Another bank branch robbed, local schools shelter in place (UPDATES)

Just before noon on Thursday, October 30, a resident on NE 75th Street spotted three SPD vehicles high-tailing it east towards Wedgwood.

They were heading toward a bank robbery on the 7300 block of 35th Avenue NE.

Police are looking for a white male in his 50s, 5-feet, 4-inches tall, 135 pounds, wearing a black coat with a grey hoodie, jeans, and a cap (reads “Grizzly” in white stitching). The suspect is possibly armed.

Picture taken of the suspect inside the bank, via Seattle Police.

Picture taken of the suspect inside the bank, via Seattle Police.

If you see anyone matching this description, call 911 immediately.

UPDATE (12:13 PM): Schools in the vicinity of the bank robbery are sheltering in place (no one outside the buildings, outside doors locked, inside business as usual). These schools are: Eckstein Middle, Thornton Creek Elementary, View Ridge Elementary, Bryant Elementary, and Wedgwood Elementary (reported by Principal Doug Ouellette on twitter).

UPDATE (12:25 PM): Lockdowns at the previously mentioned schools was lifted at 12:15 PM.

UPDATE (12:32 PM): The previous bank robbery on 35th Avenue NE happened almost exactly two weeks ago, one block up the street from today’s. The descriptions of both suspects appear to be the same, but we have no confirmation from Seattle Police that this was the same individual in both cases.

UPDATE (2:36 PM): Seattle Schools has corrected their earlier list of schools that had sheltered in place this afternoon: View Ridge Elementary was not affected and did not shelter-in-place.

Bank robbery near NE 75th Street and 35th Avenue NE (UPDATES)

Just before noon on Thursday, neighbors reported seeing multiple Seattle Police Department patrol cars in the vicinity of NE 75 Street and 35th Avenue NE.

We have since learned that Seattle Police were responding to a bank robbery in the area.

Via the SPD Twitter feed:

Police searching for bank robber near
7500 blk 35th Ave NE. Susp is white male, 50s, 5’3, denim jacket/jeans, black hat, may be armed.

Seattle Public Schools had local schools in shelter-in-place mode around the same time as police arrived on the scene. The list of schools includes Eckstein, Bryant, Thornton Creek, View Ridge, and Wedgwood.

UPDATE (12:35 PM): Unconfirmed as of yet by SPD, but attention seems to be on the coin store Chase Bank on 35th Avenue NE just north of NE 75th Street.

Here is an image from KIRO’s Chopper 7 which could be heard hovering over our area earlier:

Also, the shelter-in-place was lifted at local schools moments ago.

UPDATE (2:18 PM): The Seattle Police Department Blotter has a post up now about the robbery. Unfortunately, it does not contain the words “in custody.”

If you have any information on today’s bank robbery (in the 7500 block of 35th Avenue NE), please call the police at 625-5011.

UPDATE (2:31 PM): University Prep (8000 25th Ave NE) was in “modified lockdown” from 12:15-12:35 PM.

Roosevelt house fire being investigated as arson (PHOTOS)

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An early morning house fire in the Roosevelt neighborhood is being investigated as an arson.

From the Seattle Fire Department’s Fire Line:

[SFD crews were] dispatched at 2:09 am to a house near 8 Avenue NE and NE 72 Street for a report of a porch fire that extended to the roof. Firefighters quickly extinguished the visible flames but worked for about an hour aggressively digging out the hidden fire located in the attic void spaces. The home owner discovered the fire and was out of the building by the time firefighters arrived.

After the home was extinguished, fire investigators determined that the fire was intentionally set on the front porch, and the case was turned over to the Seattle Police Department’s Arson/Bomb Unit.

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Investigators also estimated $100,000 in damage to the house and its contents, with an additional $5,000 damage to the home next door where the siding had begun to melt.

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If you have any information which could aid detectives in their investigation, please call the SPD Arson/Bomb Unit at (206) 684-8980.

Todd Byers, in yellow, talks with neighbors as they  survey the damage to his home on the morning after the fire.

Todd Byers, in yellow, talks with neighbors as they survey the damage to his home on the morning after the fire.

Two deaths at Ravenna retirement home prompt homicide investigation (UPDATES, PHOTOS)

 

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An Ida Culver House Ravenna resident (seated) leaves the facility during the police activity for the calm of a local restaurant across the street.

