FOLLOWUP: Arson suspect released

March 26th, 2019 Tracy Posted in Crime, Fire, White Center news 10 Comments »

(WCN photo, last Wednesday)

We’ve been checking on the status of the 34-year-old man arrested after last Wednesday’s big fire near 14th/107th. At his first hearing, his bail was set at $50,000. We had checked with the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office about whether he had been charged; apparently charges were not filed today because, a check of the jail register shows that he was released from jail Monday night, with the docket notation “conditional release.”

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Stabbing investigation near 24th and 112th

March 25th, 2019 Tracy Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news 4 Comments »

Thanks for the tips about a police search that included presence at 26th and Roxbury. We’ve learned from the King County Sheriff’s Office that a man was stabbed near 24th Place and SW 112th. The victim was being taken to Harborview Medical Center. The investigation stretched to 26th and Roxbury because a vehicle there was somehow linked to the suspect. That’s all we know so far but we’ll be following up.

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Shooting reported near White Center Starbucks

March 23rd, 2019 Tracy Posted in Crime, White Center news 4 Comments »

Several readers asked us about a report that someone had been shot earlier today near the White Center Starbucks. The business closed early, apparently as a result.

We hadn’t heard anything about it until those inquiries so we checked with King County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Sgt. Ryan Abbott. Here’s what he found out: “Around 12:35 today, we had multiple callers stating someone was riding a bike near SW 100th and 16th Ave SW and they fired a gunshot, striking another person. We arrived – didn’t find a victim or suspect. Later a victim showed up at Highline with a gunshot wound to his leg.”

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Crash, stabbing investigation in White Center

March 20th, 2019 Tracy Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news 16 Comments »

(WCN photo)

Thanks for the tips. The big King County Sheriff’s Office response near 17th/98th is for a complicated crime scene – a car crashed and a man with stab wounds was found inside. He has been rushed to Harborview. Deputies don’t know who attacked him but they believe it happened in the course of a robbery. The victim is reported to be in stable condition.

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Suspect in custody after White Center arsons

March 20th, 2019 Tracy Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news 3 Comments »

On Tuesday afternoon, two readers reported being on Metro buses when announcements were made that they were rerouting because of “an active arsonist.” KCSO spokesperson Sgt. Ryan Abbott tells WCN that “one male is in custody on multiple counts of arson and reckless burning” after “several fires set at bus stops and three businesses in White Center.” No further details on the case but we’ll be checking on the suspect’s status.

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Why the Guardian One helicopter is over White Center

March 2nd, 2019 Tracy Posted in Crime, Helicopter, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news 1 Comment »

Thanks for the text (206-293-6302 any time). Guardian One confirms via Twitter that it’s the helicopter you’re seeing/hearing over White Center. Flight tracking shows it’s been focused in the southwest White Center/northwest Burien area. G1’s tweet says King County Sheriff’s Deputies are looking for a robbery suspect. We’re monitoring the search via law-enforcement radio but have not yet heard details of the incident. We’ll update if we find out anything more; let us know if/where you’re seeing deputies on the ground. (added) Radio discussion indicates the ground search has been centering on 14th/116th.

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FOLLOWUP: White Center murder suspect arrested and jailed; bail set at $2 million

March 1st, 2019 Tracy Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news Comments Off on FOLLOWUP: White Center murder suspect arrested and jailed; bail set at $2 million

Just announced by the King County Sheriff’s Office:

It’s been almost three months since KCSO announced Roberts, 24, was being sought in connection with the shooting death of 26-year-old Ricardo Villa Senor in November. According to the jail register, Roberts is charged with first-degree murder and his bail is set at $2 million.

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Gunfire in downtown White Center

February 22nd, 2019 Tracy Posted in Crime, White Center news 2 Comments »

That’s the scene in downtown White Center as King County Sheriff’s Deputies investigate gunfire that left shell casings on 16th SW just south of SW 98th.

When we talked to a KCSO sergeant at the scene a short time ago, he told us no one was reported injured (but they’ve given local hospitals the heads-up to be on the lookout in case someone shows up with bullet wounds).

This is the same block that’s seen gunfire take three lives in the past two years – two men in January of last year, one man in May 2017.

No details yet on the circumstances of tonight’s gunfire but we’ll add anything more we find out from KCSO.

