgt. Britt. I did not hear any further shots, but I could hear yelling from the area in front of the home. More units arrived and we secured the area down the driveway from (2100 block) Belvidere Ave SW and waited for SWAT. SWAT arrived and slowly cleared the scene, looking for suspects along the way.

SWAT checked all three houses and the surrounding hillside, and they were able to locate (the man) and (someone else) near a truck parked in the curve of the driveway. SWAT officers secured (them) and escorted them down to where I was stationed at hte command post.

(The man) was crying and yelling. He had several scratches to his forehead and was bleeding from the wounds. I asked (him) what happened, and he started yelling and crying again. I was able to calm him down enough for him to explain to me that he saw three men dressed all in black with masks over their faces, and they told him they were there to kill him. (He0 alternated between calm and agitated while speaking with me. I smelled the strong odor of alcohol coming from (him). He told me that he had drank a few shots of rum over lunch earlier today. It should also be noted that while searching (him) for weapons, officers found 12.9 grams of marijuana and a pipe for smoking marijuana on (his) person.

(He) was still very agitated, but he was able to sit still for medical personnel from Seattle Fire Engine #29 to treat his wounds. Medical personnel stated that (he) had several scratches to his forehead. They cleaned the scratches for (him) and stopped the bleeding.

(He) was still very agitated and was crying and yelling. He told me that someone had damaged his vehicle three nights prior and he was afraid that whomever damaged his vehicle would come back and hurt him. He started breaking down and was unable to tell me anything further about the shooting.

Once SWAT had cleared the scene of potential threats, I responded to the shooting scene with Officer Mazzioti and (the other person … who) was able to walk us through the scene and advise of what she was able to see during the incident.

(She) told me that she was visiting (the man) at his home. She is a longtime friend … (She) stated that when she was ready to leave, (he) decided to walk her down the very long access road to where her vehicle was parked. (He) had a .45 caliber handgun and two clips on his belt, and he insisted that (she) carry his shotgun. (She) stated that she did not want to carry the shotgun but (he) insisted.

(She) stated that about halfway to her vehicle, she and (he) heard a noise that sounded like footsteps further up the road around the curve. The noise came from an area that (she) could not see. (He) told her to stay put and he moved up to the curve in the road where the noise came from. (She) stated that she did not hear any further footsteps at that time. When (redacted) arrived at the curve, he started yelling and shooting downhill. (Redacted) ducked down behind another vehicle parked alongside the road and hid. She did not see anyone but (the man).

(She) stated that she was not sure how many shots (he) fired, but that it was less than twenty. She risked a look at (redacted) and he wobbled on his feet and fell to the ground as if he had passed out. She called police at that time and reported the shots to the calltaker. (He) appeared to wake up and started yelling downhill again. (She) made it over to where (he) was stationed and checked on him. She stated that he had blood coming from a small abrasion but did not appear to be shot.

(She) stated that while she was on the phone with the call taker (he) returned to (redacted)’s original hiding place behind the vehicle. He continued to cry and yell from behind the vehicle. (She) stated that at one point (he) was on the ground on his hands and knees behind the vehicle. She stated that about that time, SWAT arrived and secured the scene.

I spoke with Sgt. Hancock and several other SWAT officers at the scene and they pointed out several bullet holes in vehicles parked downhill from where (he) had stationed himself while shooting. It should be noted that the vehicles and long road up to (redacted)’s home overlook several neighboring homes, and those homes were in the line of fire. Sgt. Hancock also pointed out a small pick-like tool on the ground where (redacted) was hiding that was consistent with several scratch marks over the original abrasion to (his) forehead. (He) stated that the men he saw had held him down and scratched up his face prior to police arriving on scene, but that was not consistent with (redacted)’s statements.

Sgt. Britt and I then responded to the house and we were able to speak with his father (redacted) showed us where (redacted) kept his weapons. Sgt. Britt confiscated a rifle, shotgun, and a handgun. It should be noted that the (redacted) had a hundred-round-capacity magazine. All of the confiscated weapons were transferred to the custody of Officer Mckenzie, who placed them into evidence. …

The report also says bullet holes were found in three cars, with damage estimated at up to $8,000.

