UPDATE 2:35 PM: An armed stand-off on Capitol Hill ended peacefully Friday afternoon when a suicidal man brandishing a handgun surrendered to police after running inside a 10th and Union building. Seattle police officials said the man turned over his handgun and was taken safely into custody after two hours of talking with officers.
According to SPD, the man was having “relationship issues”, threatened to kill himself, and then brandished a gun towards several people on the street near 10th and Union. He then ran into the German Auto Repair building at around 12:30 PM where a 2-hour stand-off shut down several blocks and halted nearby construction.
Witnesses told CHS the incident began when the man pulled a gun on two other men outside the building that houses Alleged Tattoo, Eclectic Theater, Pound Gallery, and Christopher Goodwin Motorsport.
“(The gunman) was definitely acting in self-defense,” said Tara Johnston, an artist at Alleged Tattoo who watched the scene unfold through her shop’s window. “He didn’t want those guys coming near him.”
Johnston said police arrived soon after and the armed man ran into a garage adjacent to the tattoo shop that she said houses storage space and artist studios.
Brandon Look, who works at the Chicken Soup Brigade on the same block, told CHS he came upon the scene just after the man fled into the garage. He said he spoke with two men outside the building who told him there was a gunman inside, but they refused to call the police. “It was just strange,” he said.
The standoff caused several lockdowns in the vicinity, including at Mother’s Place daycare and Seattle Academy of Arts and Sciences. The Seattle University campus was put on alert.
UPDATE 2:00 PM: SWAT teams surrounded the building and began trying to talk down to the suspect through a megaphone after reports of a man with a gun at the location. The man, believed to be in his 30s, told police he was feeling suicidal, said SPD spokesperson Drew Fowler. During the standoff police said they halted nearby construction as the man thought he was hearing gunshots.
Fowler told CHS the suspect was likely local and police believed he was armed inside the building during the negotiations. It’s unclear if the man brandished his handgun at a specific individual prior to running inside the building.
The standoff comes one day after the shooting at Seattle Pacific University, where a gunman killed one man and injured three others. Police said the two incidents were not related.
SPD provided the following description of the suspect via Twitter: “@SeattlePD: Suspect w/gun at 10/Union is a wht male, 30s, blk leather jacket, red shirt, blk pants, wht sneakers, seen w/handgun.”
The location of the incident is an area on the backside of the central E Pike nightlife district just north of Seattle University.
Police said employees at the business were sheltered in place at 10th and Union as negotiators work to make contact with the suspect.
This is a breaking story. More details to come.