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WHITE CENTER CRIME WATCH: 2 arrested in 1995 murder, 23 years later

February 13th, 2019 Tracy Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news Comments Off on WHITE CENTER CRIME WATCH: 2 arrested in 1995 murder, 23 years later

Announced today by the King County Sheriff’s Office:

On November 27, 1995, the King County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call of a suspicious vehicle parked in the 200-block of SW 97 PL in White Center. Upon their arrival, deputies found an African-American male, identified later as Kenneth Ruffer, age 26, shot to death within the vehicle.

The ensuing investigation identified numerous persons who knew Mr. Ruffer. It was ultimately learned that Mr. Ruffer may have been set up for a robbery by a female associate who at the time was 25 years old. A male suspect at the time of the murder was 29 years old, and was named as an accomplice to the robbery-murder.

Collected evidence was examined by the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab with a DNA analysis conducted. A full DNA profile was obtained which subsequently matched a reference sample collected from the male suspect.

Although DNA evidence did allow for the identification of a suspect in this case, cooperative witnesses had to be developed. Detectives spent the past year re-examining the case, its evidence, and tracking down and re-contacting witnesses in order to develop that level of cooperation.

On February 13, 2019, the now 52 year-old male and 48-year-old female, were booked into the King County Jail on Murder 1 charges.

(added 2:13 pm)

“Our detectives never give up in their quest for justice for all victims” said Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht. “Today, their tireless work has hopefully brought some comfort to Mr. Ruffer’s family.”

“This case, and others like it, highlight the need for funding of a dedicated Cold Case Unit,” said Sheriff Johanknecht. “The King County Sheriff’s Office has over 300 unsolved cold cases. Our major crimes detectives must balance cold case investigations with a high volume of current cases … Every victim matters, and I will continue to seek ways to ensure those who do them harm are accountable for their actions.”

We’re checking with the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office to see if charges actually have been filed yet, as online files don’t show them – though we’re aware that court/criminal-justice operations are catching up from snow closures.

7:15 PM: Both suspects are charged with first-degree murder, according to documents we obtained from the KCPAO – Christopher Wright and Nichole Asphy. Prosecutors allege Ruffer was shot dead as they attempted to rob him.. We’ll add more details from the charging papers later.

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UPDATE: 2 deputies on leave after gunfire in White Center Subway incident

February 4th, 2019 Tracy Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news 2 Comments »

5:26 PM: If you’re wondering what the helicopter and King County Sheriff’s Office activity is near 16th and 104th in White Center, here’s what KCSO is saying: “Deputies contacted suspect armed with a knife [related to domestic violence]. Attempted to tase him with no effect. Shots fired by deputy at suspect, unknown injuries. Suspect inside Subway where he is still armed and barricaded. All employees safe.”

5:38 PM: We’re monitoring this via radio communication. SWAT is involved. Deputies are talking with the suspect.

6:41 PM: Still working to get him to surrender.

6:57 PM: Per radio communication, they are taking the suspect into custody now.

11:11 PM: New information late tonight from KCSO spokesperson Sgt. Ryan Abbott:

On 2/4/19 at 4:15 PM Deputies were dispatched to a domestic violence disturbance near the 10400 BLK 16 AVE SW, in White Center. The suspect, a 29 year old male, had vandalized a car and then ran into the Subway restaurant that was nearby. When Deputies arrived on scene the victim directed them to the Subway.

Deputies approached the suspect inside Subway and he produced a knife. Both Deputies deployed their tasers, but it had no effect on the suspect. Instead the suspect charged at one of the Deputies with the knife, then turned toward the occupants of the Subway, at which point the Deputy fired a shot at the suspect, fearing for everyone’s safety. The shot missed the suspect, and he retreated into the Subway kitchen and barricaded himself. The employees and customers were able to exit the store.

KCSO HNT (Hostage Negation Team) spoke with the suspect for over an hour and a half, trying to get him to peacefully surrender. At one point the suspect gave both of his knives up to Deputies, but still refused to come out. Instead he began spraying WD-40 on himself, and throughout the room, threatening to light himself on fire. Just prior to that happening, the TAC30 SWAT team made entry into the kitchen area where the suspect was barricaded.

The suspect was using a bulletin board as a shield and had a screw driver in his other hand that he began swinging at the Deputies. A Taser was deployed, but had limited effect on the suspect. Several rubber bullets were fired at the suspect as well, but they also had limited effect.

