West Seattle, Washington
An unexpected note landed in the WSB inbox overnight — from the lawyer for the 17-year-old who turned himself in the day after the fatal shooting at 59th & Admiral inside the black car marked with a white arrow in the photo at right. The lawyer, Bellevue-based Robert Perez, tells WSB his client remains in juvenile detention following a hearing yesterday, and adds, “I can assure you that the circumstances leading to the shooting were anomalous and it’s my belief that my client poses no danger to anyone in your community.” That comment was in response to our followup questions after Perez’s first note to us, which asked if we would post his “call for witnesses” — in the WSB tradition of posting many things verbatim so you can evaluate for yourself, here’s what he wrote:Read More
First word from the P-I: suspect arrested in Bellevue. More to come. 12:10 PM UPDATE: Checked the King County Jail Register. Only one person booked for “investigation of homicide” in the past 24 hours; that person was booked in at 6:37 last night, out 36 minutes later. (The suspect is described as a juvenile, so this likely means he was transferred elsewhere, not set free.) The victim still has not been publicly identified; the county Medical Examiner usually issues afternoon updates, so we might have that info later.
Seattle Police say they have nothing to report from overnight, as in, nobody arrested as of this morning. No official identification of the victim yet from the King County Medical Examiner. (Our original coverage with photos is here; late-night update including this year’s other WS killings, here.)
Checked with police and watched all the late newscasts. No arrest yet, no description of the killer, no info on the victim beyond “Hispanic man in his 30s.” One report said the car (photo in our original post below) was at a gas station shortly before the shooting and that police were hoping to review security-camera videotape from that gas station, but didn’t say which station. By the way, in case you were wondering, this was the third murder in West Seattle this year. Last one: April at Cal-Mor Circle. Before that: March, 37th/Findlay.
8:50 PM SUMMARY: 59th is still closed at the scene, according to neighbors who have left comments on this post. Police have not updated their official information since 6 pm, so as far as we know, the killer is still on the loose. Regarding one comment asking whether this was random — the Seattle Police spokesman said in an earlier interview that it was not; the killer and victim were in the same car and so apparently knew each other. The P-I mentions one small additional detail – the victim is believed to have been in his 30s. We are continuing to monitor all available sources of information and will add details here as we get them.
Earlier coverage below:
ADDED AT 6:13 PM: Scene photos – we added the white arrow to the first one, to point out the black car at/in which the shooting took place. Latest information, from our first update to our most recent one, below the photos:
ORIGINAL 4:12 PM POST: A police search is under way in the Schmitz Park area — we don’t have details yet but online 911 dispatch says it’s an “assault with weapons” incident at 59th/Admiral. More to come. 4:50 PM UPDATE: A few more details on the P-I site: they quote the Fire Department as saying a man was taken to the hospital after being shot “a couple of times,” apparently inside a car. 4:55 UPDATE: In the comments, Tom says an officer “with a riot gun” has been at 57th & Hanford for a while. Thank you! 5:05 PM UPDATE: Very brief TV report says no one is under arrest yet, and says the victim and suspect were apparently together in a car described as a black Nissan. 6 PM UPDATE: TV says the victim died at the hospital. Had been shot at least twice in the chest. 6:15 PM UPDATE: We now have information directly from Seattle Police confirming that the victim is dead and that the killer is not in custody, though homicide detectives and CSI members “remain on the scene.”
EYEWITNESS ACCOUNT OF SHOOTING AFTERMATH, POSTED EARLIER AT 5:25 PM: This report from reader “Soosan,” elaborating on what she mentioned in comments:
I stumbled upon the scene today heading home from a run. Walking up 59th from the beach, got to Admiral and a police car stopped right across the street, cops came out guns drawn to approach a black car with the driver side window glass blown out.
Basically the scene was between me and home (I live on Genesee Hill) so I didn’t have much choice but to walk a little closer and then try to get quickly out of the way.
There were two bikers there, and a guy in a red SUV, all kind of stunned and watching.
The guy in the driver’s seat of the car did not look good…head lolling back, clearly had been shot. I turned to walk up Hanford, thinking to myself, “Uh-oh, I wonder where the shooter is.”
At the top of Hanford (where it dead-ends at the park) another police car sped up and stopped, there was a dad-and-kid hanging out there and the cop quickly told them to get back in their house, pulled out a supersize gun and headed into the park. I turned to keep trying to get home and a little later the same police car drove up the street.
It was one of my quickest walks ever up that very steep hill.
E-mail received this afternoon from Mike in Highland Park:
I thought you might like to pass on to your readers that some cars (including mine) were broken into last night on the 10th Avenue block between Henderson and Barton. My car’s lock was broken and the car rummaged through. My next door neighbor’s car window was broken and possessions were stolen. This is the second time a car was broken into for my household, and the 5th time for my neighbors. Please be on the watch and hopefully, the reports we make with the police department will result in more steady surveillance of the area.
