DID YOU SEE ANYTHING? Witnesses sought in longtime West Seattle resident’s shooting death near Costco

You might have heard about what police called a “road rage” shooting death on 4th Avenue South near Costco one week ago.

We now know the 68-year-old man who was killed, Bob Jensen, had deep roots in West Seattle.

The man who shot and killed him called 911 to report what he’d done. But police haven’t arrested him – they’re looking for more witnesses to help them clarify what happened and whether it was a crime.

Mr. Jensen’s longtime friend David Katt tells WSB he had just seen him the preceding Saturday, at their 50-year reunion for Chief Sealth‘s Class of 1972 – Mr. Jensen, he says, was also an alum of Fauntleroy Elementary and Denny Junior High – so old-school Seattle, he was a “Patches Pal,” as the photo at right underscores. According to Katt, Mr. Jensen cared daily for his elderly mother, “bought groceries for his 96-year-old neighbor, volunteered at the Hydroplane Museum, Ski Patrol … (and was) loved by many in the West Seattle community. We are searching for answers. The lack of an arrest is incomprehensible.”

Police say they got the call at 10:13 am last Thursday (July 21st), that a man had been shot in the 4400 block of 4th Avenue South. They found Mr. Jensen, who had been shot in the abdomen. He died at Harborview Medical Center. One of the 911 calls came from the 38-year-old man who shot him, who police say “remained on scene to provide a statement.” Police say witnesses reported the two men “had been involved in a road-rage incident that escalated to a confrontation, and then a shooting.” They seized the other man’s gun as evidence, but did not arrest him.

Now, they’re looking for more people who may have seen the shooting. Their update says, “There were many vehicles stopped on 4th Avenue South when the shooting occurred, and detectives believe the occupants of those vehicles may include witnesses. Nearby surveillance camera footage shows multiple cars in the area — including vehicles similar to a Lexus SUV, a Toyota Highlander, and a Toyota RAV4.” Here’s an image they’re circulating:

The police call for witnesses says, “If you were in any of the cars identified in these photos, or were stopped in traffic nearby and witnessed any portion of this incident, please call the Violent Crimes Tip Line at 206-233-5000 or email SPD_homicide@seattle.gov.”

Mr. Jensen’s friends are hoping for information too, to know what could possibly have happened that led to the violent death of a man they knew as selfless: “Bob was a very skilled carpenter, plumber, welder, electrician. Would work oftentimes for no fee,” says Katt, who adds that his understanding is that Mr. Jensen was unarmed. Police have not released further details about the reported circumstances.

52 Replies to "DID YOU SEE ANYTHING? Witnesses sought in longtime West Seattle resident's shooting death near Costco"

  • Beto July 28, 2022 (10:41 pm)

    It breaks my heart to know that an altercation that could have been prevented from escalating ended up with the life of one person.  Was it really necessary to use a weapon as part of the conflict? I don’t think Mr. Jensen was carrying another gun and the shooter had to balance the encounter with his own gun.  Sad, so sad. May he rest in peace and my condolences to his family.

  • Ron M July 28, 2022 (11:51 pm)

    An armed 38 year old man felt threatened enough by an unarmed 68 year old man to shoot and kill him in broad daylight? I hope they find more information on this.

    • Rhonda July 29, 2022 (12:23 am)

      The 68 year-old man may have had a deadly weapon. The 38 year-old would’ve been arrested on the spot and already charged by now if there was any question that he wasn’t a victim in some way. This is yet another example of why motorists need to IGNORE and AVOID aggressive and hazardous drivers and never confront, provoke, or escalate in any way.

      • RickB July 29, 2022 (7:11 am)

        Or we could, you know, take away the guns.

      • Lindsey July 29, 2022 (10:51 am)

        Neighbor, you have far too much faith in SPD. 

      • Liz July 30, 2022 (11:46 am)

        According to this article and several other sources, the victim was unarmed. What could he have done? He was outside of his vehicle, the victim was inside his. 

        • Dean Fuller July 30, 2022 (4:07 pm)

          Not fair to call him the victim at this point.  Unless a crime was committed, he’s not a victim.  And we don’t know that a crime was committed.  Also, it is generally not unlawful to use deadly force to stop violent entry into a vehicle which which you are occupying.  The law, generally, treats the vehicle the same as your house in these cases.  Tactically, you have to assume someone trying to violently enter into your vehicle is looking to do you harm.

