UPDATE: Detectives investigate deadly shooting in east White Center

November 19th, 2018 Tracy Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news No 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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Driver hits, critically injures pedestrian at Ambaum/116th

November 17th, 2018 Tracy Posted in King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news No Comments »

We’ve received a couple questions about an incident tonight right on the White Center/Burien line, at Ambaum/116th (map). King County Sheriff’s Office detectives have the area closed off for an investigation. According to KCSO via Twitter, a 38-year-old man is in critical condition at Harborview – he was on foot when a driver hit him.

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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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King County Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht tells North Highline Unincorporated Area Council about her ‘intense’ start

September 10th, 2018 Tracy Posted in King County Sheriff's Office, North Highline UAC, White Center news Comments Off on King County Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht tells North Highline Unincorporated Area Council about her ‘intense’ start

(WCN photos by Patrick Sand)

By Tracy Record
White Center Now editor

It wasn’t Mitzi Johanknecht‘s first guest appearance before the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council, but last Thursday was her first appearance as King County Sheriff.

She said the start of her term has moved fast and been “intense.” It began with training that hadn’t happened in a few years. Eighty “less-lethal shotguns” – “beanbag rounds” – were distributed in the first quarter. And they’ve bought more, “with the goal of having almost everyone who’s in a patrol car … to have that tool on board with them.” She put through a supplemental budget request at mid-year and got funding for a full-time recruiter, which she said the department hasn’t had in years.

A few weeks ago, she sent King County Executive Dow Constantine her proposed budget. He asked for millions in cuts; “I said no,” the sheriff declared. “We respect that (he wants us to) cut our budget, but we see some real needs in our communities.” They’ve asked for a Regional Gang Task Force, starting with a sergeant and two detectives from KCSO, “so we can get our arms around the gang problem … (which) extends across all the borders.” In the next week or so, she said, we’ll see the executive’s budget, and she expects to see that included.

Another accomplishment: A fulltime community liaison, who will be working fulltime on drafting a community engagement plan. “This is a person who isn’t a badge or gun toter …somebody who actually has experience” in community engagement. The job will be posted soon, she said.

They’re also proposing combining some KCSO units to create a Youth and Family Section. And they’ll be working to fight fraud and scams – protecting seniors, for example. Also, they’re asking for a new Training Detective – looking ahead to the potential passage of Initiative 940 (De-escalate Washington) – and Mental Illness and Drug Dependency funds to coordinate someone that will work on services such as crisis intervention.

What about marijuana-related money – is it helping? asked NHUAC vice president Barbara Dobkin. The sheriff replied that in order to get some added resources, she suggested putting that money toward helping people with addiction issues, among other things.

Will the area get more officers, given the increased density? The sheriff said she asked for 18 more officers – 6 more at each of the unincorporated-area precincts. She also noted that a staffing study is under way.

As for those on staff already – NHUAC board members told the sheriff that they get great service from the people currently assigned – Kennamer, Peter Truong, etc.

NHUAC president Liz Giba asked about notification when new marijuana businesses are proposed, like recently opened Mr. Buds. Major Howard said they aren’t asked for their opinion at the start, only at renewals.

In an ensuing random discussion, the sheriff noted that she has trouble getting to all her e-mail.

P.S. 9:30-11 am October 3rd at Brass Knuckle Bistro, several KCSO reps will be available for Q&A at “Coffee with a Cop.”

Before the sheriff’s arrival, two members of her local team presented their update:

CRIME UPDATE: Storefront Deputy Bill Kennamer (above left) said that KCSO has changed its data-storage methods, so he didn’t have as much data as usual. But they had a lot more “Part 1” crimes than usual. Precinct 4 commander Major Bryan Howard joined Kennamer at the front of the room and explained that every department in the U.S. is converting to a better way to parse data – but comparing new stats with old ones under the old system is apples to oranges. He said crime is going to look higher because “the way we are counting it” has changed. The shift, Howard said, happened back on July 16th. They are writing reports in a new system, too. Everything is compliant with NIBRS (explained here). He does believe auto theft is trending slightly higher. Kennamer said some repeat offenders are back on the street. Major Howard noted that juvenile offenders are now booked only for the most serious things.

The precinct currently has 31 officers but at full staffing should have 42, Howard said. They’re recruiting but it’s tough. Full staffing would mean 3 officers at a time in White Center rather than 2, and would mean more proactive policing, “the kind of policing we want to do, the kind of policing our new sheriff wants us to do.”

Howard also talked about the Myers Way encampment zone and said that about six weeks ago, they looked into concerns that campers had spilled into the unincorporated area. Those concerns turned out to be unfounded, he said; a grand total of one person was found camping outside city limits.

Giba asked for a status update on the Burien murders. Major Howard said there were no updates that he could discuss.

