UPDATE: Police investigating Myers Way encampment death

9:10 PM: Police have converged on the unsanctioned encampment on the east side of Myers Way, across from the Arrowhead Gardens senior-living complex. They say they’re investigating a death – a man was found dead, “circumstances inknown.” We are at the scene trying to find out more.

9:17 PM: Homicide detectives have arrived.

9:46 PM: SPD spokesperson Det. Judinna Gulpan told us at the scene that this was originally called in as some kind of gunfire incident; the man who was found dead had some “signs of trauma,” but that’s all they’re saying right now. It happened somewhere deep within the extensive encampment, which was the subject of a meeting with police, other city reps, and concerned Arrowhead Gardens residents (WSB coverage here) just three weeks ago.

59 Replies to "UPDATE: Police investigating Myers Way encampment death"

  • Rhonda May 30, 2023 (10:18 pm)

    It’s tragic and unacceptable that city officials often wait until someone is shot, stabbed, or dies at illegal encampments before they sweep them. If this toxic site would’ve had all occupants removed weeks ago a life would have likely been saved. That this is state property is no excuse.

    • Mr J May 31, 2023 (8:46 am)

      And if we did our due diligence and stopped selling guns we could save hundreds of thousands of lives.The fact that it is on State Property is an issue, Seattle does not have jurisdiction over that. Awful that someone died. More awful that we continue to allow this because we’ve been cutting services for decades and are now faced with the consequences of our actions. Sweeps don’t work people, it’s just a waste of money that makes the commenters on here happy.

      • Question Authority May 31, 2023 (9:27 am)

        The article clearly says there was gunfire but there is nothing stated about a gun killing anyone so get your rant correct.

        • Mr J May 31, 2023 (10:44 am)

          Oh the rant is correct. You’re applying it to just this situation I was using it in a broad term like the commenter I was replying to. But go off.

        • NA May 31, 2023 (11:29 am)

          This was my cousin. He was found dead at the scene, the authorities called his mother last night, and he was beaten after the gun shot wound. Tragic. 

          • Rick May 31, 2023 (1:30 pm)

            Next step: ban fists? Then what’s next? Sorry for your loss. Been here since ’69 and it has gotten crazier.

          • Josh May 31, 2023 (4:06 pm)

            You conveniently skipped the part where he was shot. Interesting fact, fists are regulated too. If you are a trained fighter you are held to a higher legal standard than an untrained person if you are involved in a fist fight. 

          • Adam June 1, 2023 (6:47 am)

            That’s just a Hollywood trope from the 70s. You don’t actually register your hands as weapons. Maybe John Rambo does, but not real ppl 

          • cathy guljord May 31, 2023 (1:52 pm)

            Can you call me? I’m an outreach worker and have a client there. 206-495-8935. 

          • Mila May 31, 2023 (11:33 pm)

            Hope he didn’t feel any pain, and is in a better place. Best Regards 

    • WS Res May 31, 2023 (9:30 am)

      Sweeps cause deaths. 

      • flimflam May 31, 2023 (10:39 am)

        Ok. Well, looks like “not sweeping” caused a death too so….

      • Jeff May 31, 2023 (11:00 am)

        But most WSB commenters won’t read this or care. They’ve made up their minds: they hate the poor and don’t want them in sight. Even though them literally dying or moving around just means new poor will replace. It’s a cycle that has to be addressed federally. Need UBIs and base care package bills passed or capitalism FAILS. 

        • wscommuter May 31, 2023 (4:19 pm)

          ” … most WSB commenters …hate the poor …”  Remarkable silliness.  As a left-leaning moderate, I always am disappointed at the far left being just as silly as the far right, in terms of disconnection from truth/reality.   I’d like to expect more intelligence from the left.  

