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Police respond to armed man reported at 23rd and Yesler Catholic Community Services building — UPDATE

(Image: Alex Garland)

A large police response filled the area around 23rd and Yesler’s Catholic Community Services building Tuesday afternoon after a report of an armed man at the facility filled with dozens of people.

Officers located several employees inside the Randolph Carter Center building and were evacuating them from the area after finding the possible gunman down with a gunshot wound, according to East Precinct radio reports. UPDATE: Police were continuing to search for a possible suspect. It’s not clear at this point if the downed man is a victim or the suspect. UPDATE x2: Police have determined the downed man is the shooter.

UPDATE 2:51 PM: Police say the gunman is dead — shooting himself after trying to shoot a woman at the facility:

A man fatally shot himself after attempting to shoot a woman at a housing services program in the Central District Tuesday afternoon. Around 1:15 PM, the man met with the woman in a courtyard of a building in the 100 block 23rd Ave and made threatening statements to her. He then pulled out a gun and fired at the woman, who managed to get away uninjured. The suspect then fatally shot himself. Police surrounded the building, confirmed the suspect was deceased, and searched floor by floor. They located one person who had sustained minor injuries while fleeing from the sounds of gunfire.

UPDATE: In a letter to the community, Archbishop Paul Etienne described the gunman as “a distraught individual.”

“This afternoon, a distraught individual came to the headquarters at the Randolph Carter Family and Learning Center,” Etienne writes. “He threatened the life of a staff member before taking his own life. Mercifully, no one else was harmed and all of the staff were able to safely leave the building.”

In his letter, Etienne expressed his gratitude for the employees and management “who quickly followed all safety protocols and took control” of the situation and thanked the Seattle Police Department and emergency responders.

“Events like this remind us of the stress and pain that unrelenting poverty can bring. Events like this remind us of the real suffering and frustration that coincide with untreated health conditions, Etienne writes. “Events like this remind us of the desperation and hopelessness people feel before taking their own lives — a tragic trend that is exacerbated by the pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Original report: The facility and surrounding area were locked down by police as officers continued to search the building for possible victims and to contact those sheltering in place.

Police were first called to the location around 1:22 PM. The building was announced secured by police 30 minutes later when Seattle Fire medics entered the facility.

Those evacuated were gathered at the nearby Douglass-Truth Library during the response.

We do not yet have confirmation of any victims at the building and do not yet know more details about the condition of the reported gunman.

CCS is a social services organization supported by the Archdiocese of Seattle. Its offices at 23rd and Yesler support programs including charities, housing services, and efforts like the King County Housing and Essential Needs Program.


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CD Balooka
CD Balooka
9 days ago

this will continue if we keep defunding education and health care. (including mental health) INVEST IN YOUR COMMUNITY!

ZkZ
ZkZ
9 days ago
Reply to  CD Balooka

Pretty much straight down the line the US has the most “emotional issues” according to the data here. Not clear what “emotional issues” are supposed to be, but I’d assume it means unable to manage their minds.
https://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/issue-briefs/2020/may/mental-health-conditions-substance-use-comparing-us-other-countries

LivedInEurope
LivedInEurope
9 days ago
Reply to  CD Balooka

Seriously asking the question… in what way have we defunded education or health care? My understanding is that spending on both only goes up in the budgets…

MaLee
MaLee
9 days ago
Reply to  LivedInEurope

I think its more fundamental, the US isn’t a consistently a first world country and part of that means not everyone values education like you see in the 3rd world. In terms of country rankings the US seems middle of the road, but I have to believe it’s just the average, and the reality has to be there are extremes, where some people are very well educated (and are immigrates from other educated countries), while you then have others who pretty much make identical mistakes as you see in developing counties. As someone who has experience teaching, I’ve seen this first hand, though it’s just what I’ve seen and I’m not sure if it represents the overall data.

Fairly Obvious
Fairly Obvious
7 days ago
Reply to  LivedInEurope

Seriously asking the question… in what way have we defunded education or health care? My understanding is that spending on both only goes up in the budgets…

Health care, we spend double per person what other first world countries with socialized medicine do, for abysmal private coverage with side effects such as medical bankruptcy or denial of claims resulting in death. This is a case of allowing a for-profit insurance middlemen and for-profit hospitals. So not “underfunded” but rather improperly funded.

For schools, it’s a similar case where schools have historically been underfunded, mostly to pay for tax cuts on the wealthy, resulting in an embarrassing school system that ranks poorly on the world scale. but recently, certain jurisdictions have begun to refund their school systems, which has resulted in disorganized funding. This is partially the result of a non uniform schooling system in our country, as we have left it up to the states to run their own schools. We’ve tried on the national scale to fix the problems, but the fixes have been just as bad as the problem (see No Child Left Behind).

As MaLee points out, the actual quality of schools in the US is all over the board. Some historically well funded schools, like Bellevue, might rank higher than the overall US ranking. Other historically poorly funded schools, like Omak, might rank lower. To fix this would take effort and reform on the national level, such as what Finland did in the 70s. That’s not likely to happen any time soon with our current political climate.

Fairly Obvious
Fairly Obvious
7 days ago
Reply to  LivedInEurope

I would also add that mental health was specifically defunded in the beginning of Reagan’s presidential term where the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981 cut taxes on the wealthy from 70% to 50%. One notable item cut was mental health funding, the effects of which we’re very much seeing today (trickle down baby!).

A.J.
A.J.
8 days ago
Reply to  CD Balooka

Yes, the problem obviously isn’t guns, it’s education & mental health. It is merely a coincidence that guns are often present in cases of gun violence.

Kelly
Kelly
9 days ago

Thank you!