          • Just Joe August 4, 2022 (3:53 pm)

            You should educate yourself on Washington States “use of force” law.in Washington, for example, “ a person may only use “deadly force” in self-defense when they are in “imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury.” 

  • marcus July 29, 2022 (4:56 am)

    I knew Bob in high school.  He was two years ahead of me.  He was a nice guy, he drove me to football games at Memorial Stadium at the Seattle Center.  Very sad!

  • 22blades July 29, 2022 (6:42 am)

    Lexus,  Highlander AND or OR RAV4: looking for 3 cars or 1? Also the White Semi with a conventional cab loaded with sheetrock is a fleet vehicle with possible tracking along with a time stamp of 10:13 might be a witness. The high cab is a good vantage point.

  • Lola July 29, 2022 (7:30 am)

    This was the Shooting that I e-mailed the WSB about when it happened.  I never saw anything on the news about it or heard anything until now. My son was the one who texted me to stay away from 4th Ave. Near Costco as he has a friend who is a 911 dispatcher who told him.  I am sad to hear that a person has died from this incident.  I know that crossing that 4th Ave Bridge can be trying at times especially the ones who know that the right lane ends and they have to merge over to the left lane to cross it.  You get some people who Challenge you when the light turns green.They need to fix this bridge as it has been quite a few years that the right lane going N. Bound has been out of commission for years.  

    • WSB July 29, 2022 (9:58 am)

      The info flow on this incident has been somewhat unusual. There were some citywide reports about it after SPD published a blotter post about it the day it happened. There wasn’t much info that day, though, not even whether it was at Costco or in the lot or in the street, and there was no indication of a search, so there wasn’t much we could do with it. Then someone emailed us a few days later saying the person who was killed had West Seattle ties; I could not find anything until David Katt’s email this week. The Medical Examiner didn’t release his ID until Wednesday, according to The Times – TR

      • Jeepney July 29, 2022 (11:35 am)

        Other media coverage was very confusing.  First reports I saw said that it occurred in Chinatown / International District.  Hope some witnesses come forward to provide clarity.

        • WSB July 29, 2022 (11:52 am)

          SPD Blotter called it “the Industrial District.” We’ve always called the Costco vicinity “SODO.”

          • Lamont July 29, 2022 (11:44 pm)

            I’ve lived in Seattle since 1989 and “the Industrial District” doesn’t make me blink and i understand it is identical to SODO.  I’ve always found “SODO” to actually feel a bit clunky to use.

    • bill July 29, 2022 (11:30 am)

      The railroad won’t cooperate with the city to allow repairs.

      • Kathy July 29, 2022 (2:16 pm)

        If the 4th Ave bridge over the railyard can’t support 4 lanes of traffic, they should turn one lane into a 2 way protected bike lane. I was riding south on that bridge to get to Georgetown Brewing when I thought I was in a protected bike lane only to find it abruptly ended and I was stranded riding directly into northbound traffic with no sidewalk or shoulder for escape. They should extend the closure down to the intersection to make it possible for people to bike safely across the railyard. It would be a simple fix. It sounds like the railroad is not going to be cooperative. Even if they eventually do, SDOT needs to make a space for people biking on this bridge.

        • WS resident July 29, 2022 (6:16 pm)

          How did a story about a murder (potentially) turn into a bike lane post?!?! SMH

          • momosmom July 30, 2022 (6:57 am)

            Because so many people all they care about is “me” (themselves). RIP Bob and thoughts and prays to his family and friends

      • burb July 29, 2022 (4:57 pm)

        Agreed, it is hugely complicated because of the work over a critical rail yard and switch location.  This affect commerce along the west coast.  I worked on the Argo bridge rehab years ago on Airport Way.  

  • Wendell July 29, 2022 (10:29 am)

    This story is sad, troubling, and odd. Does the shooter have connections in high places, or is a law abiding citizen that felt their life was being threatened?

    • Both sides July 29, 2022 (2:19 pm)

      Important to hear both sides of the story, or from impartial witnesses to get all the facts. Unless the victim pulled a gun or made a direct immediate threat to his life, don’t see how shooting is justifiable. You can’t go around shooting people because you’re angry or acted like a jerk and now youre scared. Not saying that’s what happened here, but that seems to happen.

      Never hear of road rage incidents that don’t involve guns. Wouldn’t that be refreshing, to hear something like, ‘two motorists pulled over and had heated words with one another, and then they went their separate ways. No serious injuries.’

