Police shoot and kill armed suspect in 23rd/John standoff

Seattle Police responding to reports of an armed man in an apartment window near 23rd and John early Friday morning shot and killed the suspect as he opened fire on officers with a rifle, SPD says.

The area around 23rd an John remained blocked as the investigation of the incident that began unfolding around 4 AM continued.

Screen Shot 2013-11-29 at 6.58.48 AMThe incident began around 4:10 AM when 911 callers said there was “a male up in the window” hanging out the 22nd Ave side of the building with a gun in his hand “looking for somebody.” Police arrived moments later and set up outside the building. A “shots fired” report was broadcast by SPD radio around 4:20 AM. The suspect was reported down by police seconds later.

The initial response was reported at 109 23rd Ave E in the Elizabeth James House, a Capitol Hill Housing building.

The male suspect was said to be in his 30s or 40s by witnesses. The building is restricted housing for disabled residents or residents aged 62 or older. Police haven’t said yet if the man was a resident in the building. No other injuries were reported during the incident. UPDATE: A Capitol Hill Housing representative confirms that the man who died was a resident of the building.

Via Twitter, SPD says its officers responded to “a man firing a gun” from an apartment window at 23 and John. As officers arrived and the man fired his rifle, SPD says, officers fired back striking suspect.

Emergency crews were called to the building to respond to the injured suspect at 4:27 AM but were not able to respond to the situation until the area was determined to be secure by police as rifle officers were summoned to the scene. SWAT was cleared from the scene just after 6 AM but the area remained blocked off to traffic and several bus lines were re-routed.Streets were re-opened by 7 AM though the area of the shooting remained closed as the investigation of the incident continued.

In July, SPD engaged in an hours-long standoff with an armed, mentally ill man in a Bellevue Ave condo building before shooting and killing him when the suspect was reported to have fired on police.

UPDATE: SPD’s report on the incident is below.

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Man Fires at Police and is Fatally Wounded When Police Fire Back

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A police response to a shots fired call on Capitol Hill quickly escalated when the suspect shot at officers from an apartment complex window. One officer returned fire with a patrol rifle, fatally wounding him. Fortunately no one else was hurt.

East Precinct officers responded to a call of a single gun shot just after 4 a.m.this morning near 23rd Avenue E and E. John.

When they arrived they were met by a visibly upset woman who told them that the shooting suspect was armed with a rifle in a second floor hallway. The suspect had threatened to kill her.

Officers approached the apartment complex and saw the suspect standing in a second story window holding a rifle. Officers ordered the suspect to drop his weapon and come out of the apartment. The suspect threatened to kill the officers and then attempted to make good on that threat by firing a shot at them. The shot missed. One of the officers returned fire and the suspect fell out of sight.

Officer began working to contain the area around the apartment complex, ordering residents to shelter in place and shutting down streets. SWAT officers responded and made entry into the building.  They found the suspect in second floor hallway and immediately began performing CPR . Seattle Fire medics responded and took over CPR but could not revive the man. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Officers canvased the building and found no other victims. Homicide and CSI detectives are on scene interviewing witnesses and gathering evidence.

The officer who fired the fatal shot will be placed on administrative leave per department policy.

It is unclear at this early point in the investigation what the relationship was between the woman and the suspect.

The only information about the suspect is that he is an adult male. Any details regarding the suspect’s identity will be released by the King County Medical Examiner.

When additional details are available or if any information changes during the course of the investigation, we will update this post.

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16 thoughts on “Police shoot and kill armed suspect in 23rd/John standoff

      • Just because the DOJ found some unwarranted use of force in the past does not mean the SPD is guilty of that in every instance. In fact. it is the exception, not the rule, when SPD uses excessive force. Your knee-jerk reaction is trypical of SPD haters who automatically find the police officers “guilty until proven innocent.”

      • You are correct sir. Since the literal DOJ handcuffing of the SPD at doing their jobs, I believe the new field process is to give the person shooting at any officer flowers and gifts instead of protecting their own lives.

  1. I think the “E.” was left off this address.

    “The initial response was reported at 109 23rd Ave in the Elizabeth James House, a Capitol Hill Housing building.”

    • Thats because the medics will not go into a scene until the suspect is completely under control. And the officers will not breach that kind of situation until swat and all the containment is set up. Know a little bit before you respond with this garbage

      • Your comprehension needs improvement. The article said they weren’t even *called* until 7 minutes after he was shot. The waiting began after that. I also question the need for extended SWAT “containment” when the girlfriend clearly said he was trying to kill her — it wasn’t some kind of multiple or unknown shooter scene. Article says SWAT was cleared from the scene just after 6 AM… were the medics not allowed in until then, an hour and 40 minutes later?

        Also notice how the SPD’s official account reads that they “… immediately began performing CPR . Seattle Fire medics responded and took over CPR but could not revive the man. “. They didn’t “respond and take over” at all. They responded after they waited 7 minutes to call, and then were held back from taking over once they arrived. I even question the supposed initial SPD attempt at CPR, after seeing how they manhandled John Williams’ body after he was down, violently flipping his limp body over against the cement wall and milling around without urgency instead of doing CPR. It’s all documented on one of the dashcam videos: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnKLEOXenow

  2. For all you dismissing the DOJ, the fact is that the U.S. Dept. of Justice rarely intervenes at the local level. If the DOJ goes so far as to pursue a CONSENT DECREE overseen by a Federal judge, then your local police department has committed civil rights violations that are SYSTEMIC and ONGOING.

    We are quite literally on the same level of corruption and abuse as the New Orleans PD, who are the most corrupt police force of any major American police department.

    You can snark all you want, but SPD have proven themselves to be a completely dysfunctional organization – that is precisely why the DOJ is involved.

    • No one has said anything about a “civil rights violation” with this incident.

      “Corruption” is not an accurate term for what the DOJ has proclaimed. It’s not the same as “excessive force.”

      I sure hope you will never need the police in an emergency situation. Since they are so completely dysfunctional,” they won’t be able to help you.

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