A K9 dog was then used to try and take the suspect into custody. The suspect was able to slip by Deputies and used his screwdriver to try and stab at them. A shot was fired by a TAC30 Deputy at the suspect, but it did not hit him. The suspect was then taken into custody.

King County Medic 1 was on-scene immediately and treated the suspect, who was rushed to Harborview Hospital. He was listed in stable condition with a dog bite. The attending physician has confirmed the suspect was not struck by a bullet.

No Deputies were injured in this incident.

The two Deputies who fired their weapons are on paid administrative leave, which is standard in Officer involved shootings.

Sheriff Johanknecht has asked the Seattle Police Department Force Investigation Team to investigate the officer involved shooting.

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White Center Crime Watch: Street robbery

January 13th, 2019 Tracy Posted in Crime, White Center news 2 Comments »

From the scanner: Someone was held up moments ago at the Chase Bank ATM on SW 100th in White Center. Description: Black man in his 20s, black scarf around his face, black hoodie, dark pants, 5’9″, 150 pounds, armed, riding a BMX bicycle. Any info, call 911.

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FOLLOWUP: King County Sheriff’s Office seeking suspect in White Center murder

December 9th, 2018 Tracy Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news Comments Off on FOLLOWUP: King County Sheriff’s Office seeking suspect in White Center murder

New information about the shooting death in east White Center three weeks ago – and a suspect that KCSO is seeking. Here’s the announcement we received:

KCSO Major Crimes Unit has identified the suspect in the homicide from 11/19/2018 at the 10000 BLK 1 AVE SW as 24-year-old Mical D. Roberts; he is described as 6’5, 250 pounds, and is considered *Armed and Dangerous*. Detectives have probable cause to arrest Roberts for Murder. If you know the whereabouts of Roberts, call 911, do not attempt to contact him. You can also leave an anonymous tip with Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or through the free P3 tips app. Crimestoppers offers a $1000 reward for the tip that leads to the arrest of Roberts. See attached photos of Roberts.

(Backstory) On 11/19/2018 at 7:39 PM a female called 911 from a bedroom closet stating that a shooting was occurring at the residence located at the 10000 BLK 1 AVE SW. Deputies arrived on-scene a short time later and located the 26-year-old victim in the house with multiple gunshot wounds. The victim died at the scene from his injuries. The suspect fled in an unknown vehicle prior to the Police arriving.

Detectives continue to interview witnesses and follow up on leads. They ask that if anyone has any information regarding this shooting to call the King County Sheriff’s Office at 206/296-3311 or 911.

We still don’t know the victim’s name.

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Helicopter search after shooting at 15th/Roxbury

December 5th, 2018 Tracy Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news Comments Off on Helicopter search after shooting at 15th/Roxbury

A shooting at 15th and Roxbury sent a male victim to the hospital with a hand injury, and deputies have been searching for suspect(s) north of the city/county line, with K9 on the ground and Guardian One in the air.

We’re updating on partner site West Seattle Blog.

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UPDATE: Detectives investigate deadly shooting in east White Center

November 19th, 2018 Tracy Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news 6 Comments »

(Added: WCN photo)

10:16 PM: King County Sheriff’s Deputies are investigating a shooting in the 10000 block of 1st SW (map), and they say it’s turned deadly – the 26-year-old man who was shot has died. KCSO says via Twitter that they don’t know yet what led up to the shooting; their detectives are on scene.

1:30 AM: KCSO spokesperson Sgt. Ryan Abbott told us detectives would likely be there for hours, so we stopped while out on something else. Photo added above. The street is blocked off in a residential neighborhood we’d describe as east White Center.

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CRIME WATCH: Seen this stolen car?

October 29th, 2018 Tracy Posted in Crime, White Center news Comments Off on CRIME WATCH: Seen this stolen car?

Jill‘s 2013 black Toyota Highlander with a black cargo box was stolen in White Center on Sunday night, near the roller rink. “It was pretty much out of gas, so I hope it didn’t go too far,” Jill says. Plate BEC5570. Call 911 if you see it.

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VIDEO: Recognize this robber?

September 19th, 2018 Tracy Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news Comments Off on VIDEO: Recognize this robber?