      So tired of the aggression, violence, and oppression out there. People need to chill out, and mind their own lives and actions. Be more careful, look out for one another. 

      • alki_2008 July 29, 2022 (7:11 pm)

        If it’s not guns, then it’s hammers or baseball bats or knives. Should we all carry every possible weapon so we can grab the comparable item when being attacked?  If someone pulls a knife on me, then I should pull a knife…but if they swing a baseball bat, then I need to grab my bat?

        • Auntie July 29, 2022 (8:32 pm)

          It’s like a life-size, scary game of rock/scissors/paper. Which weapon does one need?

        • Both sides July 29, 2022 (9:59 pm)

          If these things could be used in the exact same way as guns, then there would be just as many incidents with these potential weapons, which are more easily accessible than guns, but there are not.

          Guns make people feel powerful, because the gun is powerful. They are fast, highly dangerous, can be used from a distance, and easy for many to wield, regardless of size and strength.

          Fighting with a bat, knife, rock, etc, is not the same, and many who would carry and shoot a gun, would not attempt a fight with one of these other objects.

        • bolo July 30, 2022 (1:00 pm)

          Hammers are used every day primarily for building things we need.
          Knives are used everyday for many important things, including food prep.
          Baseball bats are used in America’s Favorite Pastime sport.
          Handguns are used for….. ?

        • Dean Fuller July 30, 2022 (4:13 pm)

          No.  The legal standard for justifying use of deadly force is already quite clear.  No need to muddy the waters.

      • Dean Fuller July 30, 2022 (4:12 pm)

        direct immediate threat to his life” is not the legal standard for justifiable deadly force.  It’s more along the lines of “imminent threat of serious injury or death”.  People often forget the “serious injury” proviso.  Notice there’s nothing in the standard about “armed” or “unarmed”.  The “unarmed” part that people often use as a read herring . . . ..

  • Lola July 29, 2022 (10:38 am)

    What I can’t believe is that they did not arrest the guy who shot him?  When I heard about this from a friend how the guy did call the police to say that he shot the man I can’t believe that they did not even take him to the station?  Do we know if the police went to the scene when the guy called or was it hours later? Of course the only one they interviewed was the one who shot the other guy and if he died before they interviewed him then they only have one side of the story.  You would think that they would have rushed there after he called.  Something has to change as there are far too many shootings on a daily basis.  

  • waikikigirl July 29, 2022 (11:16 am)

    Bob was a childhood neighbor of my husbands family, we heard about it the day or next day after it happened from my mother in law who still lives in the neighborhood.  Bob was actually doing an odd job for her, he was like that helping people he knew and people he didn’t know.  My husband says he can’t believe Bob was confrontational with the other driver said Bob was even keel easy going. Condolences to his family and friends… His family will know who this is from…redhead and freckled kid from across the street.

  • wsgal July 29, 2022 (1:27 pm)

    Bob was a very kind man, as a few have said in the city-news-stories, it just doesn’t sound like him to be in a confrontational situation like this. Really hope they are able to find out more information, something just doesn’t seem right. 

  • Sandy Green Fauver July 29, 2022 (3:15 pm)

    I have know Bob since he was about 10yrs old.  He was my brother’s, Buddy Green’s best friend for years.  In later years Bob helped us on our sprint car racing team.  When our car would be involved in a wreck I would be the first to want to go down to the other driver(s) pit and have a “word”.  I am a female, 8 yrs older than Bob.  He would pick me up and hold me back and say NO, it was not worth it.  I explain this because THIS is Bob.  He was not a man to rile up, he was a peace keeper.He was so caring and kind and selfless.  He would do anything, for anyone, at anytime, day or night.  All his life he cared for people first, not himself.  He was absolutely non-confrontational .  Ask any of his friends and they will say the same.  Look to the posts on Facebook about the incident under Sealth High Reunion, over 100 posts from people who knew Bob and not ONE of them can believe he would be involved in anything like this.  He had a heart of GOLD and didn’t deserve to die like this.  There is absolutely MORE to this.  It is too easy to listen to the story told by the living suspect, and I say suspect because he should be.  He should have gone in custody right then and been arrested until it all could be sorted out.  How the suspect “feared for his life” is beyond me.  Bob had NO weapon in his hand and had just stepped from his truck when the suspect fired his gun.  Why did the suspect even have a gun  with him?????  Sure he stayed there and called, I bet he did.  He wanted to tell the police his story, which at the time could be anyway he wanted it to go.  Bob died without being able to tell his story, so we, his friends and family have to be the ones to do it for him.I have been told David Katt has been in touch with the detective on the case and I will help anyway I can to set this right.It is just a horrible shame that a person like Bob was taken like this from the World, when we need so many more like him.  I very much want to see Justice for Bob.  Please anyone with information contact the Seattle Police and report it.This is a tragedy and outright tragedy…………….Sandy (Green) Fauver