The 30-year-old suspect was taken to Harborview Medical Center for a mental evaluation. Beyond that, we don’t know his status; hospital information is subject to medical-privacy laws. The King County Jail Register does not appear to show anyone held in connection with this kind of investigation. It would be too soon for prosecutors to file charges, but we’ll be checking on that next week.

35 Replies to "West Seattle Crime Watch: Police report from gunfire arrest"

  • RS October 10, 2014 (4:28 pm)

    I’m so glad no one was hurt, and that I didn’t ride by on my bike when this guy lost it (I ride the ravine almost every day). Why are people in this state allowed to have weapons? It’s so incredibly dangerous.

  • schwaggy October 10, 2014 (5:23 pm)

    @RS – I think people in all states are allowed to have weapons.

  • Dee October 10, 2014 (5:26 pm)

    RS, because it is a right according to the U.S. Constitution.

  • Rick October 10, 2014 (5:28 pm)

    Pesky 2nd amendment.

  • Chuck & Sally's Van Man October 10, 2014 (5:29 pm)

    @RS: Um. I do hope that’s just a typo. There is nothing about Washington state that makes it any more dangerous for legal, law abiding citizens to have guns than in the other 49 states. Now, as for mentally ill citizens, every effort needs to be taken to keep weapons out of their hands. Obviously this person needs to have his weapons taken away or at least have access curtailed until he’s well, if then. My brother is mentally ill and while totally “fine” on meds, I’d never want him to have access to guns. All that said, glad you are safe.

  • S.H. October 10, 2014 (5:35 pm)

    Great, so we can assume he’s back “home,” then? Knowing the direction of fire, ours was apparently one of those in the line of fire. But of course, let’s do everything we can to protect his rights alone…

    • WSB October 10, 2014 (5:47 pm)

      S.H. – Probably not. Checking back on the law, it appears likely the evaluation would be a 72-hour hold.

  • dsa October 10, 2014 (6:17 pm)

    RS they will politely tell you to protect yourself from the enemy.

  • Really October 10, 2014 (6:21 pm)

    I’m pretty sure RS meant in this state of mind!

  • Wsliz October 10, 2014 (6:27 pm)

    I think RS was referring to his mental “state” not the state of Washington. That’s how I read it anyways and I definitely agree, so glad no one was walking by at the time.

  • Fireball Francisco October 10, 2014 (6:27 pm)

    S.H. – we all share the same rights (hopefully).
    Glad everyone is safe and unharmed!

  • tim October 10, 2014 (6:35 pm)

    I’m hoping he gets charged after my public records request is processed so I get the dash cam footage. Since the Washington Supreme Court ruling about release of dash camera footage it has become a race to get requests processed before there’s “actual pending litigation”. The helicopter footage likely will be released though, which I requested from SPD (hopefully they’ll have it when they process my request), because the rule about litigation only applies to cameras mounted in police vehicles.

    BTW congrats on getting the report today. I’m disappointed I can’t find this case on SPD’s automated GO report database http://web1.seattle.gov/police/records/PoliceReports/Default.aspx

    • WSB October 10, 2014 (6:51 pm)

      If you look for reports regularly, I’m sure you know that very few are actually posted with narrative, and those that are, usually take at least five days. We’ve complained about this before. The bottleneck seems to be redaction. As a news org, we ask for reports now and then, usually day after, and they are redacted by hand before the request is granted. If this suspect had been booked into jail, there would have been a hearing today and the “superform” would have generally included the police-report narrative as a statement of probable cause, but since as far as we know he hasn’t been booked, there wasn’t a hearing, so no superform – TR

  • morgan October 10, 2014 (7:57 pm)

    12.9 grams of pot on his person? That’s a lot of weed to have in one’s pocket

  • dsa October 10, 2014 (10:06 pm)

    Half an ounce?