          • William June 1, 2023 (1:51 pm)

            Well said, @wscommuter. @JEFF clearly needs a sanity/reality check. Homeless encampments compromise public health and public safety in a way that demands appropriate action for the affected residents. Ignoring it, coddling it and/or making sanctimonious excuses for it also doesn’t help solve the problem either. Seattle’s homeless problem is also a function of terrible zoning ordinances where it’s illegal to build anything but single-family, detached housing in 75% of the city in King County. This artificially induces demand for more housing by significantly limiting supply, so prices increase, property values increase and the most vulnerable are the first to lose. And in a state where the lack of corporate and state income taxes already has an inflationary effect on the economy, to an extent, the salaries of tech sector workers (who’ve been moving here in droves since the early aughts) also bid up the prices of those homes because of so much scarcity: there simply aren’t enough places for everyone to live. Large, global capitals in South America, Europe and Asia have cities that have planned for and relented to higher levels of density to help solve housing shortages and increase the housing supply. But the other problem is cultural in the US: everyone still thinks living in a Levittown-style suburban ranch is attainable and sustainable when it’s clearly not for the vast majority of people.  To be simply crass about it, the homeless problem really boils down to a math problem.  

      • Wseattleite May 31, 2023 (11:12 am)

        Deaths cause sweeps.  

        • Mila May 31, 2023 (11:34 pm)

          Their just moving the deaths around.

      • No facts May 31, 2023 (1:54 pm)

        That article about sweeps is an opinion piece. It’s an anonymous blog that doesn’t even detail the correlation of data found in the study nor cite it’s references. It’s purely anecdotal fluff from someone who doesn’t like the sweeps.In addition to the saying that the sweeps “show no feasible improvement of health outcomes” is nonsense. I bet the people who are raped, trafficked, or assaulted would say their health benefited from outside intervention.If you’re going to use a website for reference, use a legitimate site that cites it’s sources and doesn’t let an anonymous author spew unsubstantiated conjecture. 

    • Mila May 31, 2023 (11:27 pm)

      People die everywhere quit pointing fingers. You can’t close everything because someone died there. Inmates died at the jail they haven’t closed that yet. I bet someone died at that Senior Center there it still hasn’t been shut down. Their going to move these people so somebody can die somewhere else. 

      • Mila May 31, 2023 (11:39 pm)

        Get some more affordable housing built, like The Rise on Yancy in West Seattle. 

  • Alki resident May 30, 2023 (10:22 pm)

    This needs to go NOW. It’s exactly what I’ve said all along, it’ll take a death before things change. 

    • susie May 31, 2023 (6:56 am)

      “If this site would had been removed weeks ago”— it more than likely would have happened somewhere else. “It needs to go now” —if you have some concrete good ideas and know how to fix this DO IT, call the Mayor go to his office and help them don’t just post your criticism here on the WSB.
      The City of Seattle is a city of many neighborhoods, not just this little corner, don’t think Burien, White Center, Highland Park, South Park to name a few are not feeling the effects from all of this. We had Covid and got thru it, now we’ve got this epidemic/pandemic and we need to figure out a way to get thru this too. I don’t have the “smarts” to figure it out but I know there are a lot of people out there that do. If its not the “officials” then its got to be the “regular” people giving them the ideas and help. 

  • Admiral May 30, 2023 (10:38 pm)

    Wow new buzzwords, unsanctioned encampment.  The so called campers are illegally trespassing on State ROW and now a homicide. Enough already, it’s past time to clear the illegal encampment and not let new one’s form.  

    • WSB May 30, 2023 (10:53 pm)

      It’s neither buzzwords nor new. The phrase has been in use for at least a decade. We had it in this 2013 story:

    • Jeff May 31, 2023 (10:07 am)

      I take issue with “so called” as if these aren’t POOR people who have no where else to stay. And I don’t want to hear about temporary shelters that kick you out after a small amount of time. We have an epidemic that this system breeds by not providing UBIs or base shelter. We need to take care of human beings before military spending, frivolous police spending, waterfront developments, etc. in this country., 

      • MyThruppence May 31, 2023 (11:01 am)

        Half the country…probably more than half…does not agree with you and will never agree to those terms. Now, in the meantime, what’s your next idea?

