West Seattle, Washington
3:34 PM: The Guardian One helicopter is assisting Seattle Police in looking for an assault suspect who is reported to have brandished a gun at the victim, to whom he apparently was known. He’s described as Hispanic, 19 years old, 6’2″, (updated) brown-ish/yellow-ish hoodie, black pants. The assault is reported to have happened near 20th/Elmgrove.
3:51 PM: The helicopter has left, after looking in a variety of possible directions. In case you’re wondering, this wasn’t a case of the helicopter specifically being called in for this – it happened to be up and not far away, so they asked if it could come over and help. So far it does not appear that the victim suffered major injuries – no medical dispatch.
9:31 AM: The Guardian One helicopter circled Gatewood and Upper Fauntleroy – including our HQ – for a bit (they’ve just cleared). One reader reports there was a PA announcement about looking for a missing person. We’re trying to confirm whether it was a possible Jim Price sighting, since “silver alert” was mentioned.
9:34 AM: Recorded dispatch audio confirms it was a possible sighting of Jim Price.
9:47 AM: The original report was a possible sighting near Delridge/Holden.
9:52 AM: SPD just confirmed to us that officers made contact with the person who was the subject of the report but it was NOT Jim, so that’s why the helicopter moved on.
P.S. In comments, Bill includes this link to a website set up about the search for Jim.
9:52 AM: In case you missed the advance notice – the military helicopters in the area now are practicing for this afternoon’s Seahawks flyover, so they’ll be back later too. They’re from Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Pierce County.
2:07 PM: As discussed in comments, the actual game flyover was aborted. Via Twitter/X, the 16th Combat Aviation Brigade says that was because of “communication issues within Lumen Field.”
ADDED 9:18 PM: Though there was no stadium flyover, we have two photos to add. From one of the West Seattle flyovers – Jamie Kinney caught this very close-up view:
Jerry Simmons saw them on the ground:
Early heads-up, you may notice military helicopters over West Seattle this Sunday (September 10th) because of a flyover planned for the Seahawks‘ season-opener. We’re told helicopters from Joint Base Lewis-McChord will be in the area mid-morning and early afternoon; the game starts after 1 pm.
2:13 PM: Thanks for all the tips about Guardian One circling over south Highland Park and a police response on the ground. We’re working to find out what led to this and will update shortly.
2:18 PM: KCSO seems to be the lead agency and a deputy tells us on the ground that they’re looking for robbery suspects. Four, according to dispatch. We don’t yet know where the robbery was.
A commenter says the robbery was at 16th/107th in White Center; we’re going that way to check. Meantime, the ground search is focused near 12th/Barton (added photo above).
2:58 PM: The mini-mart on that corner told us it wasn’t them. (And the commenter now says that was a mistaken reference to a robbery earlier this year.) We have an inquiry out to KCSO’s media team.
3:19 PM: Finally found the incident in archived KCSO dispatch audio. The robbery was at the Top to Bottom clothing store in White Center, 9651 15th SW. The robber(s) were armed and got away with ~$500 worth of clothing. Still listening for more details.
3:43 PM: A tip led officers to detain at least one suspect at/near 15th/Roxbury. Seattle Police are involved again because in this case it started with a reported sighting on SW Cambridge.
3:55 PM: KCSO has provided a bit more information – the armed robbery was reported around 1:30 pm, with four people “reported to have entered the business at that location, displayed guns and stole about $500.00 worth of merchandise … 2 persons were detained close to the area in connection with the robbery, but it is not 100% sure if they were involved at this time. No injuries were reported and no firearms recovered as of yet. Some clothing items that have belonged to the suspects were recovered in the surrounding neighborhood. These were confiscated as evidence.”
4 PM: KCSO update on the previous two detainees: “The two detained were released as there was no evidence, or witnesses that could say they were 100% involved.”
11:16 AM: We’ve gotten a few questions about a helicopter heard over White Center and West Seattle this past hour or so. The screengrab above is from Flightradar24, which identifies it as a US Customs and Border Patrol helicopter and shows the many loops it’s taken. High up – 6,000 feet – so you might not have seen it. The tracker shows its flight starting in Tacoma. As for why it’s circling, we’re looking into it.
11:58 AM: So far, we’ve talked to a variety of people (haven’t heard back from CBP yet, though) and no additional information. The Tacoma Narrows Airport, from which the tracker showed the flight originating, told us the helicopter likely just stopped there to refuel, as there’s nothing of this type based there. A check of our archives, reminds us of a similar situation in January 2019 – a Customs helicopter circling south West Seattle – here’s what we wrote then.
12:37 PM: Still no further info (we’ll update here if and when any details turn up), but the helicopter’s left this area and is back over Pierce County.
1:36 PM: As noted in comments, federal Homeland Security officers are at Westwood Village. They wouldn’t comment to us on what they’re there for, but they said the helicopter wasn’t related.