  • RS October 10, 2014 (11:13 pm)

    Yes, I meant mental state. Although since that dragged out the typical trolls, I get to tweak you a bit…don’t you see the problem here? Do you have solutions? I might not get to respond, but I will read…

  • Lewis October 10, 2014 (11:46 pm)

    @RS- What problem? Obviously you need a 100-round magazine for hunting. Haven’t you ever played Oregon Trail?

  • dsa October 11, 2014 (12:57 am)

    Solution to what? The very first sentence says he was just trying to protect himself:
    “The male, later identified as (redacted), reported that someone was trying to get him.”

  • Jeff October 11, 2014 (8:35 am)

    Oddly, you probably want the crazies to have the 100 round magazine. In my experience they are a stupid novelty that typically jam on about the third shot.

  • nolongerusingthestreets October 11, 2014 (10:22 am)

    Mr Redacted is at Harborview for mental evaluation. The rest of us may be insane:
    -Fairmount has speed bumps to encourage safe driving. This same road is used regularly by grade-school track teams to get to the beach, and this fellow with a 100-round clip is firing at face-scratching ninjas. What does that signage look like?
    -repeated entries in the police report of his “yelling and crying”, yet there will invariably be those who cannot put compassion for him ahead of their warped insistence that he is part of a well-armed militia.
    -and a personal anecdote–so really, I could survive my recent cancer treatments just so that I could take a round while hurrying home for dinner with my family? (Unless of course I blaze away first at the sound of twigs popping in the forest. Hope they weren’t the runners mentioned above.)
    Beggars sanity, however impolitic. And since no one else has even mentioned it, please, no matter your inclination, read up on upcoming measure 594 at http://www.wagunresponsibility.org.

  • Monroe1200 October 11, 2014 (10:37 am)

    All these comments, and yet no one knows what really happened. Should he be telling the truth then I can’t blame him for wanting to protect his life and his guests.

  • Elle Nell October 11, 2014 (5:21 pm)

    So really? We can’t see this person is clearly mentally compromised in one way or another? Whom also has in his possession, a small arsenal of dangerous weapons. This is the “STATE” some are worried about. I actually love guns AND coffee! However, I want to be clear and stand clear of those that cannot carry a conversation, possibly under the influence of some hard liqs and a couple tokes, without crying and yelling.. These are unstable individuals that need to have mental health providers work with them and have our “STATE” not issue them weapons, licenses, or any other possession of deadly consequence. This is a reality now folks and while I’m pretty sure no one will march in my home and take any of my deadly weapons while my mind is stable. We must act together to protect those with unstable minds from themselves ….

  • Rick October 11, 2014 (7:06 pm)

    Wow. I mention the 2nd amendment and I’m now a troll. Just wow.

  • Thomas M. October 11, 2014 (11:30 pm)

    Not a troll to me. Also had a non-blood family member lose their grip and screw up with a gun. Wayne LaPierre has it right. We need to fix the mental health system; and, we need to keep guns out of the hands of crazy people. Fixing the mental health system is going to be expensive.

  • Dreamer October 12, 2014 (1:06 am)

    @nolongerusingthestreets – You recommended visiting the website for Washington Alliance For Gun Responsibility (supporters of the initiative) to educate ourselves no matter what our inclination on this issue. I thought I’d remind everyone that the entire text of the bill can be viewed online, so there is no need to take anyone’s word regarding what is in it. A great deal of the opposition focuses not on the idea of background checks, but with the extremely broad definition of a transfer (Look at Sec. 2.25), which technically could be interpreted to mean any time a firearm is handed to another person. (Relying on a prosecutor’s interpretation of a gray area to stay out of trouble is not appealing to many.) The exceptions allowed for in the bill mention actual hunting or shooting at a formal range, but leave out a host of other situations that responsible firearm users would encounter (inspecting someone else’s malfunctioning weapon during lawful use in a National Forest, training an adult outside of an official range (think rural areas), checking a weapon with someone who is not in law enforcement in areas or vessels where they are not allowed, etc. (See Sec. 3.4a-f.) Additionally, while supporters often claim that the bill does not establish a gun registry, Sec. 3.4g requires anyone who inherits a handgun to notify the department of licensing, but opinions vary on interpreting what limitations are placed on the department in regards to the use of this information. Please take the time to examine the bill if you are at all concerned with any of these points. I am concerned that it is being presented as a minor tweak to the law, while my interpretation is that it will severely disrupt lawful firearm usage (with uncertain effects on unlawful usage). Link: https://wei.sos.wa.gov/agency/osos/en/press_and_research/PreviousElections/2014/General-Election/Documents/594CompleteText.pdf

