West Seattle, Washington
1:41 PM: Lots of questions about this, and after trying for almost four hours to find out more, we still have no additional details, but since people are still asking, we wanted to let you know we tried. Many parents forwarded us this message sent to Pathfinder K-8 families by principal Dr. Britney Holmes around 9:40 this morning:
Out of an abundance of caution, Pathfinder will have increased security on campus as police respond to a community disturbance. Please know – there is not a known imminent threat to our school. Our students and staff are not in harm’s way.
Pathfinder students and staff are my top priority. We are working with the Seattle Police Department (SPD) and the district Safety and Security team to provide additional support. You or your student may see the additional security on or near our campus today.
As our usual process requires, if we have an urgent issue at our campus, I will enact safety procedures such as a shelter-in-place. As a reminder, during a shelter-in-place, all exterior doors are locked and students remain indoors while the normal instructional day continues.
Because this is a police investigation, I am not able to provide a lot of details, but I will be keeping you as informed as possible.
After combing the usual places we find police-incident numbers and brief call characterizations, we found nothing in that area, so we contacted SPD public affairs and they told us they couldn’t find anything nearby either. We drove around the campus area in the late morning and saw no police nor other signs of trouble. We then asked precinct commander Capt. Martin Rivera, and he replied, “We have checked with our staff at the Precinct, and they do not recollect any calls there.” The Seattle Public Schools media office, which speaks for principals, said, “We do not have additional details at this time but will share more with families as information becomes available.” If we eventually find out anything, we’ll update.
8:45 PM: Pathfinder principal Dr. Holmes elaborated a bit in a followup message to families tonight:
Yesterday, our school was made aware of an individual who made a threat to themselves that could occur at our school. We called Seattle Police Department (SPD) and Seattle Public Schools (SPS) safety and security who responded and provided additional support.
SPD contacted and followed up with this individual yesterday evening. Our students and staff did not experience an imminent threat to our school, which allowed school to proceed as regularly scheduled today. …
That description suggests any police report would likely be attached to the individual’s residential address and not the school, explaining why SPD couldn’t find anything in the area when we asked.
Four months ago, 86-year-old Jim Price left his Pigeon Point home and didn’t return. An intensive search ensued, with many possible sightings, but none ultimately panned out. Now the search is over – his family confirms that Mr. Price has been found dead. Here’s the statement we just received from them:
To our Seattle and Vashon communities,
It’s with great sadness that we inform you of the discovery of Jim’s remains in the Duwamish greenbelt, a mile south of his home near the West Seattle bridge. He was found in a hard-to-reach area that was inaccessible for our searches.
We’d like to thank everyone who helped us look for Jim in the days and weeks after his disappearance and also those who continued to keep an eye out for him over the last few months. The outpouring of care and support from the community was invaluable in our time of need.
A memorial will be announced at a later date.
The Price Family
The person who found Mr. Price’s remains also contacted us; they were out for a hike during the holiday weekend in an area west of West Marginal Way and Idaho, and notified police as soon as they made the discovery. We asked SPD about the case, and there was no initial indication of anything suspicious.
Police were sent to Pigeon Point this past hour looking for the source of what 911 callers reported as an “explosion.” We got a text from a reader explaining what happened, so in case you heard it and were wondering, here’s what they said happened right outside their house: “If anyone reaches out to you about a loud flash and bang in Pigeon Point that set off car alarms – an owl flew into (or was thrown from) the power lines. Sadly, it appears to have been electrocuted. A request to Seattle Animal Control for dead wildlife pickup has been requested.” No power outage resulted, per the City Light map.
10:38 AM: Police have converged on Pathfinder K-8 in Pigeon Point and here’s what we know. The original call that came into 911 was from a passerby who claimed they saw a man with a gun “walking into the school.” According to radio communication, police have NOT found anyone so far but are searching the school. More information as we get it.
10:45 AM: Just to be clear – NO REPORTS OF GUNFIRE. Police, including SWAT officers, are clearing the school room by room. The original description of the person a passerby said they saw was “unknown-race male, 5’5″ to 6’0″, medium build, red puffy coat.”
