2:19 PM: Chief Sealth International High School and Denny International Middle School are in “shelter in place” right now, the district confirms. – with police investigating, following a report that someone might have been seen with a gun at Sealth. There is NO report of anyone having been injured – this is precautionary right now. More as we get it.
2:25 PM: We’ve just talked to police at the school. They say the person who was reported to have been seen with a gun is believed to have left the building. (According to dispatch description, it’s believed to be a female former student.)
2:30 PM: SPD says five have been “detained” (which doesn’t necessarily mean “arrested”). Our crew says that’s happening on or near the Southwest Athletic Complex fields south of Sealth but it appears police are leaving without anyone in custody. If you’re seeing a helicopter, it’s TV.
2:41 PM: SPS says the “shelter in place” is over and the schools will be dismissed as normal. SPD says officers have found marijuana (where, they haven’t said) but no weapon.
2:55 PM: Per scanner, officers have found the person they were looking for, at Westwood Village.
3:18 PM: Only one police car remains at that scene, at Rite-Aid, and operations inside the store appear to be normal. The suspect was reported in custody a short time ago; we’ll be checking on whether she was arrested. (And if and when we get the messaging that goes home to parents, we’ll add it here.)
3:56 PM: Here’s what police have just reported via SPD Blotter:
Seattle police arrested an 18-year-old woman Wednesday afternoon at Chief Sealth High School in West Seattle after she was reportedly seen with a firearm.
At around 2 PM, a fellow student reported seeing the young woman drop a firearm in bathroom, before picking it up and leaving the school building.
School staff called police and put the Sealth and nearby Denny Middle School campuses in shelter in place.
Officers identified the student alleged to have a firearm and found her at the Westwood Village shopping center. Police were not immediately able to locate the handgun, but arrested the 18-year-old for a firearms violation.
During the investigation, officers also attempted to contact a group of students near the school after they ran from police.
Officers were able to contact the group of students and determine they were not connected to the young woman seen with the firearm. Police, however, did find a bag of marijuana while attempting to contact the group, but it remains unclear whether it belonged to any of the students.
ADDED 6:58 PM: Denny principal Jeff Clark just sent us the letter he and his counterpart at Sealth have e-mailed to families:
Dear Chief Sealth International High School and Denny International Middle School Families,
We want to inform you of an incident that involved both Chief Sealth and Denny today. At around 2:00 PM, a Chief Sealth student reported to her teacher that she saw another student with what looked like a gun. The teacher notified the office. The administration called 911 and both Chief
Sealth and Denny went into a shelter-in-place. The police responded immediately to the Chief Sealth campus. After a police investigation and assessment of potential danger, the shelter-in-place was lifted. Shortly thereafter, Seattle police arrested an 18-year-old Chief Sealth female student at Westwood Village.
Please know that we take safety in our buildings very seriously; the well-being of students is our top concern. We are proud of how our students and staff responded to this incident.
We are committed to doing everything we can to keep our students safe. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Principal Chief Sealth International High School
Principal, Denny International Middle School
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