        • Scarlett May 31, 2023 (12:40 pm)

          Wrong.  The majority of the country recognizes that we have an affordable housing crisis that is not being solved by rapacious, predatory capitalism.   Let me amend that, because what we have is not real capitalism in the best sense of the word, but repulsive crony capitalism that has politicians on the payroll. 

          • MyThruppence May 31, 2023 (3:57 pm)

            I didn’t say that half the country doesn’t recognize a problem. I think what you have failed to grasp is that the other half that disagrees with you aren’t disagreeing about their being a problem, they disagree that UBI and/or forever rent control is the way to achieve the affordable housing for everyone who wants it goal. Those solutions to you are non-starters for them. That will never change, no matter how many studies you present to them, and let me reiterate, they are half or more of the rest of the country.

        • Josh May 31, 2023 (4:11 pm)

          Most of the country believes in adhering to basic human rights and dignity. Sadly we live in a system of government where the table is tilted to favor conservative government so that rich people and rural states and regions have outsized power. 

          • Scarlett June 2, 2023 (2:47 pm)

            I try not to use political labels anymore, because both political parties are actively engaged in exacerbating the wealth gap.  This budget that just passed is essentially a transfer of wealth to the upper middle class and wealthy, Republican and Democrat, as it will inflate the assets of both.   At the end of the day, and after all the high dudgeon from both parties, it’s always about money.  Always.  

  • flimflam May 31, 2023 (6:34 am)

    I really feel for the folks in the senior living – they have all likely led decent, productive lives only to have to live with this mess right across the street during their remaining years. Witnessing trees being hacked down, the threat of violence or theft, the general unease of being so close to such unstable people – many entally ill or drug fueled or both. Its disgraceful and these seniors deserve better. The city has been wringing its hands over these “encampments” for far too long and only takes action (as a poster said above) if there’s a death. Ok, now what?

  • K May 31, 2023 (7:04 am)

    A reminder that after all the pearl-clutching and “what about the children”-ing, homeless people are far more likely to be the victims of crime than housed people.  I hope they can identify this person and their family quickly, and I hope that the perpetrator is found and brought to justice.  Keeping their loved ones in my thoughts as they wake up to this news.

    • anonyme May 31, 2023 (1:42 pm)

      For one thing, people being concerned about dangerous, unsanitary, and illegal activities/conditions in their neighborhoods – including murder, for chrissake -can hardly be considered “pearl-clutching”.  It’s also probable that the reason homeless people are more likely to be victims of crime is due to other homeless people.  I doubt that the seniors at Arrowhead Gardens are victimizing the cartel across the street.

  • snowskier May 31, 2023 (7:47 am)

    Ok City, State, County of whichever government agencies can claim jurisdiction over this stretch of land.  You knew it was a problem, people told you it was a problem, the senior citizens hosted a meeting showing it was a problem and we all knew it was a matter of time before something tragic happened.  Well, something tragic happened so let’s clear out the problem before another tragic thing happens.  It’s getting into summer and we just saw a fire under the Albro exit last night, think how fast the large greenbelt could go up in flames if a fire starts in this ‘campground’ that hasn’t been shuttered.

    • High Point May 31, 2023 (10:35 am)

      Wait, this encampment spans the entire distance from Myers Way to the Albro Exit off ramp? That’s crazy. Where does it cross the river?

      • snowskier May 31, 2023 (12:50 pm)

        Not what I said.  The Albro fire was at an encampment in a much less wooded area.  This encampment is in a much larger wooded area so the potential fire risk is higher.   I doubt these campers will respect a burn ban if one is enacted this summer.