10:52 AM: Police have just told dispatch “We’ve cleared the whole structure and found no evidence of a weapon, a suspect, or a shooting.” … Individual classrooms remain locked and sheltering in place, they added. (Update – school staff in comments says it’s a lockdown.)
11:04 AM: They’ve been trying to get back in contact with the original caller, who was apparently on their way off-peninsula when they called in the report. … Meantime, SPD has sent a media team member, who will eventually brief us outside the school.
11:17 AM: They’re now checking individual classrooms. Meantime, Police Chief Adrian Diaz is there and has just briefed us.. Notes from our crew in a moment.
11:22 AM: Chief Diaz says there were two 911 calls of concern. One was the original one reported above. The second one, which has come up in comment discussion below, was a 911 call claiming there was a “school shooting” somewhere – no location given. That was an unfounded call – there has been no gunfire anywhere, school or otherwise. No injuries of any kind. Police will stay at the school through day’s end.
11:45 AM: Now our crew says the school’s announced that it’s closing for the rest of the day and setting up procedures for parents to sign out and pick up kids. The police response is downsizing.
12:25 PM: We’ve left the school too but expect more information later – we have followup inquiries out both with police and the district. We have also added three more photos above.
2:42 PM: For the record, here’s the official district statement, from SPS spokesperson Bev Redmond via email:
Earlier today, a concerned citizen contacted 911 to report a potential safety issue regarding the sighting of an individual with a weapon on the Pathfinder K-8 campus. In response to this report, and in close coordination with the Seattle Police Department (SPD), the school initiated a lockdown procedure as a precautionary measure to ensure the safety of our students and staff.
During a lock-down classroom and exterior doors are locked. Students remain indoors and in their classrooms until the lockdown has been lifted.
We are pleased to report that after a comprehensive safety sweep of the school and campus, SPD confirmed that there was no credible threat to our students or staff. The safety and well-being of our students remain our top priority, and we are grateful for the swift and thorough response of the SPD in this matter.
As of now, the school has transitioned to a shelter-in-place status, maintaining heightened security protocols to ensure ongoing safety. We want to assure all families that Pathfinder students and staff are safe.
During a shelter-in-place, all exterior doors are locked and students remain indoors while the normal instructional day continues.
The school will continue with the school day as scheduled, following the standard Thursday dismissal time of 3:25 p.m.
We understand that incidents like these can be concerning, and we will continue to communicate with the Pathfinder community as we receive further updates and information.
The “continue with the school day” conflicts with what the principal said when we reported it above, but hopefully families have received updates. The district has not yet answered our question about the Genesee Hill shelter-in-place, which appears to have been related to a second unfounded 911 call.
2:55 PM: SPS has just answered that question, also via email: “Genesee Hill was placed in a shelter-in-place as a precaution until SPD could clarify the focal point of the 911 call. Genesee Hill was the former location of Pathfinder K-8.”
If you got a Silver Alert tonight about a missing 78-year-old West Seattle woman, you’ll want to know that police have just reported she has been found safely and returned to her family.
Sadly, no such happy ending so far in the case of Jim PriceV, the 86-year-old West Seattle man now missing more than a month. His Silver Alert is still in effect:
Jim’s wife told WSB this week that there are still no clues as to what happened to Jim, last seen leaving his home on Pigeon Point the evening of Monday, September 18th. Various information related to the case and the search can still be found at jimpriceismissing.com.
Today is the 12th day since 86-year-old Jim Price was last seen leaving his home on Pigeon Point in northeast West Seattle the evening of Monday, September 18th. So many have searched and/or on the lookout for him, but his disappearance remains a mystery. We asked Jim’s family what people can do to help now. A family spokesperson replied, “We’ve put together a kit with a new flyer that includes a QR code that links back to the kit, the search map that we will continue updating, and a info sheet with the latest updates and search tips.” You’ll find the newest version of those linked and downloadable here. The “latest info” document linked there also lists “unconfirmed sightings” as well as answering questions about where they’ve searched/checked, beyond the map. Otherwise, they simply ask that people continue “searching independently.” A family friend also has created a website, jimpriceismissing.com, which includes an email address for tips, as does the “latest info” doc (though it must be stressed, if you think you see him, please call 911 *at that moment* or as soon as you can – don’t wait to tell someone later).
