West Seattle, Washington
Thanks for all the texts about the Guardian One helicopter over North Delridge. We hadn’t heard about any corresponding ground activity so started heading that way – and they promptly left. But on Twitter they’ve responded to our mention by saying they were helping find a stolen vehicle that was emitting a LoJack signal. They say SPD is recovering it now.
11:23 PM: A report of gunfire in Westwood has police searching for up to five suspects. Per scanner, they were most recently reported to have fled behind the 35th/Barton 7-11 southbound and then westbound. A K-9 team is joining the search. The person reported to have fired one shot is described as a young “light-skinned black male” wearing a “sparkly red jacket.” No injuries reported.
11:29 PM: The gunshot reportedly happened near the Southwest Library (35th/Henderson). Also, the Guardian One helicopter is joining the search.
11:35 PM: Per radio communication, this involved someone “chasing (the suspects) with a two-by-four” when one “turned around and shot at” that person.
11:49 PM: The search is scaling down; they’ve exhausted the possibilities and there are other pending calls.
ADDED THURSDAY AFTERNOON: We have obtained the report narrative from SPD. The person who said he was fired at told police that he was chasing the suspects because they had assaulted his girlfriend. He said the two of them are squatting in an empty house in the 9000 block of 35th SW. She was walking in the alley and around the 34th/Barton P-Patch, looking for cigarette butts, when she encountered the suspects. One asked her for cigarettes; she said she had none and was looking for them herself. Then, the boyfriend told police, the suspects called her names, punched her in the face, knocked her down, and kicked her. She screamed for help; her boyfriend went to the house where they were squatting, got a 2 x 4, and chased the suspects after calling 911. That’s when one turned and shot at him, he said, as they were running southbound behind the 35th/Barton 7-11. He said he lost track of them at that point. While he insisted that’s where the shot was fired, police did not find a shell casing nor any other evidence of gunfire. Nearby residents also said they heard the shot. As we reported last night, helicopter and K9 assisted in the subsequent search, but no one was found.
10:48 PM WEDNESDAY: We don’t know what exactly Guardian One was doing flying a long track back and forth – north to south and back again – over the peninsula for a while this past hour, with a couple smaller circles in different spots, but the scanner’s been absolutely quiet in the area, so, given that and the fact the focus wasn’t on any one spot, we’re fairly certain it wasn’t related to anything happening out there currently. (We even headed out on the ground to check, but didn’t find any spots of activity.) Flight-tracking software shows it has since headed north, then east, and is now over the Eastside. Though Guardian One works with law-enforcement departments all over the area, it belongs to the King County Sheriff’s Office, so we’ll check tomorrow to see if there’s anything they can tell us about the mystery flight.
ADDED THURSDAY AFTERNOON: Thanks to KCSO’s Sgt. Ryan Abbott for checking into this for us. He forwarded the reply from Air Support: “We were flying patrol, no call or anything significant.”
11:31 PM: If you hear the Guardian One helicopter in southeast West Seattle, near Westcrest Park – it’s being called in to help with what scanner traffic indicates is a search for two people described as auto-theft suspects. There’s a ground search with K-9, too. The suspects are described so far as male, white, one in a camouflage jacket, ponytail and goatee, the other in a black shirt or jacket and “slightly unshaven.” If you have any information, call 911.
12:54 AM: Sounds as if police detained one person. We’ll be following up later this morning to see what else we can find out about how this started and shook out.
HELICOPTER HELP WITH AUTO-THEFT ARREST: Thanks for the tips about Guardian One over Arbor Heights a short time ago. We headed that way to investigate – hadn’t heard anything on the scanner – and subsequently learned that they were helping track down a stolen car. The helicopter crew tweeted that it was found with a suspect “passed out inside.” This happened near 34th and 100th (photo above). ADDED 2:54 PM: Helicopter video, just made public:
ADMIRAL BREAK-IN: From John:
Our garage was broken into (Wednesday) afternoon around 3:20 pm. The padlock was cut off. We were home watching TV when they entered our back yard via the alley. They were preparing items to be picked up later as they stole the garage door opener. Hope they return soon so I don’t get tired of waiting for them. We are located on 41st Ave SW North of Admiral Way. Seattle Police were out and took fingerprints.
That’s not far from where a car was broken into a day later.
BICYCLE FOUND: Abandoned bicycles usually tend to have been stolen and dumped. Here’s one Karen just found on a dead-end West Seattle street:
Yours? Let us know.
8:11 PM: Thanks for the tips about Guardian One over White Center/South Delridge. We have a crew on the ground talking with deputies. So far, we’re told they are investigating an assault in WC. Will add other details when we get them.