        • High Point June 1, 2023 (10:16 am)

          Oh… I see. I guess I misunderstood. I think your concern about fire is legitimate. Maybe have a newspaper delivered to the encampment so they can keep up with what’s going on? Or maybe they just don’t know the dangers of fire during the dry season? It might not be a bad idea to swing by sometime and let them know, for everyone’s safety. If they’re not keeping up with the news, it’s unlikely they are reading the comment section of the WSB.

          • momosmom June 1, 2023 (10:39 am)

            GEEZ Highpoint —You replied back with that answer to SNOWSKIER! Unless these people were born yesterday then yes they would realize the dangers of a fire in a wooded area in the Summertime! But it’s more like would they/do they care of the consequences if they do start a fire, which I hope they still have the sense not to. 

          • High Point June 1, 2023 (11:25 am)

            MOMOSMOM – You are right, the likelihood that someone born yesterday would be able to  start a fire is very low. I’ve held a one-day old baby, there’s no chance they would be a threat to the woods. Also don’t you worry, I’ve read through the comment section of this article. Clearly, we as a  West Seattle community, no longer care about consequences, either to the woods, the people living in them or the people living around them. Maybe within that one-day old’s lifetime, our West Seattle community can figure out how to care about people as much as we care about trees. Until then, these situations will just continued to be used to gain political power. The day we learn to help the people living in the woods, will be the day we also learn how to save the woods themselves. Good luck out there.

  • momosmom May 31, 2023 (10:09 am)

    I hear you but the State, City, County or whoever can get these “campers” removed, out of there, but all it does is move them to another site and it just starts all over again.This whole thing needs to be “fixed”, how I have no idea but come on one of the 3 get it figured out.

  • MyThruppence May 31, 2023 (10:58 am)

    So if we don’t do sweeps, and someone dies in one of these encampments, can we then proclaim that not sweeping causes death? Sweep early, sweep often.

    • Carla May 31, 2023 (1:26 pm)

      4 al of u who have negative comments about th ppl living in these encampment u have no idea who they r..u all can b so heart less and disrespectful it makes no sense if ppl wouldn’t make it basically impossible to rent a hom or these tiny ass apartments there would b less homeless on the stresses less ppl doing watever they can to get som money it makes no sense to pay the amount of rent u have to pay just to b in the city limits an most land lords do because they can just to get some extra money  it’s not right and most of the homeless have families kids and no one wants to give them a chance because of something they did 20 or 30 yrs..well guess wat everyone needs to stop acting like they’ve never made a mistake in there life …is there no more humanity left in th world none of this makes sense make housing affordable and things like this would happen less often

      • Rhonda May 31, 2023 (2:56 pm)

        Well, we know at least one of them was a murderer.

        • Seriously May 31, 2023 (4:35 pm)

          Rhonda, When housed people commit crimes, do you generalize about them? Because a lot of houses people do terrible things, so maybe we should be worried about you. 

          • Alki resident June 1, 2023 (11:03 am)

            Seriously-You’re right, Our neighbors are in a house field by drugs and criminal activity. They recently shot someone walking past on the street. We are diligently working to get these people evicted so we can finally have some peace and safety again. NO different than the encampment in the woods. I watched when they first started moving in back in November. The first car I saw was a man driving a beat up suv with three people nodded off in it. They were clearly drug addicts and I knew from the start this was going to be all bad. My relatives had to finally sell their house on the other side of the encampment by the church a few short years ago because the people living in the woods kept showing up on their cameras and not to mention the rats galore. The large uncontained  forest fire is what set them over the edge and they finally sold and moved away. 

        • Anywhere but here June 1, 2023 (10:47 am)

          Hahaha. As if housed people don’t kill people.  What a ridiculous statement.  

      • Scarlett June 1, 2023 (3:17 pm)

        Carla:  Most of the commenters here have no clue what it takes to rent today’s market, and frankly, they don’t care.  They’ll retreat into their memorized lectures about “rolling up your sleeves,” as if this is 1950.   Hey, but tough guy McCarthy scored one for America – he got his little vindictive beat-down on fellow Americans passed in the budget bill,  work requirements for those on public assistance.   