  • Bill October 12, 2014 (8:20 am)

    RS asked why people are allowed to have weapons? hey – why are they allowed to have marijuana? >> try waking up to reality — apparently all the shots were fired by the psychotic paranoid – would be interesting to find out what ‘legal’ psycho drudgs the clown was on and his mental health history. Now keeping weapons away from paranoid potheads and other dopers and those diagnosed with mental problems – that makes sence!

  • phil dirt October 12, 2014 (8:57 am)

    nolongerusingthestreets, You are absolutely correct about I-594. Most opponents of this horribly written proposal are not against background checks. The problem is that it was written by people who oppose private gun ownership, and without the inclusion of those of us who recognize the legitimacy of the Second Amendment. If this were a serious proposal for making us all safer, I think that the authors of this bill would have wanted there to be input from people like you and me. I’m voting no on I-594 and yes on I-591 in the hope that a better bill will be written that isn’t full of entrapments, that potentially would make felons of honest, law abiding citizens. 7500 law enforcement personnel, who actually are the responders and not just some politically appointed administrator, in Washington State, have come out in opposition to I-594 and are endorsing I-591.

  • Thomas M. October 12, 2014 (2:03 pm)

    Bill and nolongerusingthestreets: correct. The problem is not the idea of background checks, it is all the other restrictions and legal hazards they sneak in under the reasonable sounding idea of background checks. The whole 594 thing is likely going to fail Constitutional muster anyway. Rights in the Bill of Rights tend to require strict scrutiny to find a compelling state interest, a very clear definition of what will and won’t get you prosecuted, does not sweep in lawful activities, and there is no less intrusive means to achieve the same goal. There is no war, sky is not falling, and we are not faced with some emergency, so the first test is likely failed. Bill’s analysis shows how “gray areas” kill legislation because it is void for vagueness or over breadth, of which this is both. There are less intrusive means. I don’t want to see guns in the hands of criminals and loonies more than the next guy, but fail to see how my lawful activities should potentially get me prosecuted (and disbarred, thank you). Yes on 591 and NO on 594.

  • dude October 13, 2014 (1:45 pm)

    more guns! duh! only way i’ll feel safe is if everyone idiot in america has 10 guns! you gun lovers really want anyone, i mean absolutely anyone to be able to get a gun. no license, no insurance, nothing. basically free (go to walmart and buy a mossberg for $100) – because of some stupid re-interpretation of the constitution. what part of “Well-Regulated” don’t you understand?

  • Dreamer October 13, 2014 (5:49 pm)

    @dude – I’m not sure if you are referring to posts in this thread- if so, I don’t see where anybody suggested that “absolutely anyone” should be able to get a gun. As was mentioned, the background check portion of the bill is not the source of contention for most gun owners.

    The wording of the bill does not actually provide the full range of exemptions for lawful firearm use as advertised (such as sharing firearms outside of formal ranges, storing weapons with other people when going out of town or boarding a vessel, etc). It is not “grasping at straws” to point out the flaws in the wording- if the words say that an activity is a felony, it is foolish to simply rely on one’s belief that the law will not be enforced, or that flaws will be corrected later. Do not make felonies out of activities that you do not want to be felonies.