Thanks for the video (above, from Dustin) and photo (below, from McKenzie) – they and others wondered about military helicopters flying over West Seattle around 10:15 this morning.
Absent something like a sports-game flyby, it’s not easy to find out why a military helicopter’s passing by, but we’ve finally heard back from a source at Joint Base Lewis-McChord who says those were Apaches and a Chinook, “visiting the (Museum of Flight, at Boeing Field) for their organizational-day activity.”
Thanks to John Skerratt for the photo. From the “in case you wondered too” file, that’s the U.S. Coast Guard helicopter that was looping the west-facing West Seattle shore for a while this past hour or so. It’s currently on its way back to Port Angeles. Earlier, police/fire were checking out a report of possible windsurfers in trouble, but that was debunked last we heard, though the USCG helicopter, and vessel, had already been dispatched.
9:49 AM: As mentioned in our morning traffic watch, it’s opening day for the Seattle Mariners, with their first game of the season starting just after 7 pm at T-Mobile Park. We’ve also just learned that you might notice U.S. Army helicopters in the area this afternoon and evening because of a planned flyover. The 16th Combat Aviation Brigade from Joint Base Lewis-McChord (south of Tacoma) says that four of its AH-64E Apache helicopters (from Alpha Troop, 4-6 Air Cavalry Squadron), are set for the flyover around 7, preceded by up to three practice runs around 3:20 pm. The 16th CAB says their path will be north-south, so they might not be as noticeable over West Seattle this time.
ADDED 5:08 PM: Thanks to Carolyn Newman for practice-run video of the four helicopters:
Several people asked about those six military helicopters that flew over Alki/north West Seattle this morning. We made some inquiries and finally got some info tonight: The helicopters were from Charlie Company, 2-158 Assault Helicopter Battalion, 16th Combat Aviation Brigade, Joint Base Lewis-McChord. They flew from JBLM (south of Tacoma) to Boeing Field “for a unit event at the Boeing Museum … ‘readiness day,’ which is a day of the month where units do something outside of normal training to build cohesion or learn about something outside of their normal day to day duties.” They’re interested in photos – you can email 16CABPAO@gmail.com.
3:27 PM: With the murky, drippy weather this morning/midday, some wondered if the pre-game Army helicopter flyover previewed here Thursday had actually happened. Jerry Simmons caught two of the helicopters on camera, so there’s your proof.
7:45 PM: Here’s video of what it looked like from one of the helicopters.
Since military flyovers for stadium events so often bring questions when the aircraft pass over here, this time we have a heads-up: Four helicopters from Joint Base Lewis-McChord are scheduled to fly over Lumen Field before this Sunday’s Seahawks/Rams game, which ends the regular season. We’re told the flyover around 1:20 pm will be preceded by up to three practice passes, which will likely include some time in holding patterns, The helicopters expected to participate are two UH-60 Black Hawks and two AH-64 Apaches, as seen in November.
9:34 AM: Thanks for all the tips/questions/photos of military helicopters that have made a few passes. These kind of helicopters don’t usually show on trackers but we’re checking around. So far we’ve reached somebody at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, who says it’s not theirs. … As for a Seahawks flyover, that game isn’t until 1 pm.
Image search says the helicopters are Boeing AH-64 Apaches.
(Added: Reader video from Brandy DeWeese)
10:14 AM: Thanks to the commenter with the tip. The Boeing Field operations hotline confirmed to us it’s practice for a Seahawks flyover later and that they are Army helicopters but not from JBLM.
11:11 AM: None other than the 16th Combat Aviation Brigade just replied to us and tweeted directly that the helicopters ARE from JBLM – two BlackHawks and two Apaches – and were indeed practicing for the game flyover. “They flew up from (JBLM) this morning to work on their timing.” (If you follow the link to the tweet, you’ll see video of what it looked like from the field.) So again, that means you’ll likely see/hear them again before the 1 pm kickoff.
ADDED 2:35 PM: And indeed, they returned. Jessica got a closeup look south of Fairmount Park:
Lumen Field tweeted a photo of the view from there.
2:32 PM: Big response under way for a shooting in White Center. It’s reported to have been a drive-by shooting near the Hung Long Market shopping center at 9988 15th SW, with one person who has at least two gunshot wounds. The Guardian One helicopter is joining the search for what’s described so far as a “light brown Chevrolet” seen headed north on 15th. Updates to come.
3:02 PM: Our crew at the scene says the shooting appears to have happened right outside the aforementioned market. The victim, who was described as conscious, is being taken to a hospital.
3:15 PM: Southbound 15th has reopened. Investigators at the scene aren’t commenting.
5:52 PM: KCSO will tell us only that the victim’s injuries are not life-threatening, and that no one is in custody.