    • Liz July 30, 2022 (11:59 am)

      He was so considerate that, after getting shot in the abdomen, he got back in his truck and pulled over so he wasn’t blocking traffic. Can you even imagine? I wonder if he would have lived if he’d just stayed still.

    • Dean Fuller July 30, 2022 (4:18 pm)

      “feared for his life” is beyond me.  Bob had NO weapon in his hand”  Ah but that’s not the legal standard for justifiable use of deadly force, now is it?Why did the suspect even have a gun  with him????? ”  He was exercising his fundamental human right of armed self defense with the gun of his sole choosing.“I very much want to see Justice for Bob. ”  Bob may get justice, but not in the criminal court system.  Remember, the criminal court system was designed (rightfully), only to protect the rights of the accused.  It’s nothing to do with the so-called “victim”.

      • Wendell July 30, 2022 (6:34 pm)

        I keep checking back on this thread in the hope there will follow up info from law enforcement. I can’t get past the fact that an unarmed man gets shot by an armed man, and the armed man was released at the scene. Will there be any more information forthcoming?

        • WSB July 30, 2022 (7:26 pm)

          Everything above is everything SPD has released so far.

    • Mickey August 18, 2022 (10:57 am)

      Thank you for your post. I 100% agree. I have known Bob since 2013 or before. He lives down the street from my 102 year old grandma. He did so much for her. He was there many times a week, night and day helping her as she lives alone. I became friends with Bob and was greatful for everything he did. He was better than family to me and my grandmother.   IT DOES NOT MAKE ANY SENSE that Bob would be involved in any road rage or be confrontational at all. I could see a misunderstanding and Bob getting out to say ” hey man, did not see your blinker etc” He was a peacemaker, not a temperamental guy one bit!!!  This guy did suff for everyone and lots of folks never paid him what they owed. Bob was a chill guy whos life ended for no good reason. He cared for his Mother until she passed about a year ago and he was just starting life over for himself.  I talked to him a week before he was shot.I have looked at the photos and if he was shot in the gut, the gun was held low where mayby Bob did not even see it. Aim a gun high at his face and the guy would back away so he does not get shot. This persons adrenaline was pumping and they were scared, angry and maybe pulled the trigger on accident. We may never know. If this guy shot Bob and was in front of Bobs truck after he shot him… why drive awayy to call police?? I dont think he needrd to drive off just because the light changed as Bob was behind him dying in his truck. Shooter changed his mind. He was going to drive off but realized he would be caught. If I shot someone on accident or self defense, I would not leave the scene. Call 911 right away and say I shot this guy on accident.Bob ironically bought property to move away due to the rise in crime in the city. Bless you buddy. I will miss you. Aly will miss the ice cream you would buy for her upon our visits to Grandmas house.I have a gun but I dont carry it in my vehicle where I could reach it. People driving in the city are crazy and rude. I try and not get involved in these situations. Its hard.  My condolences to Bobs friends and family. Great guy gone way too soon. I hope justice is done here. 

  • JM July 29, 2022 (5:08 pm)

    In order to get some more witnesses involved, the news story should mention the color, make and models of the two vehicles involved to help people recollect seeing some road rage type behavior prior to this event. Merging onto the First Ave S bridge is stressful and it could have started way back there, since Bob is from W.S. I think the road rage would had to have built up to get to this stage prior to the merge on the 4th Avenue overpass. I would think the police could track where a person’s phone or On-star monitoring was and possibly show us the route that was taken. What a shame. I knew Bob and he was a good man.


  • Marianne July 29, 2022 (9:25 pm)

    It is great that there is a photo with vehicles whose drivers may be witnesses.   Are there no photos of the vehicle that Robb Mason’s killer was in, or even witness vehicles?

  • Lamont July 29, 2022 (11:54 pm)

    There’s a really disturbing online trend where people fantasize about road rage incidents where if the other driver gets out of their vehicle that the internet lawyers feel that constitutes such a threat to their safety that even in the absence of any weapon being involved (and being behind the safety of a bunch of metal and safety glass) that you can freely murder the other person with your vehicle or a gun.

