West Seattle, Washington
Imagine having a friend who would do anything for you.
Rachel clearly has that in Heather, who came up with a plan for a parade – starring Golden Retrievers! Rachel loves them. So Heather decided to recruit some – and their people – to parade past Rachel’s home on Alki tonight. She put out the call on social media, and we counted at least 18 who answered that call.
As you can see in our video atop the story, the dogs had a tail-wagging time too.
(Thanks for the tip on this!)
At the podium in the photo is U.S. Coast Guard Rear Adm. Anthony “Jack” Vogt, and he’s the reason that two USCG helicopters flew together along the west coast of West Seattle late this afternoon. A retirement reception was being held for Rear Adm. Vogt at Alki Point Lighthouse, celebrating 35 years of service, and we confirmed with the Coast Guard tonight that it was the reason for the flyby. Earlier in the day, he turned over the 13th Coast Guard District command to Rear Adm. Melvin Bouboulis during a ceremony at the USCG base downtown. As the announcement of the change explains, the 13th District covers “all Coast Guard operations throughout the Pacific Northwest which encompasses the states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana, and includes more than 4,400 miles of coastline, 600 miles of inland waterways, and a 125 nautical mile international border with Canada.” Rear Adm. Vogt has been 13th District commander for the past two years. RADM Bouboulis previously served as Director of Operational Logistics at USCG headquarters in Washington, D.C.
That’s a photo of Tilorae Shepherd, the 22-year-old Federal Way man shot and killed at Alki on Monday night. Just before family and friends gathered at the beach this evening for a memorial, charges were filed in the shooting that took his life and injured three other people.
The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has filed a second-degree murder charge and two first-degree-assault charges against 19-year-old Milton Arnold III of Des Moines, who’s been in custody since shortly after the shooting. The charging documents tell the story of what witnesses told police happened that night.
First – the charging documents reveal that while Arnold has no history of criminal convictions, in addition to the domestic-violence arrest last November that we mentioned in our previous coverage, he was also facing possible charges in an incident less than two months ago. Federal Way police say Arnold and accomplices robbed two people at a park there, at gunpoint, then hit one of the victims in the face with his gun, and walked both into nearby woods – still at gunpoint – as they pleaded for their lives. Charges had not yet been filed in that case. One of Arnold’s alleged accomplices that day, prosecutors say, is an 18-year-old friend who was injured in the Alki shooting – the one who was allegedly driven to Harborview, with Arnold in the same car.
Harborview, you may recall, is where police found Arnold. But first, here’s what else is the charging documents:
First, the original assessment of the victims that night as being in their 30s was incorrect. Along with the 22-year-old who was killed, and the suspect’s 18-year-old friend who was wounded, the two other people who survived with gunshot wounds to their legs are described as a woman and man who are both also 22 years old.
One witness told police that those two had “confronted his group about using fireworks” – one 911 caller said the woman had been hit with one – and alleged that Mr. Shepherd came over to defend the man, and “displayed a gun.” Another witness said that the gun was in Mr. Shepherd’s waistband, and that while he lifted his shirt to show it, he did not pull it out nor use it in any other way. As noted earlier, there had been a 911 call about a dispute involving a gun even before shots were fired; then the calltaker heard gunfire while that caller was on the line.
The documents say officers found nine fired 9mm casings at the scene along with two .25 caliber casings
Witness and vehicle descriptions were circulated among police, and when officers got to Harborview Medical Center about 15 minutes after the shooting, they saw a gray BMW arrive with two women and two men. The latter were Arnold and his previously mentioned friend, who had a gunshot wound to his abdomen. Police saw two guns in the rear passenger seat where Arnold had been sitting. Arnold matched a description given by witnesses, so officers took him into custody and impounded the car. (The two women in the car were questioned and said they had gone to Alki with Arnold but weren’t with him when the shooting happened, nor did they know his friend who was wounded.)
The other man who was shot was interviewed by police at the hospital, He said he and the woman who was shot – his partner – were riding scooters at Alki when they ran into Mr. Shepherd, an acquaintance of his. A short time later, he said, a firework hit his partner in the head, They started confronting people nearby, trying to find out who was responsible. At one point when they were asking two men if they had seen who did it, Mr. Shepherd came up behind him. The other men reportedly said, “Don’t come over here with that s—t, don’t come over here with that,” and then, the shooting survivor said, one man pulled a pistol out of his pants and shot Mr. Shepherd from just a few feet away. The survivor started running, and that’s when he and his girlfriend were shot.