    The inherited pistol ownership retention “notification” component of the bill is an aside from background checks, and any potential registrations are objectionable to many people for a variety of reasons. Even if one does not believe in citizens owning weapons as a check against the abuse of state power, there are more focused problems with registries. It creates a specific list of physical property that people own, which leads to privacy and security concerns if that information is compromised. Any legislation that collects information that could be used as a registry should disclose upfront that this is being done, and the details for the handling of this information should be explicit. In 594, it is an open question.

    None of the problems in this bill were necessary in order to achieve the stated goals of supporters. Requiring background checks on private sales does not require 18 pages of legalese, as we already have the stage set with all other firearm sales. As for transfers,the bill’s definition of a transfer is just too far removed from what most people would consider a “transfer”.

  • Thomas M. October 14, 2014 (7:04 am)

    Does anybody else remember when the legislature promised that the 3 cent sales tax “would NEVER go up”? Keep the camel’s nose out from under your tent. Give an inch and lose a mile. No on 594 and YES ON 591.

  • tim October 14, 2014 (2:49 pm)

    I’m amazed you received a report. This is the response I got:
    “This letter is in response to your public disclosure request dated October 10, 2014 and received by Seattle Police Department on October 10, 2014 for a copy of the incident report, 911 call, radio, and CAD related to 14-338156. We will not be able to release information to you at this time. This case is under active investigation non-disclosure is essential to effective law enforcement. (RCW 42.56.240(1).) Explanation: The contents of an active investigation are categorically exempt in their entirety. See Newman v. King County, 133 Wn.2d 565, 947 P.2d 712 (1997) and Cowles Publishing Co. v. Spokane Police Department, 139 Wn.2d 472 987 P.2d 620 (1999).”

  • Thomas M. October 14, 2014 (9:13 pm)

    SCOTUS has consistently held that the well regulated militia refers to the population at large and the right is personal to every American, reserved to every American and is the only right in the Bill of Rights protected by the additional admonition that it “shall not be abridged”. With the current Court, good luck changing that. Also with the current Court expect a suit to enjoin enforcement of 594 to: produce a TRO pending suit, and produce Injunctive relief pending appeals. So, despite the venom with which you attack those who do not share your views, they are unlikely to be upheld. I’d bet my three Bar numbers on it.

  • Bradley October 15, 2014 (12:32 pm)

    @dude: You said “you gun lovers really want anyone, i mean absolutely anyone to be able to get a gun” and “because of some stupid re-interpretation of the constitution. what part of “Well-Regulated” don’t you understand?” – Well, the SCOTUS, in McDonald vs Chicago and Heller vs D.C., has affirmed that American citizens have the right to keep and bear arms. We therefore don’t need to have a license to exercise any of our rights, since they’re rights, not privileges, like driving a car or selling alcohol. And you should encourage criminals using 100-round magazines, because they jam and never work nearly as well as smaller-capacity magazines, giving law enforcement a great window of opportunity to apprehend them.

  • Police Video Requests October 24, 2014 (9:21 am)

    The helicopter video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfjJ0EGxrMw goes to show that the police won’t necessarily be able to save you and your family from an active shooter. I was stunned at how slow the response was. It took 50-60 minutes to arrest the shooter. At 3:40PM Air Support radioed the location of the shooter, about an hour after 911 call was received. SWAT moved in as soon as Air Support gave the location. Had the helicopter not responded or had there been more fog I think it would have taken much longer for SWAT to move it.

    If SPD is going to wait so long (30-40 minutes) for the helicopter then I need they need to deploy the ground robots they already have like the Recon Scout (http://www.reconrobotics.com/videos.cfm) and iRobot Packbot (http://www.irobot.com/For-Defense-and-Security/Robots/510-PackBot.aspx#PublicSafety). Seattle residents should reconsider it’s adversion to unmanned aircraft. The nice thing about small unmanned aircraft is they can fly lower than helicopters.

Sorry, comment time is over.