We became aware around 4 PM of a large police presence around Ida Culver House Ravenna (2315 NE 65th Street). A man and an elderly female resident and been both found dead in a room inside. Police are now investigating the incident as a possible murder-suicide.

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Homicide detectives stand in the inner courtyard of Ida Culver House Ravenna.

From the SPD Blotter:

Police received a report from the man’s family around 2 PM that the man had left his Ballard home after indicating he was contemplating suicide. A short time later, police received a second call from the family indicating the man may have headed for his elderly mother’s assisted living facility in the Ravenna neighborhood, with plans to harm her.

As police headed to the facility—located in the 2300 block of NE 65th Street—nursing home staff went to the elderly woman’s room to check on her, and found the bodies of a man and an elderly woman. The King County Medical Examiner will formally identify the bodies.

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A King County Medical Examiner readies herself for the scene as locals gather outside Ida Culver House Ravenna.

More info when we have it.

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UPDATE (5:36 PM): Added pictures from the scene.

UPDATE (Tuesday evening): Yesterday we talked with Nicole Francois with Ida Culver House Ravenna about the incident. She told us that counselors have been made available to staff and residents onsite, and “every day is a bit better for our community.” Francois also shared with us a statement from the president of Era Living:

“We are deeply saddened by the passing of one of our remarkable residents.  Our hearts go out to the family that is affected by this tragic event.

We are working in cooperation with the Seattle Police Department as they investigate the death of a resident from this single and isolated incident.”

- Eli Almo, President and CEO, Era Living

The names of those who died have not yet been released by the medical examiner’s office to us. Francois was unable to release similar information; however, she was able to say that the Ida Culver Ravenna resident was in an independent living unit at the time of the incident. In general, the family and friends of residents are strongly encouraged to visit their loved ones in retirement communities like Ida Culver. Depression due to feelings of isolation is a major concern. And unless staff is informed of issues between residents and potential visitors, there is usually no reason to prevent such meetings.

Francois also told us that there will be a private memorial service for the resident sometime this week, for family and friends. If residents feel moved to pass along condolences, they can be sent along to Ida Culver House Ravenna, 2315 NE 65th Street, Seattle, WA 98115.

UPDATE (Friday, July 25): The names of the deceased were published in today’s Seattle Times: Annie McClure, 83, and William T. McClure, 57. The woman’s death, due to a gunshot wound to the head, was ruled a homicide. Her son took his own life in the same manner.

UPDATE (Sunday, July 27): An obituary for William McClure is now online.

Vehicle theft leads to hit and run, and ends with foot chase (UPDATES)

At approximately 12:40 PM on Tuesday, June 24, Seattle Police and Fire staff responded to a motor vehicle accident (MVA) call at 12th Avenue NE and NE 65th Street, next to the Roosevelt Light Rail Station construction site.

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What was unusual for this particular MVA was the large number of police vehicles near the collision site (at least nine, by our quick count). Turns out that this incident was a hit-and-run by a stolen vehicle, Seattle Police told us via twitter. A witness to the incident said that after the collision, the suspect fled south.

South of the collision area, on the east side of 12th Avenue NE (pictured above) medics were treating an adult male while officers looked on.

We’ll post more details below when we get them.

UPDATE (1:49 PM): We have confirmation by the SPD that the “suspect was detained by Seattle residents while officers arrived.”

UPDATE (Wednesday morning): Q13FOX had a story on the incident during their 11 PM newscast. You can read the summary and/or watch the video here.

UPDATE (Thursday morning): On the afternoon of the incident, we reached out on twitter on the off chance of contacting someone involved in the subduing of the suspect after he fled the stolen vehicle. A man named Shawn (last name withheld by request) replied, not only with his narrative of the events but a very thoughtful setting of his role that afternoon.

We have yet to see an official narrative of the incident from the Seattle Police Department, but the description of the event that Shawn has shared with us matches what other witnesses at the scene observed.

Here is the account, in Shawn’s words, from two separate emails received on Wednesday:

If you’d just like my recollection of events, I was overlooking the intersection there, on the NE corner of 2nd level of the Whole Foods shopping plaza.  I was on break from work at the time, when I heard a loud screech followed by a massive crunch of metal.