Police talked to her too; she said she and her boyfriend got into “a little confrontation” with people over the fireworks but worked it out and were walking away when the two men, believed to be Arnold and his friend, said something like, “why are you beefing with my people” – and then the argument heated up again, followed shortly thereafter by gunfire. She said the two men were with two women who matched the description of the ones who arrived at Harborview with Arnold and his friend.
In trying to sort out who was armed and who fired shots, police included additional information in the charging documents: No gun was found on or near Mr. Shepherd, but a Glock .357 SIG magazine was found on him. A relative later contacted police and said Mr. Shepherd may have had his Glock 32 Gen 4 pistol with him when he was killed and provided the serial number. No casings of that type were found at the scene, just the 9mm and 25-caliber ones mentioned earlier. Detectives believe all the 9mm casings were from the same gun.
Earlier today police got a search warrant for the impounded BMW. Inside it they found a Glock 32 – but with a different serial number than the one given by Mr. Shepherd’s relative – along with a Beretta that fires “the equivalent of” a .25-caliber round, and a 9mm “ghost gun,” made from different parts. Neither the Glock nor the Beretta had ammunition but the 9mm gun had a 21-round magazine with ‘additional live 9mm rounds.” They also found a blue hat similar to what witnesses had described, and a bloody white T-shirt.
A judge set Arnold’s bail today at $2 million. He remains in the King County Jail and will be arraigned later this month.
Two West Seattle Crime Watch notes today:
ANOTHER OFFERUP USER ROBBED: The newest post on SPD Blotter spotlights three recent armed robberies of people who say it happened after they responded to OfferUp ads – two of them in West Seattle. We’ve already reported on the first one, two weeks ago in Riverview. SPD says the other West Seattle case happened this past Tuesday (June 29th), in which “a man reported he had met a man purportedly selling a car on OfferUp in the 6500 block of 30th Avenue SW, only to have the seller pull a gun on him, demand cash, and threaten to shoot him.” If you have any information about these cases, you can call SPD’s Robbery Unit at 206-684-5535.
SUSPECTED CATALYTIC-CONVERTER THEFT ATTEMPT: Emailed by a reader:
We scared off a trespasser the police believe was attempting to steal our catalytic converter at approximately 6:30 this morning, 5400 block of 49th Ave SW. A white male, 30’s, dark T-shirt and jeans, was brazenly checking our vehicle in our driveway, near our open front window. When the trespasser saw/heard us, he ran to the passenger side of a small, ‘90-’00 black sedan, headed north on 49th. SPD was quick to respond but our cameras did not get a vehicle plate number so these folks are likely still prowling.
Look closely at the lower half of our photo from midday last Sunday and you’ll see the pink tape that has marked the perimeter of the West Seattle Farmers’ Market for months, restricting entry and exit to its south and north ends. Turns out last Sunday was its last hurrah. Market management has notified the West Seattle Junction Association that the reopening changes mean it can drop the tape – so starting this Sunday (July 4th), you’ll be able to move freely between businesses and market booths. The market will no longer require masks for entry, either. And other changes may be ahead – stand by. Throughout the pandemic, despite being an outdoor venue, the market has had to deal with tough restrictions, especially from the city, which wouldn’t even let farmers’ markets open for two months, despite the governor having designated them as “essential.”
ADDED: More from the Farmers’ Market newsletter:
In accordance with the Washington State Department of Health masking order, fully vaccinated individuals are no longer required to wear a mask while in our markets.
-There are no longer capacity restrictions or lines to enter the market!
-Eating and drinking in the markets is allowed.
-NFM and Public Health no longer regulate touching/handling of produce handling, however, individual farm and market businesses may set their own safety requirements; please read signage at stands or ask if you’re unsure.
Oh Happy Day! Music, entertainment, and market events will be returning shortly.
That’s part of the road damage we first told you about Monday, on 36th SW near SW Oregon. SDOT says repair work starts tomorrow morning, and it’s extensive, so it could stretch across almost two weeks. Here’s the advisory:
Seattle Department of Transportation SDOT crews are planning on doing urgent pavement repairs on 36th Ave SW between SW Oregon St and SW Avalon Way. This work will begin tomorrow morning (Friday, July 2) and will potentially last as long as July 16.
This street was closed on Monday, June 28 due to severe damage caused by extreme temperatures. Crews will need to demolish, remove and replace 8 concrete panels.