Family and friends are anxious for any leads and are circulating his photo and information far and wide. He was last seen 6:30 to 7 pm Monday night in the 3600 block of 23rd SW [map] and may have been headed for the Senior Center of West Seattle in The Junction. Call 911 if you see/find him and refer to the SPD case # on the poster, 23-271803.
ADDED THURSDAY: Just received, “A team will meet at Delridge Community Center (4501 Delridge Way SW) at 2 pm for a coordinated search.” All help welcome.
10:57 AM: In the blue T-shirt, with a bright smile, that’s Lou Cutler, the retired PE teacher who celebrates his birthday every year by raising money to help kids’ dreams come true via Make-A-Wish – one lap around the Pathfinder K-8 track for every year of his life (72 so far).
This year for the first time, Laps With Lou is happening on a weekend, so it’s open to whoever shows up rather than an all-school Pathfinder turnout. Here’s the stalwart crew out on the field with him in the early going:
We have just headed back up to Pigeon Point to check on his progress. Meantime, you’re welcome to go join him for one or more laps – and to donate via his fundraising page; Lou’s also donated time by volunteering with the organization for many years.
NOON: When we returned, Lou had already finished three-fourths of his laps, so this isn’t likely to last until 2 pm as previously projected. We did catch his planned break to express appreciation to everyone:
The young man who was with Lou in the video, Jacob Marzynski, was the recipient of what we’re told are 275 wishes – so far – in which Lou has been involved over his years of involvement with Make-A-Wish.
It’s one of June’s most joyful events – for 20 years now, Lou Cutler has led a daylong walk/run-a-thon at Pathfinder K-8 on Pigeon Point, raising awareness and money for Make-A-Wish. Lou taught PE at Pathfinder until retiring, but has continued to return each year for one day of leading students and community members in the number of laps equal to the years he’s celebrating with his next birthday later in the month – this year, that’s 72. Laps With Lou has historically been on a school day, but this year it’s happening on a Saturday. While that means no all-school laps – a highlight of years past – it means more community members can stop by and join Lou for a lap (or all 72).
It’s happening on Saturday, June 17th; Lou expects to start his first lap around 8 am, with students and alumni expected to show up around 9, and then a break at 11 am, when Lou plans to speak to everyone about Make-A-Wish, which will have volunteers and staff on hand. Plus, Lou adds, “We are going to have a former Make A Wish kid of mine, Jacob, D-DoubleJ, has volunteered to be the DJ and Teacher Andy will once again man the megaphone!” He’s also working to organize a potluck reunion of Pathfinder families past and present after the laps, 2:30-5 pm ish.
You can lend your support just by showing up on Saturday, June 17th, and/or you can donate online to support Make-A-Wish work – here’s Lou’s page.
5:56 PM: Seattle Fire has a full response arriving at what firefighters described to dispatch as a basement fire in a house in the 3600 block of 22nd SW on Pigeon Point [map]. Updates to come.
6:01 PM: Firefighters tell dispatch they have the fire under control. They’ve searched the house to be sure no one was inside. No word of any injuries so far.
6:13 PM: Firefighters have declared the fire “tapped” (out).
6:21 PM: As we finally arrive from the other end of the peninsula, firefighters are wrapping up. Adding photos.
6:26 PM: We talked to incident command at the scene. No one was home, no one hurt. The fire was confined to one room in the basement. SFD’s investigator is on the way to determine how it started.
ADDED WEDNESDAY: SFD tells WSB, “The fire was ruled accidental. Caused by an overheated extension cord that was plugged into a portable heater.”
9:48 PM: Police investigating reports of possible gunfire heard on (corrected) Pigeon Point have confirmed it – officers have just told dispatch they’ve found casings at 19th and Dakota, and on 19th west of that intersection. They also told dispatch that neighbors are reporting a vehicle might have been involved, and the plate given to police by one witness checks to a copper-colored 2003 Nissan. No injuries or property damage reported so far. They’re now canvassing the area to see if the gunfire might have been caught on any home security cameras.
10:04 PM: Police told dispatch they’ve found a total of four casings.