Here’s the area Mike is referring to:
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So our videographer just came back from the Me-Kwa-Mooks sign dedication. Video to come — there were many wonderful things about the event, and great people there — but infuriatingly, some criminal(s) already tagged the new sign. Almost cause for breaking our no-swear-words-on-the-site policy. Yes, it’s been reported to the police. Organizers say they’ll be able to clean this idiotic vandalism off the sign’s plastic cover, thank heavens. (Sorry we’re breaking the “don’t publicize taggers by showing their stuff” credo — we’re making the picture smaller, at least — but this is too maddening not to report.)
By the way, as we review the forthcoming video, we note that Judy Bentley, who led the event, was good-natured enough to describe the vandalism, pre-unveiling, as “a sixth unanticipated layer of history” on the sign.
Just seen on tv, can’t find it online yet – the Chief Sealth student who said he was attacked just offcampus at lunchtime last Friday, now apparently says he made up the story – it was some kind of “initiation,” not a random attack.
Will keep an eye out for more followup on this.
Often, readers tell us WSB has helped them learn something they didn’t know about our community, what’s happening around WS, or the services available. We have to say, it’s been educational for us too. Only after 15 years in WS are we beginning to learn about the full scope of what’s out there. The West Seattle Community Safety Partnership is one of many groups that just weren’t on our radar, for whatever reason. But it should have been on ours, and allow us to be so bold as to say it should be on yours. Long ago, the WSCSP was known as the “anti-crime council” — but its scope goes beyond crime. As demonstrated at Tuesday night’s meeting, the group is there to gather and share information about how to pro-actively protect yourself and your family and improve your neighborhood. Its officers are volunteers, but the group is assisted by a regular allotment of time provided by the Seattle Neighborhood Group for one of its staffers, Lois Grammon-Simpson (SNGi photo of Lois at right), who lives in WS. The room all but gasped Tuesday night when Lois revealed that SNG might stop providing the group with her services, as has already happened for a similar group in Southeast Seattle. But it’s not too late to change the course …Read More
From our first visit to a West Seattle Community Safety Partnership meeting last night: First thing on the agenda, an update from WS-based Seattle Police officers, with inside info about what’s happening on our streets. Overall, crime-wise, they say things are relatively “quiet” right now — certainly doesn’t mean no crime at all (as evident here), but no huge problems. One new trouble spot mentioned by Southwest Precinct Community Police Team Officer Adonis Topacio: Reports of transients camping in Lincoln Park; if you encounter this, he said, send him e-mail with the specific location (his contact info is on this page). Also mentioned last night: Despite scattered problems, the police verdict on the just-ended summer season on Alki is “it was a great year”; recent speeding crackdowns deploying the Chargers in areas such as Highland Park Way and the 1st Avenue South Bridge have netted dozens of violators, including drivers going past 60 mph in 30 mph zones. Still lots more to tell you from last night’s meeting, including how to fight blight (such as drug houses and trashy properties) in your neighborhood, and how to keep the WSCSP group from losing a vital resource — check back this afternoon.
Checked out the monthly West Seattle Community Safety Partnership meeting tonight and came away with some eye-opening info which we will process for you by morning. Headlines include: Lincoln Park visitors should watch out for transients camping in the greenery; neighborhoods with nuisance properties have an amazing amount of guidance available for dealing with the problem; and the WSCSP needs an infusion of new community involvement or else the Seattle Neighborhood GroupÃ‚Â may have to stop providing the services of staffer Lois Grammon-Simpson to help oversee and facilitate its vital business of helping us all stay safe. This would be a big loss. More on that in a few hours.
Though this post is 10 days old and long since fallen off the WSB home page, it’s still getting comments because of other related sightings, including one last night in Pigeon Point — worth another look before that next knock at your door, especially the police advice in this newsletter. (Which reminds us, next Tuesday is the monthly West Seattle Community Safety Partnership meeting – 7 pm @ the Southwest Precinct – and as we all were reminded last month, it’s a great place to get updated information on what/who to watch out for and how to protect your home and your family.)
… permit filings are now in to rebuild the “live-work units” project that went up in flames three weeks ago (4132 Cali; here’s the original plan), and to repair one of the damaged buildings next door (4138 Cali). The arsonist or arsonists, meanwhile, are still running free out there somewhere.
A comment just in on an old post a couple pages into the site seems to merit a brighter spotlight — this is from Roger:
My old 97 Nissan pickup truck was stolen from 35th and Avalon in WS on Monday 8/27. Why anyone would steal it is beyond me. Being so old, I only had liability insurance on it. I’m really bummed out – it wasn’t much, but it was paid for and it was mine. Are stolen cars really found sometimes? I’ve sort of written it off as gone.