Also at Thursday night’s NHUAC meeting:

PLANT AMNESTY: Former NHUAC board member Dominic Barrera is now the executive director of this organization founded by the late Cass Turnbull.

Since taking over Plant Amnesty, Barrera said, he’s worked to broaden the organization’s audience beyond its North Seattle-heavy focus. Toward that end, PA will be offering classes in White Center starting this fall – first one, 7 pm Wednesday, September 19th, at North Highline Fire District HQ. October 24th and November 14th will be the two following classes – the topics include pruning. Barrera said he’s been learning too – “my rose bushes are better than ever, my Japanese maple is better than ever …”

He also discussed the Seattle tree-ordinance controversy. He said one big concern is the removal of “exceptional trees” from the protections in the new proposal. He also noted that the ordinance has now been placed on a slower track and won’t likely be voted on until early next year. He said one thing advocates will do in the meantime is case studies. NHUAC vice president Barbara Dobkin noted that in this area, “it’s a free for all” and “legacy trees” are being cut down with impunity. Barrera said an attempt to craft a countywide tree ordinance failed years ago.

REDEVELOPMENT: In downtown White Center, the former Club Evolucion and former Fantasy Shop are owned by the same investor and both will be split into multiple business spaces, Deputy Kennamer said he had learned. He also noted the work that’s under way on the new Greenbridge development on the east end of the area, off 4th SW.

ANNOUNCEMENTS: Upcoming events include the White Center Food Bank gala at the Brockey Center on October 20th and the Southwest Youth and Family Services gala on October 27th. .. The White Center Eagles are having a First Responders Appreciation Dinner, 3-6 pm September 16th, free for any first responder …the White Center Art Walk is coming up, too.

UPCOMING MEETINGS: The October meeting will be a candidate forum with 34th District State Senate candidates Shannon Braddock and Joe Nguyen. In November, the King County Land Conservation Initiative is a planned topic, and they’re hoping for a state Liquor and Cannabis Board followup. In December, NHUAC is looking toward a legislative focus with State Reps. Joe Fitzgibbon and Eileen Cody, plus the State Senate seat winner. … NHUAC meets on first Thursdays most months, 7 pm at NHFD HQ (1243 SW 112th).

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King County Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht to visit North Highline Unincorporated Area Council this Thursday

September 3rd, 2018 Tracy Posted in King County Sheriff's Office, North Highline UAC, White Center news Comments Off on King County Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht to visit North Highline Unincorporated Area Council this Thursday

Labor Day’s here and it’s time to look ahead to a full fall for everything from schools to community groups. On the latter front, the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council would love to see you Thursday – here’s the preview:

(See the notice here in full-size PDF.)

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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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NIGHT OUT 2018: Scenes from White Center

August 8th, 2018 Tracy Posted in King County Sheriff's Office, Neighborhoods, White Center news 2 Comments »

Thanks to Gill Loring for sharing photos from a White Center Night Out party on Tuesday night, hosted by Ron Johnson, below right with King County Sheriff’s Office Maj. Bryan Howard:

Gill reports that Maj. Howard shared a “great message – your neighbors help protect the ‘hood.” Also there from KCSO, Community Service Officer Peter Truong:

The visiting patrol cars particularly impressed a young partygoer:

But the main attractions were mingling and munching:

If Night Out put you in the mood to talk more about community safety, you’ll want to be at the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council‘s September meeting – we’re told the Sheriff herself, Mitzi Johanknecht, is the expected guest.

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Child injured in White Center crash

July 10th, 2018 Tracy Posted in King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news Comments Off on Child injured in White Center crash

Deputies are at 5th SW and SW 112th investigating a collision that is reported to have left a child injured. The 10-year-old’s injuries are reported to be minor.

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UPDATE: Why the King County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team was in White Center

May 2nd, 2018 Tracy Posted in King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news Comments Off on UPDATE: Why the King County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team was in White Center

(WCN photos by Patrick Sand)

11:10 AM: Thanks for the tips about the big King County Sheriff’s Office response near 11th SW and SW 102nd. Officers on scene were too busy to talk, so we checked with KCSO spokesperson Sgt. Ryan Abbott.

He tells us it’s a standoff with a man who sneaked into a residence he’s supposed to stay away from, by court order. He’s refusing to come out.

While part of 11th is blocked by all this, it’s a residential street, so not a major traffic alert.

4:45 PM: We checked back with Sgt. Abbott to see how this turned out. He said that when officers finally were able to go inside the residence, the suspect was gone.

