Police officers fatally shoot bank robbery suspect in Denny Blaine area — UPDATE x2: Seattle Police officers fatally shot a man just south of Viretta Park Thursday afternoon after the man, suspected in a earlier bank robbery, flipped his car and led officers on a 2.5 hour chase through the Denny Blaine neighborhood. According to SPD, officers believed the man was carrying a knife when they approached him at the 100 block of 39th Ave E. UPDATE: The dead suspect has been identified as 26-year-old Cody Spafford. The Stranger has details about his work as a chef in Ballard and a criminal record with nothing remotely approaching this incident. UPDATE: We’ve added a full report from SPD on the fatal shooting to the end of this post.
UPDATE: SPD fanned out around Viretta Park Thursday morning after the suspect flipped his car near 39th and John and was seen fleeing the area wearing women’s clothing and heavy makeup. Police believed the man to be armed.
According to police, the cross-dressed suspect walked into a Madison Park Wells Fargo bank at around 9:15 AM and demanded money from the teller. Soon after police said he flipped his car and was seen fleeing from the scene with a suitcase. The search for the suspect led police to Kurt Cobain’s former house, where K-9 units combed the house’s wooded plot.
The search began around 9:30 AM. SWAT and K-9 units were in the area and roads in the area near Lake Washington were being closed to traffic during the search. The suspect was described as a white male wearing “lots of female make-up” and a large bandage on his face. Police found clothing and money strewn on ground near where the car flipped. SPD posted a brief on the search and updated the suspect’s description — “Lake Wa incident update: susp. ditched clothes, described as wht male, 5’7, 170 lbs, glasses, tan jacket & makeup”:
Just after 9:15 Thursday morning, an armed man, reportedly wearing lots of makeup, women’s clothing and a brunette wig, walked into a bank near E. Madison Street and McGilvra Blvd. and demanded money from a teller.
The man then fled the bank on foot, possibly carrying a rolling suitcase, and was seen getting into a silver sedan nearby.
About 10 minutes later, police received a report that a silver Hyundai had crashed and flipped over near 39th Avenue and E. John Street, and that the driver had fled from the scene of the crash, carrying a rolling suitcase.
Police are closing streets near 39th and John as they search for the suspect.
- First Hill bank robbery suspect busted: Seattle Police recognized a man as the suspect in the March 25th morning robbery of the First Hill Key Bank near 17th Ave an E Madison Wednesday night. The suspect was taken into custody without incident. Here’s a brief from SPD on the arrest:
Remember this bank robbery from last week? Well, a couple of East Precinct officers do, and ended up arresting the suspect after they had stopped him for a liquor violation last night at 17th and Madison just before 7:00 pm. Officers recalled the bank robbery that occurred in the 1200 Block of Madison and thought he closely resembled the suspect depicted in the photos. He was taken into custody, and transported to the Robbery Office, where detectives attempted to interview the 46-year-old man. The suspect was later booked into the King County Jail for Investigation of Robbery. Detectives will continue to follow up on this case.
UPDATE: Here is SPD’s account of the lethal force used Thursday. SPD has also posted more photos including images of the air gun and knife the suspect was allegedly carrying.
Seattle police flooded the Denny-Blaine neighborhood Thursday morning in search of an armed bank robber, who was later fatally shot after he, knife in hand, ran toward a veteran detective.
At 9:16 AM, Seattle police received a 911 report of a takeover-style bank robbery at the Madison Park Wells Fargo bank in the 4000 block of E. Madison Street. The suspect, described as a white male wearing lots of makeup, a fake nose, dark wig, and women’s clothing, brandished a handgun during the robbery and told witnesses inside the bank he would kill them if he heard police sirens.
The suspect ran out of the bank with a cash-filled rolling suitcase and was gone before officers arrived at 9:19 AM.
At 9:26 AM, police received a report of that a silver Hyundai had crashed and rolled over near 39th Avenue E. and E. John Street. Witnesses reported seeing a man running from the vehicle, pulling off clothing, and dragging a piece of rolling luggage. Officers were not pursuing the suspect’s vehicle at the time of the crash.
Dozens of police officers—including SWAT and K9—flooded the area to search for the suspect, who police believed was running through the neighborhood carrying a handgun.
Officers arrived at 39th Avenue and E. John Street at 9:32 AM and found clothing and cash in the driveway of a home in the 100 block of 39th Ave. East.
Police searched the area for more than two hours, but were unable to find the suspect.
At 11:40 AM, an office assigned to guard the suspect’s discarded clothing and cash spotted the suspect running between two buildings inside the yard of a large home near 39th and E. John. The officer alerted other officers to the suspect’s location.
Officers and Robbery Unit detectives entered the courtyard of the home to contain the suspect, and spotted the suspect running onto the roof a detached garage. As the suspect ran across the garage, away from officers and out of view, one detective scaled a wall adjacent to the garage to get to higher ground and get a better view of the suspect. As soon as the detective ascended the wall, he saw the suspect standing nearby, holding a large fixed-blade knife.
The detective began talking to the suspect and repeatedly ordered him to drop the knife, but the suspect told the detective he would not drop the knife.
As the detective was working to get the suspect to drop the knife, a lieutenant at the scene called for officers with Tasers to respond to the courtyard.
The suspect, brandishing a knife, ran toward the detective. The detective fired multiple rounds from a rifle, striking the suspect. Officers and detectives called for medics and began performing CPR on the suspect. The suspect died at the scene.
Although officers armed with additional less-lethal tools were responding to the incident at the time of the shooting, police are trained to use deadly force when facing a threat from a deadly weapon, such as a gun or a knife.
Detectives are still working to determine whether the suspect entered any homes in the area, but police did find his cash-filled rolling bag in a garage a block away from the scene of the shooting. Police are also processing the suspect’s crashed vehicle but so far have recovered a handgun determined to be a realistic-looking airsoft gun.
Detectives have determined the 26-year-old suspect has a criminal history including burglary, possession of a dangerous weapon, theft, drug possession, criminal mischief, obstruction and possession of stolen property.
The detective, a 15-year veteran of the department, has been placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure in officer-involved shootings.
The department’s Force Investigation Team is handling the case.