Extreme heat can damage roads and bridges. Concrete pavement is designed to expand in hot temperatures and contract in the cold. During extremely hot weather events the heat can sometimes be so great that the expanding pavement has nowhere else to go but up, creating “buckles” in the road.
SDOT crews are continuing to respond to weather-related damage around the city, prioritizing needs with public safety as a top and hazardous conditions first. SDOT engineers are currently evaluating several other locations experiencing heat related distress around the city. Once we perform field assessments of the pavement conditions, we will be targeted and strategic in our approach to make the repairs prioritized based on public safety needs.
Every season brings different kinds of challenges to respond to, and SDOT crews work year-round to maintain to our roads, sidewalks, and curb ramps. For example, in 2020 SDOT crews filled 15,000 potholes but high temperatures can often cause previously repaired potholes to form again so our crews will be ready to respond and repair them again. We expect to continue seeing more pavement damage throughout the summer and expect to continue ongoing repairs over the next several months.
SDOT would like to remind everyone to be aware of these conditions and to be careful. You may see roads closed, signs or cones to warn of a hazard. Please be careful and obey all traffic control signs and devices. If you see road damage, please call 206-684-ROAD to report the conditions.
While we’re talking about fireworks … even if you don’t use them, someone else might set them off near your house or apartment. On the Fourth of July last year, fireworks sparked a large fire at the foot of Gatewood Hill:
That was a photo we took from our car as we happened onto the scene shortly after the fire at California/Myrtle had started, even before SFD arrived. The memory is fresh for local firefighters, too. We asked the Seattle Fire Department about prevention advice – in addition to “Don’t use fireworks” – and here’s what SFD public educator William Mace offered:
Every year, the personal use of fireworks cause fires and injures people in the Seattle area. Last year, the Seattle Fire Department responded to 16 fireworks-related fires including two structure fires. One significant fire happened on July 4, 2020 in West Seattle where fireworks ignited dry brush in front of a four-story apartment building which then quickly extended to the top floor balcony.
Fortunately, no one was injured, but several residents were displaced and the total estimated loss was $100,000.
The recent hot, dry weather significantly increases the risk for dry grass, bark, and brush fires. A firework can easily start a fire in these conditions.
Here are ways to reduce fires caused by fireworks near your home:
Remove branches, dry grass and anything that can burn from around your home.
Make sure tree branches are not touching your home.
Clear roof and gutters of evergreen needles and leaves.
Don’t leave cardboard or loose paper recyclables outside – make sure they are in a closed bin.
Keep a garden hose with nozzle hooked up and ready to use.
Also, make sure smoke alarms are working by pushing the test button.
If you experience a fire, please call 9-1-1 immediately after you are in a safe location away from the fire.
Two years ago, in unincorporated King County, a fireworks user started a two-house fire that killed a man.
Every year, Seattle Parks announces it’s keeping lights on for a few hours on the night of July 3rd and 4th at certain locations to try to deter fireworks use. It’s just announced this year’s list. Lights will go on around 8:30 pm and off at 11 pm this Saturday and Sunday at locations including these in West Seattle:
Delridge Playfield, 4458 Delridge Way SW
Hiawatha Playfield, 2700 California Ave. SW
Walt Hundley Playfield, 6920 34th Avenue SW
West Seattle Stadium, 4432 35th Ave. SW
The Parks announcement notes that fireworks, among other things, destroy artificial turf, which would cost more than a million dollars to replace on a full-size field. Also noted: “The fields will be monitored by security from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m.”
P.S. We’re checking with other jurisdictions with local parks/sports facilities to find out about their deterrence plans, if any.
The last Seattle Public Library branch in our area to reopen for in-building services will do so next Tuesday – the West Seattle (Admiral) Library at 2326 42nd SW will reopen July 6th. SPL is announcing some systemwide changes too. From the announcement:
In light of Washington state’s move to full reopening on June 30, the Library is making other changes: All reopened locations will be open at 100% capacity, will not require physical distancing, and will reintroduce additional computer stations and seating. However, for now, mask requirements remain in place for all City of Seattle buildings, including libraries. …
Thanks to $1.1 million in funding from the City’s Seattle Rescue Plan, the Library anticipates returning to pre-pandemic staffing levels to support the reopening of all locations and the expansion of open hours. With this funding, the Library can work toward full reopening throughout the summer to support Seattle’s children returning to in-person school this fall.
The announcement also notes: “Meeting rooms, study rooms, and in-person programs are not yet available at reopened Library locations.” Hours/days/services for all locations can be found here.
