FOLLOWUP: Longfellow Creek death investigated as hit-run homicide

(WSB photo, Monday night: Evidence markers placed during investigation)

We first told you last night about an investigation near Longfellow Creek after a man was found dead. Today, we followed up with police, and they’ve just released this update:

SPD Homicide and Traffic Collision investigators were called to West Seattle Monday evening after a 34-year-old man was struck and killed by a driver.

Around 6 pm, a resident in the 6500 block of 25th Avenue Southwest called 911 and reported a possibly deceased person in some bushes on the street. Police arrived, located the 34-year-old man, confirmed he was deceased, and contacted witnesses in the area.

At this point in the investigation, detectives believe the driver intentionally struck the victim, killing him. The driver then fled the scene.

If you have any information about this incident, please call 206-233-5000.

This happened near where 24th/25th meet, west of Delridge Way – here’s a map.

ADDED 12:30 PM: The not-yet-publicly-identified man is West Seattle’s second homicide victim of the year (not counting the suitcase-bodies victims, who were killed in Burien); the first was 41-year-old Jana Layman, whose roommate is awaiting trial in her January murder.

40 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: Longfellow Creek death investigated as hit-run homicide"

  • Jort August 25, 2020 (12:26 pm)

    Thank you for this update. Is there any information about whether the driver and the victim knew each other, or if there was some other motive to this?  I’m trying to understand how the police are able to say that this was “intentional.”

    • WSB August 25, 2020 (12:36 pm)

      Not so far, which is why they’re asking for tips. Despite its proximity to Delridge, this is a fairly “off the beaten path” area.

      • Amy August 25, 2020 (4:33 pm)

        So far off the beaten path. I ran right past there Sunday morning, it’s pretty remote for traffic. 

  • Plf August 25, 2020 (12:28 pm)

    This is beyond sad, I am baffled on the blatant cruelty, evil  that we have witnessed in our neighborhood the past several weeks,  While I recognize there is more kindness then hatred, it is so incredible sad to see these stories and at some junction become desensitized to these acts.   West Seattle once felt like a safe community, a community with a small town feel, it doesn’t feel that way anymore

  • Westie August 25, 2020 (12:40 pm)

    So terrible sad to hear this. May he Rest In Peace. Is it just me or the crime has increased considerably here in west seattle? I used to live in Queen Anne and somehow I am hearing as many sirens here on a daily bases. I am really thankful to our police. 

    • WSB August 25, 2020 (1:17 pm)

      Most sirens are SFD, not SPD.

  • rpo August 25, 2020 (1:04 pm)

    Based on the frequent reckless driving that I often see the food delivery drivers partaking in on a daily basis, I would not be surprised to find out that one of those drivers hit someone trying to make their delivery time. I can’t believe how many I have seen speeding down streets and through uncontrolled 4 way intersections at 40 MPH over the past few months around Admiral. 

    • tsurly August 25, 2020 (3:42 pm)

      “Based on the frequent reckless driving that I often see ALL DRIVERS partaking in on a daily basis, I would not be surprised to find out that one of those drivers hit someone trying to make their delivery time. I can’t believe how many I have seen speeding down streets and through uncontrolled 4 way intersections at 40 MPH over the past few months around Admiral.”

      Fixed that for you. 

      • Wsguy123 August 25, 2020 (4:59 pm)

        There are a lot of bad drivers out there but cyclists aren’t far to yield to pedestrians, run red lights, stop signs, ride on the wrong side if the road, don’t signal, don’t wear helmets, and have no lights at night. I wish we had enough police to educate or cite everyone (peds, cyclists, vehicle drivers) doing wrong but even if we did, the problem is too big to get a handle on.

        • tsurly August 25, 2020 (6:14 pm)

          Cyclists aren’t far behind? Are you comparing the danger/lethality of a wittle bicycle 30 pound bicycle running a red light to a multi-ton car?  Get real dude. 

          • Rick August 26, 2020 (6:02 am)

            For the nth time,there are the laws of nature and the laws of man. You be the one on the “wittle bicycle 30 pound bicycle” that blows the stop sign and gets creamed by a “multi ton car”? How about that “wittle bicycle 30 pound bicycle” that blows the stop sign and plows into the “multi ton car”. Seems it’s always the “multi ton cars” fault. No winner here but there is usually a loser. Stay safe and ride without the attitude.

        • rpo August 25, 2020 (6:15 pm)

          True, but cyclists have close to a zero percent chance of killing someone else. They mostly just put themselves at risk.  A vehicle on the other hand will kill someone, especially when driven at 40 MPH on single lane streets.