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UPDATE: Gunfire investigation on 1st Avenue South

April 11th, 2018 Tracy Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news 1 Comment »

(WCN photo by Patrick Sand)

ORIGINAL REPORT, 4:18 PM: We are awaiting official info from the King County Sheriff’s Office but so far via the scanner we hear they are closing 1st Avenue South between 116th and 124th to investigate gunfire. No one shot, so far as we have heard, but at least one car is reported to have been hit. Deputies are looking for a vehicle with suspects, described so far as a white Camry. We’re headed down to check on the road situation and will update.

5:44 PM UPDATE: The road is reopening. KCSO says, “This appears to be a road rage incident that turned into occupants of 1 vehicle firing multiple shots at another vehicle. Those occupants of the 2nd vehicle returned fire and then crashed into 2 parked cars and a fence. No one injured, other vehicle fled the scene.”

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PHOTOS: White Center Chamber of Commerce hosts King County Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht

April 6th, 2018 Tracy Posted in Businesses, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news 1 Comment »

FIRST REPORT, 10:04 AM: King County Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht is visiting White Center this morning, hosted by the Chamber of Commerce. Our photo is from a discussion at Noble Barton that started the visit, which then was scheduled to move to the Beer and Wine Source, with a walking tour to follow.

ADDED FRIDAY EVENING: The sheriff got an earful as she was taken on a tour of the area.

She listened to the continuing concerns of businesspeople, and had some explanations of her own. Resources remain a challenge, and right now she’s working on budget-writing.

With White Center just on the other side of the city limits, collaboration with Seattle Police is important, and Sheriff Johanknecht said her department is working on that.

It’s been three months since Johanknecht, a West Seattle resident was sworn in as sheriff as the culmination of a 30+-year career with KCSO.

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Search warrant served at Smoke Shop

March 27th, 2018 Tracy Posted in King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news 2 Comments »

We’ll be following up on this Wednesday: King County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Bill Kennamer reported on Tuesday night that “The Liquor Cannabis Board, with assistance from the King County Sheriff’s Office, served a search warrant at The Smoke Shop at 9823 16 Ave SW. A significant amount of illegal and untaxed marijuana and a pistol gripped shotgun were recovered.”

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UPDATE: Deputies arrest suspect in White Center bank robbery

March 22nd, 2018 Tracy Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news Comments Off on UPDATE: Deputies arrest suspect in White Center bank robbery

1:13 PM: Thanks to the tipster who asked about a large police response in White Center. The King County Sheriff’s Office confirms that they’re investigating a bank robbery that happened around 12:30 pm, at the KeyBank on 17th SW. No one reported to be in custody yet. More as we get it.

1:25 PM: Added the photo above. We asked KCSO spokesperson Sgt. Ryan Abbott for any description information about the robber – “Black man in his 20’s, 5’5″, slim build. Facial hair, black hoodie, with a bag.”

(Photo courtesy Aaron Wells Photography)
4:18 PM: After deputies tracked a suspect to a Boulevard Park apartment building near S. 118th and Des Moines Memorial Drive, the SWAT team came in to work toward arresting him. Within the past hour, they succeeded in taking him into custody, Sgt. Abbott confirms.

9:22 PM: Additional details in a news release from Sgt. Abbott:

Today, 03/22/2018 at 1230 PM, a bank robbery occurred at the Key Bank, 9600 BLK of 17 Ave. SW in White Center. The (robber) implied that he had a gun to the teller inside the bank, and fled the scene after the robbery. Video surveillance was quickly obtained … and Deputies were able to track him down at an apartment complex in Burien at the 1800 Block of S 118.

Once Deputies arrived on scene, they found a bag of money that had been thrown off the balcony of an upper apartment unit. Deputies on-scene were able to obtain information from witnesses, which led them to the exact apartment where the suspect had barricaded himself in. The Deputies experienced multiple failed attempts to get the suspect out of the apartment unit. KCSO’s SWAT team was called out to the scene. The suspect saw the armored SWAT vehicles arriving, along with the SWAT members, and surrendered to Police. The suspect was arrested without incident. No one was injured; this was an excellent job by all Deputies and Detectives on scene.

The 19 year old suspect was booked into KCJ for robbery.

We checked, and he does not appear to have a record; the definitive word on that will come as his case makes it through the court system – we will follow up.

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KCSO warns of frightening scam – telephoned kidnap claims

March 13th, 2018 Tracy Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news Comments Off on KCSO warns of frightening scam – telephoned kidnap claims

Just in from the King County Sheriff’s Office, an alert about a terrifying scam, with one call made to someone living in our area:

In a span of 4 days, a new *SCAM* has surfaced. Male suspect or younger sounding female claims they have kidnapped the caller’s kids and won’t return them without money.