Recognize him? If you do, you might be able to help solve this White Center holdup:

It happened just before 8 am on July 30th at Uncle Ike’s in White Center, but the video is being circulated now. The robber is described as 20 to 30 years old, wearing a dark hoodie and dark pants, carrying a satchel, armed with a handgun. He held up the shop and took off on foot. If you have any information on his identity, call 911.

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Shooting in Boulevard Park

August 19th, 2018 Tracy Posted in Boulevard Park, Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news 4 Comments »

Big King County Sheriff’s Office response right now to South 120th and Military Road in Boulevard Park (map), where – according to dispatchers and officers’ radio communication – a man was found in the street with gunshot wounds. Streets are being closed in the vicinity, so you will want to avoid the area for a while. The victim is being taken to Harborview. There’s a report a red four-door car was seen heading southbound, possibly associated with the incident.

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CRIME WATCH: Prowlers on camera

June 8th, 2018 Tracy Posted in Crime, White Center news Comments Off on CRIME WATCH: Prowlers on camera

A neighbor is hoping you can help solve a prowling case:

We live in front of a vacant house on the 107th block of 18th Ave SW, owned by an elderly man who uses the home for storage. (Monday) we noticed people that looked like they shouldn’t be in the alley off of 107th Ave SW between 18th Ave SW and 19th Ave SW heading to his house, so called the homeowner, who verified he was not expecting visitors. He came out to find items from his home missing and the glass removed from his bathroom window (they climbed in through the window and opened the doors to get in). He called the police and the King County Sheriff came out to make the report. Attached are images from the game camera set-up … If you recognize any of these people, please call the King County Sheriff’s office at sheriff@kingcounty.gov or 206-296-4155 and reference case #C18024998. Deputy Richtmeyer is assigned to the case.

The photos show the three people trespassing in the victim’s yard:

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Three White Center locations part of regional drug-trafficking sweep, DEA says

June 6th, 2018 Tracy Posted in Crime, White Center news Comments Off on Three White Center locations part of regional drug-trafficking sweep, DEA says

We confirmed this afternoon with the DEA that three White Center-area locations were part of a regional “drug-trafficking ring takedown” by multiple agencies, announced today: They were in the 9700 block of 9th Place SW, 10600 block of 4th Avenue SW, and 1400 block of SW 116th. Here’s the full news release about the regional operation:

In the fourth major drug trafficking ring takedown in as many months, federal, state and local law enforcement officers fanned out across King, Pierce, Snohomish, Skagit and Thurston Counties to execute search warrants and arrest more than 35 members of a drug trafficking organization, announced U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes. Today’s arrests are the fourth takedown in a series of cases aimed at reducing drug and gang violence in Seattle, South King and North Pierce Counties. Those taken into custody today (appeared this afternoon) in U.S. District Court in Seattle.

“Over the last four months, more than 80 drug dealing conspirators moving meth, heroin, cocaine and fentanyl have been taken off our streets where they preyed on destructive addictions and used gun crime to further their trade,” said U.S. Attorney Annette Hayes. “For more than a year, local police worked with federal partners to build these cases, with the goal of addressing the shifting crime problems in South Sound communities.”

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has directed U.S. Attorneys to deploy their resources to identify and address ‘hot spots’ of violent crime. Working with local law enforcement across the South Sound, federal law enforcement identified Seattle, the Rainier and Kent Valleys, and North Pierce County as an area of concern for drug and gun crime. Today’s takedown comes on the heels of three other law enforcement efforts involving wire-taps and surveillance to dismantle sophisticated drug trafficking rings linked to violence in those areas. The first takedown involved five defendants trafficking crack cocaine in Seattle’s Pioneer Square neighborhood; the second, in March resulted in twenty arrests of heroin and meth traffickers operating primarily in South King County and the Tacoma area; and in May, a third takedown dismantled two criminal groups trafficking methamphetamine in south King County.

“DEA is in a race to save lives,” said Keith Weis, the Special Agent in Charge for the Pacific Northwest. “These strategic operations have stopped some of the most violent criminal groups operating throughout the Puget Sound Region from pushing dangerous drugs onto our communities most vulnerable members facing life or death struggles against addiction.”

“The FBI is committed to holding violent gang members accountable for their actions,” said Special Agent in Charge Jay S. Tabb Jr., of the FBI’s Seattle Field Office. “The level of violence committed by these individuals has been detrimental to the South Sound community for years. Today’s arrests mark a major step toward addressing this problem.”