Roger made that comment today on our 3-week-old post 3 about someone who blogged about the theft of a different pickup. (Checking back on that blogger — turns out he got his truck back this week, and police arrested someone.) Overall, though, we thought thieves mostly targeted sedans … guess any vehicle could be at risk.
A week and a half after the arson that destroyed the in-progress building @ 4132 Cali and forced nearby residents out of their homes, what was left of the charred ruins is now gone — driving to The Junction, we just noticed the demolition crew clearing the site (photo @ right is as close as we could pull over). Still no report of anyone under arrest; 800-55-ARSON if you have any tips that might help investigators.
(PHOTOS ADDED BELOW @ 7:45 PM) WSB reader Venkat sends along the story of someone whose erratic drive up and down the Gatewood Hill stretch of Cali apparently didn’t go too well:
We were having coffee at Ladro when we saw a car with a flat tire driving along. Didn’t think anything of it, and about 2 minutes later saw sirens going the opposite direction. About 10 minutes later, after finishing up coffee, we saw police cars towards the Thriftway, when we took a look, sure enough it was the flat tire car, with the driver in the back of the police car (i.e., in custody).
When we were headed back home, up California (towards Thistle) we saw a sign had been knocked down. I thought I saw a wheel mark on the lawn of the sidewalk. We talked to some of the neighbors and someone drove their car around 70 mph, up the sidewalk, knocked over a street sign, crashed into a generator, and drove off down to Ladro (where we saw the car).
I think no injuries were sustained (except for the transformer, and someone’s railing and front yard) but it was an odd incident.
7:45 PM UPDATE: Finally found the spot after our second drive-by along the hill. Note in the second photo, the offending vehicle left something telltale behind.
Huge thanks this morning to Sage K, who already has enriched WSB with eyewitness reports about incidents including last Friday night’s Delridge fire scare and the August 12th Longfellow Creek Apts. fire. When we realized we couldn’t get to last night’s West Seattle Community Safety Partnership meeting, we asked Sage about possibly providing notes — and what notes they are — comprehensive, enhanced with attachments featuring informative handouts from the meeting, such as a list of West Seattle businesses fined for liquor violations in the past several months …Read More
If you also happened to be wondering: Seattle Police tell us this morning they have nothing new to report on last Friday morning’s big fire, just that they are “actively investigating” it. Also, they are still choosing not to talk publicly about what evidence they found that led investigators to call it arson. If you have any idea about who’s to blame, or saw anything (as police put it) “even remotely suspicious before, during, or after” — the hotline to call is 800-55-ARSON. (Photo below is one we didn’t get around to posting in the fire aftermath — chillingly charred sign nearby.)
FREEWAY FRIGHT ’07, FOURTH-TO-LAST WEEKDAY: The I-5 work crews have reached a milestone. (Maybe we’re just punchy; we childishly giggled at the text clump toward the end of that WSDOT page’s full web address: Crewsfinishjoints …) Now they’ve just got some more paving to do — weather permitting. Only two lanes open till they’re done. To check the live cams before your commute, go here.
PRIMARY ELECTION ’07, 7 AM-8 PM FOR IN-PERSON VOTERS: On the ballot you will see City Council races, Port Commission races, the School Board District 6 race, a smattering of county contests, and 2 park levies. All the info you could possibly want, even video voters’ guides, can be found from the list of links here. (We’ll have links to results here tonight.)
HELP FIGHT, AND PREVENT, CRIME, 7 PM TONIGHT: Everyone’s invited to tonight’s meeting of the West Seattle Community Safety Partnership, 7-8:30 pm @ the SW Precinct. Main topic: Protecting your home from burglary. You’ll also hear updates on recent area crime, and neighborhood reports.
From Pigeon Point on the east side of WS, a burglary report from a resident of 19th SW, shared with the permission of the PP neighborhood mailing list manager (note the burglary victim’s damage photos below the e-mail text):
I had a break-in – we believe Wednesday. I noticed it on Thursday morning when I started to do yard work. The police think it was kids looking for drugs and money. It appears that I might have interrupted them when I returned from a trip around 3:30 pm as all the TV’s, VCR’s, and computers were lined up at the back door. It also appears that they went up in the attic to get to the other side and fell thru the ceiling. The police think they then tried to get into my side by removing sheetrock from the adjoining wall. The officer said he had investigated a similar break-in Wednesday on the 4900 block of 18th. He also said there were many transients living in the woods between here and West Marginal Way.
Two things: It’s been reiterated here before; report all crimes to the police, and don’t hesitate to call 911 if you see something suspicious. Also note that the West Seattle Community Safety Partnership meets a week from tomorrow (Tuesday, 8/21), 7 pm, SW Precinct, everyone invited.