8:28 PM: Just talked with KCSO spokesperson Sgt. Cindi West. She says a woman who works for a veterinary clinic in the 9800 block of 15th SW was stabbed and they were looking for her attacker. She apparently was attacked when she went out behind the clinic after thinking she heard someone crying. The attacker is described only as white, female, “skinny,” and possibly a transient. No one in custody so far.
9:25 PM: Sgt. West told us the victim was injured in the abdomen and arm but was in stable condition when taken to the hospital and is expected to fully recover.
Around 5 am, we got texts from a few people in southwesternmost West Seattle and beyond – The Arroyos and Shorewood – wondering about what appeared to be a helicopter search/rescue operation involving the U.S. Coast Guard. We couldn’t find out anything at the time, and later tried reaching the USCG by phone with no success, but now this USCG news release is just in, distributed by the King County Sheriff’s Office:
Coast Guard air and boat crews rescued one woman and recovered one man after their 15-foot paddleboat was reportedly beset by weather near Three Tree Point in Burien, Wash., Sunday morning.
An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Air Station Port Angeles and a Station Seattle rescue boat crew aboard a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium responded to the incident and transferred both mariners to local Emergency Medical Service personnel.
Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound watchstanders received initial notification from King County Dispatch at 2:53 a.m., reporting two individuals aboard a paddleboat potentially beset by weather. Sector personnel established communication with the mariners via cell phone and reported hearing a loud scream before losing connection.
Once on scene, the Coast Guard aircrew discovered the capsized vessel near Seahurst Park.
At 4:51 a.m., the aircrew located an unresponsive female in the water and vectored in the boat crew to rescue her. The crew transported her to the Fauntleroy Ferry dock where a local EMS crew was waiting.
At 5:02 a.m., a male was recovered by the helicopter crew and transported to Boeing airfield where he was pronounced dead by a local EMS crew at 5:38 a.m.
The female is reportedly in critical condition and is being treated at Harborview Medical Center hospital.
KCSO is investigating. Sgt. Cindi West says the man who died was from Burien, the woman from Vashon Island.
10:53 PM: For everyone asking about the helicopter – a shooting is reported near 15th and Roxbury in White Center. King County Sheriff’s deputies have asked SPD to assist with the investigation. We are on the way to find out more.
10:58 PM UPDATE: KCSO says one man has been shot and is undergoing CPR.
11:11 PM UPDATE: Just arrived at the scene. 15th SW is taped off about a block south of Roxbury. SPD is here as well as KCSO, and Guardian One is still overhead.
11:15 PM UPDATE: A sergeant at the scene tells us the victim has died. No arrest reported so far.
8:44 AM: New information in from King County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Cindi West: The victim was a 27-year-old man from Burien: “Witnesses told police that a group of men were talking with the victim prior to the shooting. The suspect who was with the group of men fought with the victim. When the fight was over, the suspect pulled out a gun and shot the victim. The men fled the scene on foot. King County Guardian One and K-9 responded but were unable to locate the suspect or the men he was with. The only description obtained was that the suspect was wearing a red hoodie.” They’re hoping for tips, 206-296-3311.
4:20 PM: Thanks for the texts – we’re on our way to check out a police response near Fauntleroy Park. Checking with Seattle Police media relations in the meantime, this apparently started as a report of a possible burglary at a home on the north side of the park, along Barton. More to come.
4:27 PM: Police are outside a house on the south side of Barton at Director.
They think a burglar might be inside, so they are using a bullhorn to tell anyone inside to come out before they send a K-9 in to search.
4:41 PM: The K-9 has gone in and come out.
4:47 PM: The house is empty but police found a hole in the fence. Now the Guardian One helicopter is flying around the area looking for any signs of a possible burglar at large.
5:40 PM: The helicopter has long since departed after doing what it could; no word of an arrest yet but last we heard, police in the Fauntleroy area were still on the lookout.
8:18 PM: We checked with SW Precinct Operations Lt. Ron Smith at tonight’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting; no arrest. The K-9 tried tracking from the hole in the fence that might have been used for entry/exit but couldn’t pick up a trail.
9:01 PM: If you are seeing/hearing a helicopter – per scanner, Guardian One is helping look for someone who fled after a car crash near Harbor/Florida. The car is believed to have been stolen in a carjacking elsewhere in the city earlier today.
9:31 PM: The search continues, with SPD K-9 on the ground. A commenter reports Harbor is closed in the area.
9:43 PM: Search isn’t over but Guardian One has moved on.