          • KBear August 26, 2020 (10:57 am)

            That’s BS, RPO. A cyclist could easily kill someone else, if they’re going fast enough or they cause cars to crash because of their recklessness.

      • Tony G August 26, 2020 (8:25 am)

        And there it is tsurly. Every single driver on the road is driving recklessly now?  

        • Barton August 26, 2020 (2:13 pm)

          Oh don’t mind tsurly.  I think s/he’s trying to impress Jort – or maybe usurp Jort’s role as the most sanctimonious cyclist.

  • Patches Pal August 25, 2020 (1:14 pm)

    I lived at the end of this street up 26th Ave SW (where the road forks near where this homicide occurred) in the late 80s and early 90s. There were gang shootings constantly in the apartment complexes on Delridge just to the east of my home, and I was once awakened by an early morning pipe-bombing at my neighbor’s house. Some “small town feel” it was…

    • Elle Nell August 25, 2020 (10:55 pm)

      Yes, I guess people don’t realize that crime IS a part of society. Like it or not. I remember those “good ol days”… 😎

  • RH August 25, 2020 (1:33 pm)

    Motorists in this area are nuts – I have to bike in this area for my commute and have at least one close call with a motorist EVERY DAY.  I have written countless times to city officials, SPD, and SDOT about my concerns re street equity and ped/bicyclist safety and have never received a reply.  I grieve for this man’s family and honestly wouldn’t be surprised if I die on the side of this road as well.Also, here’s a reminder that police only solve 2% of all major investigations:

    • WSB August 25, 2020 (2:22 pm)

      SPD’s homicide clearance rate, as recently reported here, is more like 2 in 3.

      • zark00 August 26, 2020 (6:00 pm)

        Yeah, clearance rate is terrible.  To be fair, it’s terrible for most police forces nationwide.  40 years ago police cleared 90%+ of homicides, now it’s 65% – with the crime rate dropping precipitously as well, it’s an embarrassing stat for police.  By any count, they are worse at their jobs now than they were 20, 30, 40 years ago – by a pretty big margin.  In 1970 there were 5.7 murders per 100,000 residents, or 202 murders – they cleared 182 of them.In 2018 there were 3.1 per 100k, or 236 murders, they cleared 151.There are more sworn officers per capita in 2020 than in 1975 – about 14% more.So more officers, less crime, yet more of that crime goes unsolved.  The nature of crime has not changed, there is just less of it now, the nature of law enforcement has changed.  Officers are no longer engaged with their communities which has driven trust in officers to an all time low.  This all started WELL before the current state of affairs.  This has been on the decline for decades.

  • ScubaFrog August 25, 2020 (1:35 pm)

    Truly sad.  My heart goes out to the victim’s family and loved ones.  

    • Barton August 26, 2020 (4:27 pm)

      I echo that.

  • newnative August 25, 2020 (2:39 pm)

    The story still doesn’t explain the discrepancy in elapsed time between the original hit and run call and the discovery of the body. Last night’s report stated that there was a call in about a hit and run “earlier in the day” and then a subsequent discovery of a body in the bushes.  There are questions, such as “did someone witness the hit and run and call it in but didn’t check the victim?” “did someone call 911 and no one was dispatched?” “did someone call 911 and give the wrong information?” It doesn’t make any sense that no one tried to help this victim. 

    • mok4315 August 25, 2020 (3:08 pm)

      I was wondering the same thing. The whole thing is a bit confusing, though I’m sure there will be clarification later on. 

    • ej August 25, 2020 (3:10 pm)

      Sounds like the initial call to police was to report the property damage (trash bins hit, if I recall) from a car… could be that no one saw the victim get hit and didn’t know there was a victim until the citizen saw his body in the bushes. it’s not the job of the blog to investigate- they report the story as it plays out. It’s still playing out. Police will investigate and report their findings.  sad situation…  

    • Sabrina August 26, 2020 (4:53 am)

      May My Cousin Rest In Piece It’s About Somebody Fatal Hitting Him & Kept Going Over 50 Miles Per Hour & Left My Cousin To Die We Live In A F—ed Up World Dead Ass !!!! 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼 #RuWorld 💯

  • Vicente Barraza August 25, 2020 (3:02 pm)

    Prior to the discovery of the body, neighbors called to report a hit and run involving property damage after they heard someone smash into a row of garbage bins which then flew into and damaged a nearby vehicle. The neighbors did not see the body because the impact of the crash launched the man into a nearby tree and his body fell into bushes adjacent to Longfellow Creek. Only after the police arrived did a neighbor spot the body in the bushes. This occurred in front of my house. I am very impressed with the extensive investigation that was conducted. May the victim rest in peace

    • mok4315 August 25, 2020 (3:12 pm)

      Thanks for the clarification, Vicente. That makes more sense. I hope the car driver is found and the victim’s family gets at least some closure. 