Two West Seattle Crime Watch notes:
HIGH POINT SEARCH WARRANT: Thanks for the tips/questions. Multiple law-enforcement agencies – including Seattle Police, King County Sheriff’s Office, and ATF – are at a residence near 32nd/Holly. (The photo above shows some of their vehicles staged nearby.) All they’ll say so far is that it’s a warrant service, and that includes a warrant to search the residence. In the meantime, SW Holly is blocked in the immediate vicinity. We’ll be following up.
STOLEN CAR FOUND AT SCHOOL: A reader emailed around 7:30 this morning to report that at Pathfinder K-8 on Pigeon Point, “There are belongings scattered all over the school parking lot, and a car has crashed through the fence right where the downed tree was.” By the time we got over to look around 8:45 am, the scene was clear, but we got a bit of followup information – the car found there was a Hyundai stolen in Pierce County. No arrests reported; the car was unoccupied when police arrived.
Paula says this is actually the third time for the mural designed by Pigeon Point neighbor Toni Wells: “The first two times it was painted by the neighborhood, to be scrubbed away by car tires like big erasers.” SDOT told us they would use a “more durable paint”; Paula said she was told the crew was using a thermoplastic process, which has long been used for certain types of street markings.
The photos and report are from Rose – it happened on Pigeon Point:
So this morning someone stole a truck. They drove to 22nd.
They parked in front of a house who actually knows the truck (it [belongs to] their boss). They go out to find out why he was at his house.
Well, it wasn’t his boss. A small confrontation has the thief push the neighbor, almost run him over.
Then he tries to back up, smashing into a bunch of cars. He flees.
He left his unlocked phone in the car. They know who he is.
She adds that the truck’s owner apparently also knows the suspect through social media. We’re checking with SPD to see if there’s any indication the hit-run driver/stolen-truck suspect has been found yet. Case number for the truck theft is 22-231325; the hit-run crash – which Rose says is reported to have damaged up to seven vehicles – has at least three separate case numbers, starting with 22-231291.
Thanks to Kate for the tip, via a question about a big circle in the intersection of 21st and Genesee on Pigeon Point – too big to signal a future traffic mural, as she described it. SDOT tells us they’re planning to repaint the mural that community members painted in that intersection in 2015 (WSB coverage here), with “durable, long-lasting paint.” SDOT says they “got in contact with the original artist and have been working with her to design a refreshed version of the artwork that can be installed with more durable paint that will last for years to come.” Here’s that design:
The repainting is expected to happen within the next month or so; some prep work will be done this Sunday – grinding the road to “create a smooth surface for the plastic-based paints to stick to.” As noted in this flyer for the project, which is on the Delridge-Highland Park Greenway, they also plan some paving work, “filling cracked pavement,” and “improved trail lighting” along the greenway.
At Pathfinder K-8 on Pigeon Point, Laps With Lou 2022 is on! For almost two decades, now-retired PE teacher Lou Cutler has raised money for Make-A-Wish by doing a lap for every year of the age he’ll be when his birthday arrives later in June. Students join him throughout the day. This morning, before taking to the field, Lou spoke to the school via the PA system:
This year he’ll be turning 71, so he plans that many laps – plus one for a bonus, to bring the total distance to 12 miles. Students have been going out to the field in groups, starting with photos.
Lou’s been a Make-A-Wish volunteer even longer than he’s been leading this annual fundraiser – for more than a quarter-century!. You can support his quest to grant more wishes by donating here.
ADDED FRIDAY NIGHT: He did it again! Thanks to the Pathfinder parent who sent photos from the end of today’s laps:
For almost two decades, Lou Cutler has raised money to help grant kids’ wishes via a unique birthday-celebration run at Pathfinder K-8, where he taught PE before retiring. Most years, it was a giant group run throughout the day, with students joining Lou as he took one lap around the school field for every year he was celebrating. Then came the pandemic; in 2020, schools were closed, so Lou did a “lap” around the peninsula instead; last year, students joined him in small groups over two days. This year, when Lou takes to the Pathfinder field on Friday (June 3rd) in celebration of his upcoming 71st birthday, it’ll be a little more like the events of years past. He explained to us via email:
This year, rather having me communicating with everyone with a megaphone on the field, I will address the school from the office at 9:00 and then grade bands will come out in staggered time frames every 15 minute or so and I will take pictures with each class before they go on the field. All classes will stay out until the entire school is on the field at the same time and I believe everyone will stay on the field for 15 minutes or so and from that point some classes may go in while those who want to see how many laps they can run, will stay out and run to their heart’s content.