On 03/08/2018 in the Ravensdale area, a Mom had dropped her two kids off at the school bus in the morning. A short time after the bus left, the mom got a call from a blocked number. The male caller, described as having an accent, stated that he had her daughter and used her real name, although he had her last name slightly wrong. He told the mom that if she didn’t meet him with money in exchange for her daughter’s release he would “kill the child.” In a panic, the mom called the school and confirmed both her daughters were in school and safe.

Four days later, on 03/12/2018 in unincorporated King County near White Center, a father received a phone call from a blocked number. A younger-sounding female came on the line pretending to be the daughter of that father. The female stated she was kidnapped and the suspect needed money to release her. The male suspect, again described as having an accent, then got on the phone and demanded money from the father or he “would hurt her.” The suspect then hung up on the father and the number was blocked so he had no way to call back. The father called his daughter’s school and, once again, was assured the child was safe at school with no issues.

Please keep in mind these type of phone calls are *SCAMS* – never provide money to anyone over the phone.

The parents did the right thing in these instances – confirmed with the school their kids were ok and called 911 to report it.

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FOLLOWUP: Pedestrian hit by Metro bus in White Center

February 20th, 2018 Tracy Posted in King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news Comments Off on FOLLOWUP: Pedestrian hit by Metro bus in White Center

On Sunday, we reported on an incident that sent a pedestrian to the hospital after he was hit at 15th/100th. Few details were available at the time, but we have just obtained more information now from KCSO Sgt. Ryan Abbott:

It appears a 59-year-old male was struck by a 60’ long double articulated Metro bus which was southbound on 15 AVE SW approaching SW 100. The driver stopped at the Metro stop near the NW corner of the intersection. The victim was on the west sidewalk and stumbled off the sidewalk and into the path of the bus as it drove away. The right rear tires of the bus struck the victim and he sustained critical leg injuries.

The driver had no idea he had struck the pedestrian and the 40-50 passengers on the bus at the time also did not notice that the pedestrian was struck. The victim was transported to Harborview for treatment.

No information yet on how the victim is doing.

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Pedestrian hit by driver, 15th SW closed north of 100th for investigation

February 18th, 2018 Tracy Posted in King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news 1 Comment »

Thanks for the tips – 15th SW is blocked north of SW 100th because of a King County Sheriff’s Office crash investigation. Deputies at the scene include the special team that investigates serious incidents like this. They tell us a driver hit a male pedestrian, who was taken to Harborview Medical Center; no information on his condiion. They expect to be here investigating for a few more hours.

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About last night’s White Center attack

February 14th, 2018 Tracy Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news 7 Comments »

If you missed our coverage of last night’s White Center attack that injured an employee of Cascade Heights Veterinary Clinic, it’s on our partner site West Seattle Blog – we originally heard about the helicopter search from people on the city side of the line, so that’s where we started the story, and never got around to crossposting here. Meantime, if you want to talk with deputies about crime/safety concerns, Friday is the day for Coffee with a Cop at the White Center Starbucks (16th/100th), as noted here last week – 9 am to 11 am, just drop in when you can.

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Coffee With A Cop in White Center on February 16

February 5th, 2018 Tracy Posted in King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news 4 Comments »

Want to talk with your King County Sheriff’s Office deputies about a crime/safety concern? Here’s your next chance – 9 am-11 am Friday, February 16, at White Center Starbucks! It’s “Coffee With A Cop,” just announced by KCSO. “No agendas or speeches – just a chance to ask questions, voice concerns, and get to know the officers in your neighborhood.”

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UPDATE: Helicopter over White Center

January 26th, 2018 Tracy Posted in Helicopter, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news 2 Comments »

12:44 AM: If you’re seeing/hearing a helicopter over White Center – what we’re hearing in radio communications is that the Guardian One helicopter is helping deputies search for a stolen car.

UPDATE: Here’s what the Guardian One crew tweeted after the incident:

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UPDATE: 2 shot, 1 killed, in downtown White Center

January 6th, 2018 Tracy Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news 48 Comments »

1:20 AM: From the scanner: Two people have been shot in the 9800 block of 16th SW. One is reported to have been killed. No word of any arrests so far – we’ve heard talk of a chaotic scene and a possible getaway car. More to come.

2:22 AM: Sheriff’s deputies have 16th SW taped off from 98th to just short of 100th. They’re focused in the same area as last May’s deadly shooting. No one at the scene is commenting so far, though.

3:02 AM: Via Twitter, KCSO confirms that “one male” is dead and “another” is in critical condition.

7:18 AM: More info from KCSO early this morning: The man who was killed was 51; the other man, who was in surgery as of a few hours ago, is 35. KCSO says they were shot outside the Taradise Café. “Detectives believe that the two victims knew each other and that they got into some kind of verbal and physical altercation with an unknown age, race, or build male just before the shooting.” KCSO says few witnesses remained on the scene by the time deputies/detectives arrived.

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