    • newnative August 25, 2020 (3:18 pm)

      That’s some very detailed information that somehow didn’t make the police report.  

      • Vicente Barraza August 25, 2020 (6:45 pm)

        I make no official representations because I am not law enforcement. My understanding is based on what my husband observed after he heard the crash and cleaned up the mess resulting from the smashed garbage and recycling bins belonging to us and our next door neighbor. I also watched and heard the police and coroner over a number of hours as they investigated the scene in front of my home. I may not have all the details quite right, but I can assure you this was a tragic situation and the neighbors had no idea anyone had been struck because the victim’s body fell into the bushes. 

    • A friend August 25, 2020 (3:30 pm)

      Thank you for remembering Our dear Jana and that we are awaiting justice for her death. We miss her so. God bless this family that is now dealing with grief and sadness. 

  • Arly August 25, 2020 (3:24 pm)

    I live right where it happened. theres an abandoned house that all in this area have been concerned about the seemingly obvious drug trafficking  It’s located about 70 ft from the incident.  Not a detective but all our thoughts are pointing there . We’ve called police before and they said to contact  the owner. Owner finally contacted and he said he doesn’t care about the house being ruined so police said there’s nothing they can do . That was about a week ago   We told police last night about them , It’s a beautiful area with great people overall   Tons of blackberry bushes where body ended up hence delay in seeing it

    • Darryll August 25, 2020 (6:20 pm)

      You and your neighbors can open a civil suit against this neighbor for $5k per plaintiff. With even a few neighbors working together, you could either take the house from them or at least get them to do the right thing. 

      • A Capella August 27, 2020 (7:01 pm)

        Yes. When I moved into my neighborhood about 14 years ago when there was much more crime there, we had several drive-by shootings. The landlord would not do anything despite obvious drug dealing and all that goes with it, along with 911 calls. What finally changed his mind was when we found out we could sue for loss of enjoyment of our property. I heard the $5K figure too but can’t find it written anywhere. 

  • Darryll August 25, 2020 (6:21 pm)

    This is incredibly sad. So many people needlessly killed by cars  My condolences to this person’s family and friends.  

  • West Seattle Resident August 26, 2020 (1:23 pm)

    Squatters have taken over a house in the neighborhood and it has become a drug den. Neighbors are trying to contact the owner who doesn’t seem to care. Family and friends of the deceased are at the residence now, demanding answers. It is believed the deceased was visiting the home and the two are connected. Police have not yet shown up to investigate the home as a drug dispatch or to kick out the squatters who have been a menace to the neighborhood for months. One neighbor has entered the residence with the family of the victim and filmed the condition of the home. Can the police do something about this? Please?

    • WSB August 26, 2020 (1:25 pm)

      Police cannot “kick out” people from a residence without authorization of its owner – for all they know, otherwise, it’s permitted occupancy. Have there been reports to SDCI re: the house’s condition? Are you working with the Community Police Team and/or the Precinct City Attorney’s Liaison already – nuisance houses are in their wheelhouse.

    • Chickenlady August 26, 2020 (10:07 pm)

      I can’t believe I missed all of this. I guess it must have been whole I was off island in Monday. Anyway, I live on 26th and Graham.. Which house is the squatter house? I go through there at least once a day! 

      • Arly August 27, 2020 (10:44 am)

        6504 24th Sw is address of squatters

    • M September 5, 2020 (5:01 pm)

      I live a few houses down from the squatters. We talked to the police while they were investigating. They are well aware of the house, and said that, as much as it pains them, the police don’t have the right to go in and kick anyone out. The officer also said they have reason to believe it’s part of an organized drug ring. I call the police on them every chance I get, but they keep to themselves for the most part when normal people are awake. My neighbors fence was knocked down and he is pretty sure that whoever did it was sneaking to that house through the woods. He has security cam footage of people walking into his back yard through the hole in the fence more than once. Ive also heard some very very strange sounds coming from that direction at night. The whole thing pisses me off. It was bad enough almost stepping on used needles when going for a run in the morning on the trail. But this has just taken things to a whole new level. I’m beyond frustrated, and I’m so fed up with Seattle and how they deal with drug addicts and the homeless problem that I’m getting ready to leave the state for good.

Sorry, comment time is over.