I hurried down the stairs located on the NE corner there and looked over to my left to see a car pretty much flipped into incoming traffic.  I began running toward the car to check on the victims when I realized that people were yelling STOP HIM at someone.

I looked over across the street and saw a young guy in a red T shirt and baggy jeans running down the opposite sidewalk.  I shouted, Hey you, stop, and he didn’t acknowledge me or the other people shouting similar things.

It was at that point I shouted at him again, Hey, you, stop right now, and started chasing after him.  I ran across the street and onto the opposite curb; he wasnt a great runner and I caught up to him near the SE corner of the Whole Foods on the opposite side of the street.  He actually tripped himself up mostly, and kind of ditched it into the bushes there along with his bag… I slid him off the bush and onto the ground and tried to get control of his arms.

At that point the level of rational thought I had put into this move was literally zero, and it was about then that he started getting really squirrelly with his left arm, trying to pull it away and use it as leverage or reach for something.  He actually did pull it completely out of my grasp at one point and it was all I could do to keep it pinned underneath him, afraid what he might try to pull out.

Fortunately that was the moment that the driver and another Good Samaritan ran up and helped get better control over him; I kept shouting at onlookers to call the cops not sure if any of them actually had or not.  I was very concerned about the well-being of the driver, who probably should not have been running after this guy after such a serious crash; he was being treated after I finished giving the cops a statement and I was glad to hear he ended up being pretty much ok.

It only took about 5 minutes or so for the cops to show up, by which time we were all wrapped up pretty good with the guy, who was resisting and shouting the whole time.  The cops knew who to go for right away (a small relief) and they pulled us apart and took him into custody.

That was about the point I realized I was probably going to be late back into work, and asked the cop after giving my contact info if he could write me a note for my supervisor.  He gave me his card, and said just give them this, if they have any problems at all, call me.

That was pretty much it.  Tbh I didn’t think about it at all, if I had, I probably would have done nothing.  But I was worried he might try to carjack someone or worse and it just kind of happened. :3

I didn’t even realize it was a stolen car at the time, I just saw him running from an accident that he caused and no one moving in the victims car.

[…]and I just don’t really want any undue attention for such a minor incident.

Ultimately, the only thing I’ve really taken away from this and other similar events is that sometimes we are at the right time and the right place, in life, to affect change or do the right thing.  And in those rare moments, it’s better to go with your gut reaction and act rather than forever wonder ‘what if’.  Being trapped in a box alone with that question can be a deadly curse.

I would just add that we each have far more power than we think, and I truly believe we are all responsible for making the world we live in into the world we’d imagine for ourselves and our loved ones.

On Tuesday afternoon, one man was booked into King County Jail for vehicle theft. We are watching for more documentation on the case (in King County District Court) and will continue to add updates here.

Eckstein student hucks a Luger, sends his school into lockdown

Around 9:30 AM this morning, Eckstein Middle School was briefly in “shelter-in-place” mode as a report of a student with a weapon was investigated by Seattle police officers. From the Seattle Police Department Blotter:

A 13-year old boy has been arrested after he stole a gun from his grandmother’s house sending a nearby school into “lockdown”.  Around 9:30 am on Wednesday May 7th a woman called to report that her 13-year old grandson had stolen a loaded antique German Luger and left the house.

Numerous officers responded to the area and quickly began searching for the teen in addition to putting Eckstein Middle School in “lockdown” out of an abundance of caution. Officers located the teen in a few minutes later and he was arrested. All school activity returned to normal. A witness helped officers locate the gun having seen the teen hide it in some bushes nearby.

The teen was booked into the King County Youth Service Center for Investigation of Theft.

An email by Eckstein Middle School Principal Sherri Kokx was sent to students’ parents and guardians around 2 PM explaining the events of the morning.

Shooting behind U-District Safeway (UPDATES)

Around 5:12 PM, Seattle Fire and Police responded to a shooting on the south side of the Safeway at Brooklyn Avenue NE and NE 50th Street in the University District.


View Shooting behind Safeway in U-District in a larger map

According to information heard over police scanner, some suspects fled the scene in a black Hyundai SUV, traveled through the Roosevelt neighborhood, and attempted to get onto I-5 northbound. The vehicle was spotted and stopped by multiple officers on I-5 just north of Lake City Way. A gun was recovered by officers from the SUV.