According to records filed in the case, conspirators trafficked cocaine, heroin, oxycodone, illegal marijuana and fentanyl. Associates of some of the traffickers arrested today were shot and some killed in various shooting incidents in both Seattle and south King County. On the wiretap law enforcement heard conspirators talk about various shootings after they occurred, including the September 4, 2017 shooting outside a Renton hookah lounge. Among other things, conspirators discussed getting firearms after being shot at by rival gangs.

Taken together, these four operations resulted in the seizure of 75 guns, more than 95 pounds of methamphetamine, more than 32 pounds of heroin, more than 7 pounds of cocaine (both crack and powder) as well as ecstasy and fentanyl. More than $327,000 in cash and 22 vehicles also were seized.

In addition, today alone law enforcement seized 12 pounds of heroin, more than 2 kilos of cocaine, a pound of methamphetamine, 124 pounds of marijuana, 41 firearms and hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash.

“Today, hundreds of law enforcement professionals came together to make our neighborhoods safer, taking criminals and drugs off the street and possibly saving lives,” said Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best. “As a former Narcotics commander, I recognize the tireless work that goes into these investigations. Together with our federal and local partners, we have orchestrated one of the largest investigations in recent memory. A special thanks to the FBI, DEA and the US Attorney’s Office. This level of collaboration is unprecedented.”

“The U.S. Marshals have always believed in the power of collaboration, and the effectiveness of combining the resources and expertise of our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners for the common good. Today, that tradition of collaboration continues and we are proud to be a part of it”, said Acting U.S. Marshal Jacob Green.

The charges contained in the indictment are only allegations. A person is presumed innocent unless and until he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

The defendants in these cases face a variety of drug and gun charges. The penalties range from five years in prison to a maximum of life in prison depending on the pertinent charge.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Attorney General Jeff Sessions reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.

This was an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation, providing supplemental federal funding to the federal and state agencies involved. This investigation was led by the Seattle Police Department Gang and Narcotics Units, FBI Seattle Safe Streets Task Force, and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Other agencies providing investigative assistance include ATF, USMS, and the U.S Bureau of Prisons.

Today’s searches and arrests involved agents and officers from: DEA, FBI, ATF, HSI, USMS, SPD, Auburn Police Department, Bellevue Police Department, Bothell Police Department, Clark County Sheriff’s Office, Des Moines Police Department, Everett Police Department, Fife Police Department, Kent Police Department, King County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO), Kirkland Police Department, Lakewood Police Department, Lewis County Sheriff’s Office, Marysville Police Department, Monroe Police Department, Mount Vernon Police Department, Mukilteo Police Department, Pierce County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO), Renton Police Department, Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, Snohomish County Drug and Gang Task Force, Tacoma Police Department, Thurston County Narcotics Task Force, Tukwila Police Department, U.S Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Border Patrol, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Washington Department of Corrections, Washington State Patrol, and the Yakima Police Department, and the following regional SWAT teams, SPD SWAT, Valley SWAT, North Sound Metro SWAT, Region 1 SWAT, Pierce County Metro SWAT, King County Sheriff’s Office TAC-30, Washington State Patrol SWAT, Pierce County Sheriff’s Office SWAT, and Bellevue SWAT.

In addition, the operations were conducted with the support of the FBI’s Critical Incident Response Group (CIRG) and SWAT teams from the FBI’s Salt Lake City, Portland, San Francisco, Sacramento, and Denver field offices. DEA’s Special Response Team’s (SRT) from Seattle, Los Angeles, Denver, and San Diego assisted in today’s operations. This investigation was supported by Northwest High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) and the Special Operations Division (SOD).

The DEA also told us warrants were served at one West Seattle location, near 20th SW and SW Holden.

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CRIME WATCH: Mail-theft alert

May 28th, 2018 Tracy Posted in Crime, White Center news Comments Off on CRIME WATCH: Mail-theft alert

Thanks to SM for the report from 14th SW between SW 107th and SW 112th, behind Mount View Elementary: “Our locked mailboxes were broken into from 5-19-18 thru 5-26-18, most likely on Saturday nights. So now 28 people will have to go to WC post office to pick up mail. Thought I would report this to you and others around our neighborhood. Might be a mail theft ring operating.”

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