10:26 PM: Northbound Harbor will remain closed a while because City Light has to deal with a damaged pole and the crashed car has to be towed for impounding. We haven’t found yet where the carjacking was but will be requesting the incident report for this in the morning.
9:13 PM: If you hear/see the Guardian One helicopter, here’s what it’s about, per radio discussion monitored via scanner: Someone called 911 to report hearing what sounded like someone possibly in trouble in the water/on a boat off Beach Drive near SW Atlas [map], and Guardian One just happens to be up on patrol, so it volunteered to go take a look in the area. Police have checked from the shore and say they’re not seeing any sign of trouble, but the helicopter crew is going to take a look anyway.
9:29 PM: Guardian One has moved on, and confirmed its previous assignment via Twitter.
The Guardian One helicopter was over Westwood for a while within the past hour, but left to head to a South King County investigation just as we arrived in the area. Now they’ve tweeted what brought them here:
Assisted @SeattlePD with searching for a adult male wearing brown scrubs who was committed to Navos and left in the area of 2600 SW Holden.
— KCSOAirsupport (@KCSOAirsupport) September 16, 2017
We don’t know whether that person has been found yet.
5:35 AM: Thanks for the tips. The helicopter you might have heard over White Center/South Delridge was TV, checking out a fire call on 16th in downtown WC, just south of Roxbury. West Seattle fire units were dispatched for mutual aid for a while. We have a crew checking it out.
5:52 AM: What caught fire was a refrigerated truck trailer parked by a building at 15th/SW 98th that firefighters also say sustained damage. No injuries. Power’s out because lines were involved. (The TV helicopter has long since moved on to something else elsewhere in the region.)
6:13 AM: Added photos. Metro says buses that use 15th SW in the area might be affected; fire trucks were still blocking that street when we left a few minutes ago – we’ll be going back after sunrise for a closer look.
9:58 AM: The investigation continues:
In the photo above, you can see the blackened area where the fire spread to the building by which the trailer was parked.
3:11 PM: If you saw the police response on Delridge – with Guardian One overhead for a while – a short time ago, here’s what we know so far: They were following a vehicle, described as a gold or beige pickup truck type of vehicle, that did some sort of damage outside Home Depot. Per the scanner, the driver headed onto the eastbound bridge, then Northbound 99, and into downtown. A different precinct picked up the search there, so we don’t know if the driver eventually was stopped; meantime, we’re off to look at the reported local damage.
3:33 PM: Photos added, above. The damage was primarily to plants and shrubs that were on display outside the store.
11:12 AM: Thanks for the tips about the Guardian One law-enforcement helicopter over North Delridge and vicinity. We just talked to Seattle Police, who say they are looking for a suspect in a reported break-in in the 4500 block of 23rd SW [map]. They do have a partial description; black, male, 6’2″, dreadlocks, dark top and red shorts, last seen leaving on foot. If you have any information, call 911.
ADDED FRIDAY AFTERNOON: Paige, whose home was broken into, tells her story in this comment.
6:34 PM: Thanks for the texts and calls. The Guardian One helicopter’s search in the Westwood area is over and the crew has explained via Twitter: “Located a missing developmentally delayed juvenile for @SeattlePD near 2800 SW Thistle.”
6:43 PM: We have since confirmed this with police on the ground, near Southwest Community Center. They said the call originally came in as a possible runaway; the juvenile and their mom have since been reunited.
7:16 PM: Thanks for all the texts – we were en route somewhere else when we got word that a helicopter was over north West Seattle, and as soon as we verified via flight-tracker that it was Guardian One, we headed that way in hopes of finding police on the ground who could tell us what was going on. But the helicopter left as soon as we arrived in the area, and we couldn’t find officers on the ground. However, Guardian One does sometimes tweet a brief mention of what they were doing, once they’re clear, and they have just tweeted this:
— KCSOAirsupport (@KCSOAirsupport) September 2, 2017
If we find out anything more, we’ll let you know.
7:24 PM: We just stopped by the precinct to ask. What happened was that a man with dementia had wandered away. He has since been found and is OK.
As was the case during the other pre-holiday Friday afternoons this summer, TV helicopters have been hovering over the Fauntleroy ferry dock – first, the KING/KOMO helicopter around 3 pm, and right now the KIRO helicopter. Fridays have been difficult even without holiday traffic, as Vashon-bound riders are acutely aware, with Washington State Ferries continuing to struggle with attempts to improve loading times, but today has an extra problem – the route remains on a 2-boat schedule because vessel problems have left the system painfully short on backups. WSF says boats are running up to half an hour behind that schedule right now, too.