    • Rhonda July 30, 2022 (12:44 pm)

      Why would you get out of your vehicle to confront another driver in an already-escalated traffic situation? Stay in your vehicle, roll up your windows, lock your doors, and leave the area  quickly, and call us at 911. Many regional departments as well as WSP have made road rage incidents a priority.

      • Lamont July 30, 2022 (10:59 pm)

        I would never get out of my vehicle in any kind of road confrontation situation.  But if someone does leave their vehicle that doesn’t mean it is fair game to murder them.

    • Dean Fuller July 30, 2022 (4:22 pm)

      It’s nothing to do with fantasy – it’s simply the law.  Why do you mention “unarmed”?  This is the most commonly shouted red herring in self defense shootings.  “Armed” is not a bar that must be legally met to justify use of deadly force.

      • Lamont July 30, 2022 (10:58 pm)

        You are only allowed to use deadly force in self-defense when there is a
        threat of harm so great that it could cause you death or serious
        injury.  People mention “unarmed” because the presence of a deadly weapon can easily constitute a deadly threat.  The absence of a weapon doesn’t mean there is an absence of a deadly threat, but it is more or less a requirement.  But there still needs to be a deadly threat.  Someone out of their vehicle shouting at you, even if they’re quite angry does not constitute a deadly threat, particularly if you are still within your own vehicle. 

        • Dean Fuller July 31, 2022 (1:57 pm)

          I’m sorry, as previously explained, “deadly threat” is not the bar.  You said so in your post at the beginning.  Do you not believe yourself?

          • Jethro Marx August 1, 2022 (1:15 pm)

            Dean, why don’t you tell us what you feel the standard is? The law is not clear in the way you seem to think. If the shooter “fears for their life” they may claim self-defense, but that says nothing to how reasonable the fear is. In this case I think you’ll find that the shooter is a coward with a puffed-up chest and a gun always at hand. Unconfirmed reports are that the shooter refused to zipper merge and then continued with “break-checking” and flip-offs. After the deceased left their vehicle empty-handed they were shot. The shooter also allegedly took a course of some kind on what to say to justify your self-defense shooting. If our laws allow murder as long as the killer “thinks he saw something in their hand” then they’re failing us. This person should not be allowed to own guns or cars.

  • Mike S July 31, 2022 (9:54 am)

    I guess the gun carrier didn’t feel like he had any other choice but to kill Bob.  His car must have quit running or he was boxed in or he couldn’t find any other way to escape an unarmed man.    Or…..he just saw the slightest opportunity to use  his handgun, be justified by legal standards in doing so and finally win a road rage incident by taking Bob’s life  I hope he realizes over and over again what he did to Bob, his family and friends every time he gets into his car or closes his eyes for the rest of his life.  Sad that a few minutes of anger because of traffic can lead to this.

    • Brian E August 1, 2022 (1:29 pm)

      From the photo he wasn’t boxed in, he could have just driven forward to avoid any threat. It appears sad to me that someone thought the risk of a ticket for running against a red light is worse than killing someone. There has to be more to this that the police have not released. I also knew Bob (and his family) and this seems so unnecessary to have happened. The legal standard for self defense is pretty clear in Washington state and I just don’t see facts here that establish a case for it.

  • Cesar Ajeto July 31, 2022 (2:04 pm)

    I was talking to Bob Jensen on July16 at the Lincoln Park Chief Sealth class reunion. He was such a nice guy that I cannot believe how he can even be involved in a road rage incident! Was he confronting the shooter that he felt threatened he had to use a gun? There has to be someone that was stopped in traffic that saw what happened and need to come forward. Rest in peace Bob!

  • Shelly Crotteau July 31, 2022 (8:25 pm)

    I knew Bob in the 1980s and heard about this on the news.  At first I thought it can’t be the same Bob Jensen and then saw the pictures and knew it was.  I can’t imagine him being a threat other than he was a larger person who might have seemed threatening due to his size.  Is this justification to shoot someone?   I suppose an attorney could make it justifiable.  I want to understand this as I’m sure MANY people who knew this man do!!!!  As said, DEEPLY connected in West Seattle and a LONG time contributor to our community.  Sweeping this incident under the rug is not answers and will only make for this type of situation to be copied!   RIP Cowboy Bob.  My thoughts are with your family and friends.  

Sorry, comment time is over.