Today we’re welcoming a new WSB sponsor – Renewal Organizing. Businesses who join the WSB sponsor team get the opportunity to tell you about what they do – here’s what Renewal Organizing would like you to know:
Renewal Organizing offers our clients a shame-free approach to solving their organizing challenges. We specialize in helping chronically disorganized clients, as well as moves, downsizing, senior move management (such as moves into Assisted Living care facilities), and other specialty organizational needs. Renewal Organizing can help with hands-on organizing for any space in your home – whether it’s your bedroom, kitchen, kitchen pantry, or basement. Owner Ellen Sklanka and her crew can also help get you started with relocation and moving projects. They also offer do-it-yourself packages for people who are looking for a plan to jumpstart their organizing. No matter which plan you choose, Ellen will personalize it to fit your needs.
Clients have called their experience with Ellen life-changing. They’ve also said her patience and attention to detail made the project go faster.
Your home should be a place of tranquility for you – somewhere where you can relax and enjoy time with loved ones. Sometimes, our “stuff” can get in the way of our tranquility. Renewal Organizing can help! Whether your space has been taken over by a project, or paper, or even treasures, we can work together to bring your home into balance. Whether you’re a do-it-yourselfer or want it done for you, our individualized approach keeps you and your goals front-and-center as we make a plan especially for you. Also, we are members of NAPO (National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals) and NASMM (National Association of Senior & Specialty Move Managers).
You can contact Renewal Organizing online here, or by phone at 206-665-0255.
We thank Renewal Organizing for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news via WSB; find our current sponsor team listed in directory format here, and find info on joining the team by going here.
(Photo by Machel Spence)
What’s happening in the hours ahead:
SOUND TRANSIT REALIGNMENT: Board members’ discussion continues at the Executive Committee meeting that is just getting under way (10:30 am-noon) – attendance information is on the agenda.
WADING POOL & SPRAYPARK: Open today – Highland Park spraypark (1100 SW Cloverdale), 11 am-8 pm, and Lincoln Park wading pool (8011 Fauntleroy Way SW), noon-7 pm.
DEMONSTRATION: Organizer Scott‘s twice-weekly sign-waving for racial justice continues, 4-6 pm on the corners at 16th/Holden.
9208 20TH SW DESIGN REVIEW: The 77-apartment mixed-use building planned to replace a former auto shop (formerly at the address 9201 Delridge Way) goes to the Southwest Design Review Board tonight at 5 pm online. Our preview includes the design packet and attendance/commenting information.
SFD is about to dismiss most of the units that responded to a fire reported in the 2200 block of 37th SW. The fire, in the basement, is already extinguished, “(put) out by occupant.” 37th/Admiral is blocked by the response until all are cleared.
10:15 AM: Two notes that aren’t West Seattle, but aren’t far: The procession preceding the 1 pm T-Mobile Park memorial service for Seattle Police Officer Lexi Harris will affect traffic from Burien to SODO (the route will primarily be via I-5, not 509). Also, WSDOT crews are doing emergency work that has two lanes of southbound I-5 closed just before S. Forest Street.
6:03 AM: Good morning, The Fourth of July is getting closer. After a day of normal weather, today’s forecast is even a bit on the cool side, starting off with some clouds.
Delridge project – Station work as well as road work continues in this week’s Delridge-and-vicinity plan.
35th/Graham – Work continues here too, for the intersection’s signalized transformation.
Regular schedule for buses and ferries. WSF has announced that the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth route will run two boats on Sundays starting this weekend. Holiday preview: Limited West Seattle Water Taxi service Monday (July 5th). Watch @kcmetrobus for word of bus cancellations, @wsferries for major WSF changes.
BRIDGES AND DETOUR ROUTES
465th morning without the West Seattle Bridge. Here are the views of other bridges and routes:
Low Bridge: 25th week for automated enforcement cameras; restrictions are in effect 5 am-9 pm daily – except weekends, when the bridge is open to all until 8 am Saturday and Sunday mornings. (Access applications are available for some categories of drivers.)
West Marginal Way at Highland Park Way:
Highland Park Way/Holden:
The 5-way intersection (Spokane/West Marginal/Delridge/Chelan):
And the 1st Avenue South Bridge (map):
For the South Park Bridge (map), here’s the nearest camera:
Trouble on the streets/paths/bridges/water? Please let us know – text (but not if you’re driving!) 206-293-6302.