Two West Seattle Crime Watch notes:
WESTWOOD SEARCH: Thanks for the texts. Just northeast of Westwood Village, the King County Sheriff’s Office search is related to this car:
Deputies tell us they tried to pull it over and the driver wouldn’t stop. Finally he pulled over, got out and bolted. The description: White man, white T-shirt, possibly a scrape-type injury to the head, and “lips” tattooed on his neck. If you think you see/have seen him, call 911.
(added) And yes, this is why the Guardian One helicopter is/was in the area.
(8:53 PM) Commenters say the suspect was caught. (Texted photo added)
We’re headed back to see what we can verify.
(9:05 PM) We talked with SPD officers who originally responded to back up KCSO. They arrested the suspect after their K-9 found him in blackberries near 23rd/Trenton. He’s been turned iver to KCSO.
(Back to original report) Also tonight, another dumped, likely stolen bicycle:
BICYCLE FOUND: Marci says this bicycle turned up on Aikins SW, which is upslope from Beach Drive, and no one in the neighborhood recognizes it. Let us know if you know whose it is.
2:56 PM: Sorry this took a while, and thanks for all the calls and texts about the helicopter search in the High Point area. We finally found police on the ground to ask – on our second trip to the precinct: A medic call just before 2 pm near Neighborhood House High Point was for a pedestrian hit by a hit-run driver. Police were looking for what was described as a male driver in a silver SUV. Hasn’t been found yet. The victim was not seriously hurt, so far as we know – they weren’t transported by Seattle Fire medic unit – but we’re confirming with SFD.
5:16 PM: SFD says the victim was a boy, “approximately” 13, taken to the hospital by private ambulance in stable condition.
8:09 PM: Police are at 16th and Barton investigating a reported exchange of gunfire, and radio discussion says they have found shell casings, but no victims, and that those who were involved are believed to have gotten into at least two vehicles and left. More to come.
8:19 PM: If you heard/saw a helicopter, that was Guardian One looking around for anything matching what descriptions police have so far of the vehicles – white mid-2000s Mercedes SUV, and a black vehicle.
8:25 PM: Our crew has talked with police at the scene. No property damage so far as they can tell; they say they have found one confirmed shell casing, 9mm. Along with the aforementioned white SUV, the description of the second vehicle involved is now black or blue. By the way, if you’re a bit south of the scene and noticing police pulled over with a silver car, near 15th/Roxbury, that’s NOT believed to be related – they noticed plates on the car that were reported as stolen, and pulled it over.
8:40 PM: Our crew says police are wrapping up at the scene. No further reports of progress on finding those responsible, but if you have any information, call 911.
8:44 PM: Now police are investigating a report that one nearby residence was hit by a bullet.
9:31 PM: We went back over to find out more about that. Police confirm that a bullet went into an apartment two buildings south of Barton, along the alley between 16th and 17th.
SIDE NOTE: From SPD’s latest SeaStat briefing last week (last page here), the Southwest Precinct – West Seattle and South Park – has had 41 confirmed “shots fired” (meaning confirmed because of shell casings and/or property damage and/or victims), second after the South Precinct, which has had 111.
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) July 25, 2017
10:44 AM: If you’re anywhere near Alki and noticing the Guardian One helicopter over a Seattle Fire fireboat – it’s not a rescue, it’s a drill. This is part of a demonstration SFD has been putting on for us and the citywide media this past half-hour, showcasing the new SFD “rescue swimmer” program. Lots of photos, video, and info to come!
11:24 AM: The demonstration is over and we’re back at headquarters. SFD explains that this new program is meant to bridge the gap between a regular response and deployment of the Dive Team (which is based in SODO), but is not replacing any existing components or units – this is an addition, as explained by SFD Deputy Chief Ron Mondragon:
SFD says 38 firefighters are now trained as “rescue swimmers,” and the department’s goal is to have at least nine on duty in each 24-hour period, stationed around the city – not just deployed via certain stations. They’ve been in training, including with the help of partners such as West Pierce Fire and Rescue (south of Tacoma), and officially launched these new duties as of last Wednesday. Whenever there’s a water-rescue response, dispatchers will ensure that two rescue swimmers are part of the response. They can deploy from almost anywhere/anything – boats, beaches, piers, rocky shorelines, etc.
Their gear, which also was explained at the demonstration, includes a yellow “marker buoy” they can deploy to help divers that follow them into the water, if applicable.
This is a pilot program, SFD says, that will be evaluated after a year.
Meantime, besides emergencies, their planned upcoming assignments include Seafair weekend on Lake Washington, when four teams of two swimmers will be on duty.