Make-A-Wish alumni are invited to join in the festivities, as are MAW staff and volunteers and Pathfinder parents, so I hope we have a tremendous turnout for the day.
As for me, I will be 71 on June 25th, so this year I will walk and run, though mostly walk, 71 laps, 11.8 miles, and add on a bonus lap to make it a full 12 miles because I love round numbers.
Over the previous 18 years we have raised $86,000 for MAW and as always, my hope is that we can raise as much money as possible, as I have seen the power of a wish in the boosting of spirits and hopes for wish kids and families over my 26+ years as a MAW volunteer!
You can support Lou’s Make-A-Wish quest by donating here.
Thanks to the parents who let us know about Pathfinder K-8 students’ walkout/demonstration today. Students left the Pigeon Point campus around 11:30 am and walked to the pedestrian/bicycle overpass at Delridge/Oregon for sign-waving.
The banner in the foreground was the work of someone else (we saw it there a few hours earlier) but gun violence is one of the two issues about which the Pathfinder students were demonstrating, along with reproductive rights:
This was one of many walkouts across the country today.
… a new reminder of where you are, when you’re at 21st/Andover. The photo was sent by longtime Pigeon Point community advocate Pete Spalding. It’s just uphill from where Pigeon Point has sported many signs over the years, like the one in this story.
Pathfinder K-8 Welcomes Everybody to the Great Return community event on May 21st from 3-8 pm at Pathfinder K-8!
When: 5/21 3-8 pm
Where: Pathfinder K-8, 1901 SW Genesee
What: Free fun! Silent auction, music, games, food & open play
Who: Open to all! Pathfinder & West Seattle community
Goal is to raise $45K through a Direct Give Ask approach with complimentary fun! Live music, entertainment, excellent auction gifts, games & fun!
Donation not required, but if you choose to, you can do it online any time between now and Saturday, even funding specific programs.
Another stolen car to look for – this one belongs to Nate:
I wanted to get the word out that my beloved 1999 Honda CR-V was stolen from our driveway in Pigeon Point at 5:55 this morning. The license plate is 487-KCX and it has a UW and University of Oregon sticker on the upper right corner of the back window, and a green King County Search and Rescue sticker in the upper left corner of the back window. It also has a black Yakima roof rack and an aftermarket spare-tire cover. The suspects pulled up in 2 vehicles, one silver SUV and what appears to be a green sedan. (5:55 am image:)
Please contact Nate at 425-638-2326 if found.
SUNDAY MORNING: Nate emailed to say his car’s been found, in Highland Park.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Tonight, the Community Advisory Group for Sound Transit‘s West Seattle extension meets online for a “deep dive” into the Draft Environmental Impact Statement, which is up for public comment until April 28th.
Last night, another neighborhood group met with ST to get answers to questions about the DEIS, which analyzes the proposed routing and station-location alternatives that are under consideration. The Pigeon Point Neighborhood Council has a unique perspective – to get across the Duwamish River and to a North Delridge station, the line may have to cut into the north end of their neighborhood. Just south of where, for example – as discussed in informal pre-meeting chatter – a dozen or more Great Blue Herons are back in their nests.
PPNC’s Pete Spalding – who’s also a member of the Community Advisory Group – facilitated. In introductions at the start of the meeting, some attendees mentioned having received the “we might need your property” letters from ST; others had not.
The meeting began with a project recap from ST’s West Seattle point person Jason Hampton, as had other meetings. We’ve covered it before – and the presenter was asked to cut the generic stuff short anyway – so we’ll focus this report mostly on unique Q&A. Of most interest to this group were the three studied alternatives for getting light rail across the river via a new bridge – either south of the existing motorized-vehicle bridge, or north of it.