8:01 PM: Police are searching in Highland Park for three people who are suspects in an armed robbery. K-9 is already involved in the search, and the Guardian One helicopter is expected to join the search, so you might hear it soon over eastern West Seattle. The suspects were last seen in an alley north of Fire Station 11 at 16th SW and SW Holden. Per an exchange between officers and the helicopter deputies, the suspects might be linked to other robberies outside Seattle. The one who is reported to have had a gun is described as Hispanic, male, black clothing, red gaiter-style face mask. No other details yet.
8:22 PM: Archived dispatch audio indicates the holdup was at Seamart at 16th/Holden. Meantime, the helicopter and K-9 ended their search because the trail grew cold, possibly with the robbers having left via a getaway vehicle nearby. If you’re in the area and see anything suspicious on your security video, the SPD incident number is 2022-301827.
3:59 PM: Just in case you’ve forgotten, it’s holiday-weekend-getaway time, and that’s why the shared TV-news helicopter is circling Fauntleroy right now – taking a look at ferry traffic. It’s nothing unusual, per the most-recent update from Washington State Ferries – the #2 boat is running about half an hour behind schedule.
4:15 PM: It’s moved on, for now.
12:18 AM: Tuesday evening, police arrested four north-end bank-robbery suspects in South Park and White Center. It was a relatively lengthy helicopter-assisted operation, and the Guardian One crew has released video this past hour showing how it unfolded.
11:12 AM: The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office says that the four suspects will have bail hearings on Thursday, since they weren’t booked into jail until early this morning.
3:28 AM: A few people have asked about a low-flying helicopter doing loops along the northeastern side of West Seattle. We checked the flight tracker and it showed a Coast Guard helicopter that came down from Port Angeles about 2:15 am. A Coast Guard spokesperson we reached by phone told us they’re searching for someone who might have jumped into the river – the West Seattle low-bridge operator spotted an abandoned car that was still warm, with the keys in it, and possibly heard a splash, so they called for aerial help in searching, and the search is still ongoing.
10:40 PM: For those wondering, we haven’t been able to find out any followup information so far, but hope to on Monday.
That’s a screengrab from Flightradar24 a few minutes ago, showing the loops the King County Sheriff’s Office helicopter Guardian One has been flying. We’ve received a few questions from people wondering if there’s an incident; no, just loops, as far north as Lincoln Park and as far south as Des Moines. This happens every so often. Whether it’s training or patroling, we don’t know, but will inquire tomorrow.
4:31 PM: Thanks to everyone who asked about the helicopter search in Highland Park. Guardian One was assisting Seattle Police with a search. We don’t know yet what incident it’s linked to, but we do know they just took someone into custody in the greenbelt over Highland Park Way/Riverview Playfield. More details when we get them.
5:09 PM: No official info from police yet, and we couldn’t find officers on the ground, but scanner traffic and another reader tip indicates it was related to a stolen car.
6:05 PM: Guardian One confirms via Twitter that the search was for a driver who fled a stolen car.
7:54 PM: Even more details, and a photo, from SPD:
Just after 3:00 p.m., a parkgoer reported a man asleep in a red pickup truck parked on a foot path in the greenbelt area of Riverview Park. When responding officers contacted the man, he fled on foot into the woods. Police quickly discovered the truck had been registered stolen earlier this week in North Seattle, and spotted a rifle in the back seat.
With the help of King County Sheriff’s Office helicopter Guardian One, SPD officers on the ground found the suspect hiding in the greenbelt and arrested him.
Police transported the 26-year-old man to King County Jail to book him for possession of a stolen car and unlawful possession of a firearm. It appears part of the rifle was still being constructed. Nevertheless, the suspect is a convicted felon and prohibited from possessing firearms. However, during the booking process at KCJ, the suspect deliberately punched a concrete pillar, causing injuries which required treatment at Harborview Medical Center. Officers plan to book the man into jail when he is medically cleared at the hospital.
Thanks for the tips. Our photo above shows a crashed stolen pickup truck that’s related to the King County Sheriff’s Office Guardian One helicopter search that’s been under way over 26th SW south of Roxbury. Sheriff’s Deputy Bill Kennamer told us at the scene that KCSO got word from Seattle Police that the stolen pickup was headed their way. Its driver crashed near 26th/100th and took off running. They’ve been searching with the helicopter and two K-9 teams but haven’t found the driver yet.
4:12 PM: Thanks for the texts. So far all we know is that Guardian One is helping search for a missing person.
4:23 PM: Search over. The missing person, a child, was found safe at home.
10:38 PM: Getting a few questions about this. The Guardian One helicopter crew was passing by when, they told dispatch, they picked up a Lojack signal indicating a stolen car, so that’s what it’s helping police with right now. They’re over Morgan Junction right now.
10:47 PM: They have the car in sight; police should be arriving on the ground momentarily.
10:49 PM: Officers have arrived; the car’s unoccupied, and the helicopter should be moving on.