Another suspect may have fled the area by a Route 70 Metro bus, getting off on Eastlake near Hamlin.

We’re adding more info as we get it.

 

UPDATE (6:11 PM): The SPD Blotter has been updated with the following:

Seattle police took five people into custody Wednesday evening following a shooting in the University District, which left one man with serious injuries.
Just before 5:15 PM police received several reports of gunfire near NE 47th Street and Brooklyn Avenue NE.

When officers arrived at the scene, they found a man in his 30s with a single gunshot wound lying on the ground near an alleyway.

Medics transported the victim to Harborview Medical Center with serious injuries and officers began searching the area for several vehicles, which had fled the scene moments after the shooting.

Officers performed two high-risk stops—one on an SUV on Interstate 5 near Lake City and another on a vehicle near 85th and Aurora—and detained five people in connection with the shooting.

6:15 PM: Reports on the scanner of finding bullet damage to the nearby Chevron Station and at least one vehicle (van belonging to University Seafoods and Poultry).

6:38 PM: We’ve heard from a parent that University Child Development School (5062 9th Ave NE) was on lockdown during the incident.

6:43 PM: The Seattle Fire Department reports that the “[p]atient is 40yo male with single gunshot wound in critical condition at HMC.”

And the SPD Blotter post includes this update: “Police arrested the suspected gunman on I-5…and have detained two other people. The other individuals stopped by police have been identified and released, and detectives continue to investigate the incident.”

 

6:56 PM: The Daily of the University of Washington’s Joshua Bessex just shared another picture from the scene with even more bullet evidence:

Friday, April 4: The Seattle P-I has obtained the narrative from the incident and has written up the details here: “Felon fresh from prison shot man in U-District.” Robert E. Montgomery has been charged with first-degree assault and unlawful gun possession, and remains jailed on $150,000 bail.

Dozens of guns stolen from home near Roosevelt High School

A resident of the 6800 block of 15th Avenue NE, just northeast of Roosevelt High School, reported a robbery at his residence on Friday, January 10, while he was at work. Among the stolen items were “20-25 handguns and 20 rifles and shotguns.”


View Burglary on Friday, January 10 in a larger map

In the police report narrative for the incident, the victim states that he left for work at 9 AM and returned around 2 PM and “found someone had gone through his house and stolen multiple items.” The victim had locked the house upon leaving in the morning, but had not set the alarm as he is in the process of moving. No forced entry into the house was found; however, the garage door can be opened by hand. This is how the victim believes the burglar both gained access and left.

Among the stolen items reported by the victim were near a dozen watches, cash in various places around the house as well as larger amounts in two small bags in the kitchen, and dozens of guns:

He said he had about 20-25 handguns and 20 rifles and shotguns. He could not name all the makes and models of the guns but said he would get them and send them in on a victim follow up. He stated that many of the handguns were from his Dad and Granddad and were from World War I and II. He said missing were a Colt .45, Webbly .357, Colt Huntsman .22, Luger, Walther, several Smith and Wesson to name a few. He stated he also had an AR-15 for one of the long guns. All the guns and handguns were in a closet in the bedroom or in drawers in a built in closet.

Also reported missing were 5-7 gym bags.

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Thank you to Michael Hawthorne of KOMO News for bringing this incident to our attention.

Bank robbery in Roosevelt (UPDATES)

Just after 4 PM on Thursday, January 2, the Seattle Police Department reported that a bank robbery had taken place in the 6400 block of Roosevelt Way NE.

SPD has not yet released the name of the bank where the robbery took place. But by our count, there are two banks in this area: The Wells Fargo branch inside the Roosevelt Square Whole Foods, and the Umpqua Bank branch on the NE corner of Roosevelt Way NE and NE 64th St. (The Umpqua Bank was previously robbed on March 28, 2012.)


View Bank robbery in Roosevelt in a larger map

Anyone with information about this incident or who may know the identity or whereabouts of the suspect, please call 911 and refer to this incident. Anonymous tips are welcome.

We’ll update this post with more information when we have it.

UPDATE (4:47 PM): The SPD has released a photo taken of the suspect, taken from inside the Umpqua Bank (you can see the colored text of this location on the windows behind the suspect):

UPDATE (5:36 PM): The Seattle Police Department Blotter has a post up now about the robbery, which includes a couple more photos of the suspect.