  • MyThruppence May 31, 2023 (11:07 am)

    I have it figured out already. If you are trespassing, have been warned, and you return (here is the key point) ever, then you go to jail. Most people don’t enjoy jail, therefore most trespassers will leave that area and never return in order to avoid it. Yes, it will mean more jails. So what. It’s about the same as the billions we are spending on carrots. Let’s instead spend it on sticks. At least with the negative reinforcement method the right-of-way’s don’t get trashed and we don’t become the ultimate destination for those looking for rock candy mountain. Trust me, they will move on to the nearest community which is ambivalent, conflicted, or unorganized and that will let them fester for long periods of time consequence free. There you go. Problem solved.

    • Jeff May 31, 2023 (12:06 pm)

      You cannot simply just “jail the poor away” how many unbiased journals post data on this for you to get it? Now what’s your next (bad) idea?

      • MyThruppence May 31, 2023 (3:41 pm)

        I’m not suggesting we jail anyone for being poor. I am however all for jailing those that break the law. I am also for alternate programs that WORK. Programs that do not show results should be immediately discontinued however, and the more remedial approaches then once again undertaken. This is the part we are stuck in now; a system based on neither.

      • Ferns May 31, 2023 (9:23 pm)

        How do you know that everyone in this encampment is poor? Being poor isn’t a free pass on civilized behavior. Last I heard crime and drug sales make money… is it okay for a person to conduct illegal business and live on (and destroy) public property if they are not poor? If they in fact earn a living and have money (enough to buy a gun for example)? Then what excuse are you going to make for their antisocial behavior and crimes? Those in the encampment are not entitled to live there. They could just as easily squat on your sidewalk and I’d love to see how cool you are with it then. I care more about the law abiding seniors in the community next door than I do about scofflaws who destroy parks and terrorize the elderly with threats of violence. 

    • justme May 31, 2023 (12:14 pm)

      Jail doesn’t really work on those with addiction because treatment is not manditory in jails and as we all know, drugs are smuggled in all the time. East Coast has great programs where the treatment is manditory in separate facilities and they are also taught job skills along with counselling and monitored closely after they’re released.

      • MyThruppence May 31, 2023 (3:47 pm)

        You make it sound like inmates can order illegal drugs and simply put it on their commissary card. If they choose to use while they are incarcerated, then they have made the same choice they made on the outside. I don’t really care either way. It is their choices that are out of order. Fix it and live free, or refuse to fix it/continue to break laws, then live behind bars. Either way, our city stops being trashed and our law abiding citizens stop being victimized by all the crime associated with unsanctioned encampments.

    • Pete May 31, 2023 (12:16 pm)

      Assuming every homeless is an addict and jailing everyone you don’t like is a disingenuous approach but you knew that when you posted this bile, didn’t you? 

      • Ts May 31, 2023 (10:14 pm)

        Can we just jail the people firing guns every night? Or the person who broke into the Shag laundry room and took a dump in a washing machine. Or those who torment the elderly? Or the person who committed murder? As stated in interviews, a lot of these RVs showed up the day of or the day after the sweep under the bridge, the one with the shop chop with 100 stolen cars. Let’s not pretend that these are just poor and homeless people. Taking a  Bobcat onto property you don’t  own and knocking down trees is not ok and possibly a danger to the roads below. How about we Protect the elderly and the law abiding residents of the tiny home village from people making dangerous choices in their neighborhood. 

  • Anywhere but here June 1, 2023 (10:53 am)

    This comment section made me truly realize that the homeless are in far more danger from the residents of WS than the other way around.  Most of you should be ashamed of yourselves.  

    • Bridget June 1, 2023 (11:40 am)

      Clearly you don’t live next to an encampment. Not ashamed at all when fireworks and gunshots keep us awake at night and the neighborhood is being terrorized by these unlawful illegal occupations. 

Sorry, comment time is over.