UPDATE: Shooting in downtown White Center kills 2

June 11th, 2021 Tracy Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news 58 Comments »

(Texted photo)

3:58 PM: Sheriff’s deputies are arriving at the scene of a shooting reported on 16th SW near SW 98th in downtown White Center. One person is reported to have been shot. No one is reported in custody. Deputies are closing traffic on adjacent streets. “Multiple rifle and pistol casings” are reported (described as “40 cal and .223”). Avoid the area.

(WCN/WSB photos/video from here, by Patrick Sand)

4:17 PM: Deputies have told dispatch there may be a second victim who someone is taking to the hospital. Also, an additional car is reported to have a bullet hole. Meantime, dispatch has told deputies that “two people with gunshot wounds” are in the ER at Harborview Medical Center.

4:21 PM: And dispatch reports “a third” person was just “dropped off” at the hospital. And that’s all before the victim at the scene was taken there – a medic unit is just now departing White Center with that person.

4:32 PM: Our crew at the scene sent that photo of deputies with shell-casing markers outside Taradise Café. Deputies told dispatch that witnesses described the shooter as a Black man in his 30s wearing an orange hoodie, gray beanie, and light-blue jeans, He was reportedly shooting from “behind cover” of a vehicle parked nearby. A victim is reported to have been in this car that subsequently went up on the sidewalk and into the business building on the northeast corner of 16th/98th.

5:27 PM: Our crew is still at the scene and we expect a briefing soon by KCSO’s spokesperson; we’ll add the update when that happens. Also, if you’re noticing a helicopter – that’s TV.

5:52 PM: KCSO’s Sgt. Tim Meyer confirms four people were shot and says two have died. (added) He wouldn’t confirm anything else, but for the record, here’s our video of his briefing:

7:07 PM: We also added more photos inline above. Also note more gunshot damage – like this business window:

A commenter on our partner site West Seattle Blog says she saw the shooting happen, amid an apparent argument.

We’ll add any new details that emerge tonight and beyond.

10:15 PM: Deputies have told dispatch that roads are reopening.

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FOLLOWUP: White Center vandalism suspect arrested

May 21st, 2021 Tracy Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news 1 Comment »

6:09 PM: As reported here two weeks ago, the King County Sheriff’s Office knew who they were looking for in the serial business vandalism that’s plagued White Center – and now they’ve made an arrest. Announced by KCSO via social media:

The King County Sheriff’s Office is pleased to share an update to a May 4th post featuring a suspect who shattered a White Center business window using a rock.

Detectives in our Southwest Precinct, along with help from storefront and other deputies who know the White Center community best, identified the suspect. With the suspect’s name known, it took several days before they were located, then arrested.

Tuesday afternoon 05/18/2021, the suspect was booked into the King County jail for the 11th time since 2017. The suspect remains held without bail on a felony burglary charge.

7:10 PM: Despite the KCSO post mentioning that the suspect was still in jail, she’s not. The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office says the 30-year-old woman was released on personal recognizance Thursday, though prosecutors asked that she be held on $5,000 bail. She is not yet charged in this case – involving window-smashing at Macadon’s – but it’s under review by a deputy prosecuting attorney.

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Street racers/stunt drivers and the State Patrol’s effort to stop them

May 14th, 2021 Tracy Posted in Crime, Safety, White Center news Comments Off on Street racers/stunt drivers and the State Patrol’s effort to stop them

Multiple reports of street racing/stunt driving in White Center tonight. We don’t have specifics but earlier today, the State Patrol sent an update on their ongoing efforts:

In response to the increased illegal street racing and street/freeway takeover activities across the region, and inherent recklessness of those in attendance the Washington State Patrol (WSP) and multiple other police agencies throughout the Puget Sound region have come together to focus on this important public safety issue.

In early 2021 multiple King, Pierce, and Snohomish county police agencies came together and coordinated their efforts to respond to, and investigate illegal street racing related incidents in the region. In addition to law enforcement collaboration, local municipal and county prosecutors have voiced their support and dedication to improving public safety in responding to this significant public safety issue.

Since early March, investigators from the Tacoma and Kent Police Departments, the Washington State Fusion Center, and the WSP have all worked together to identify and arrest multiple suspected racers, and forwarded over 220 different charges against 29 different people in relation to these incidents. These charges range from Reckless Driving, Reckless Endangerment, Disorderly Conduct, and Malicious Mischief all the way up to Vehicular Assault. Charges have been forwarded on suspected organizers, drivers and spectators who contribute to these events.

This problem is not new, nor is it unique to our region. In fact, this is a trend seen in many large cities across the country. But with it has come repeated instances of this reckless and irresponsible behaviors leading to serious injuries of those involved in the racing activities and the bystanders watching alike. It is a unified goal to bring attention, enforcement, and an end to the reckless behavior that has resulted in multiple fatal and serious injury incidents in relation to street racing events. These joint efforts and collaboration on the part of law enforcement agencies and prosecutors across the region will continue to be dedicated towards street racing as long as it continues to be a nuisance and danger to the public, as well as an inconvenience to those motorists impacted by this behavior.

Captain Ron Mead, commander of field operations for the WSP in District 2 (which encompasses all of King County), stated, “This regional problem exceeds the ability of any single law enforcement agency to address it alone. By working together we hope to bring these unsafe and illegal behaviors that pose significant risks to those involved, bystanders, and uninvolved motorists to an end. Through coordinated efforts, better use of resources, and collaboration with local prosecutors’ offices, participants in this dangerous activity will be held accountable for the betterment of public safety.”

Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Stephen A. Herschkowitz, King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, added, “The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office is committed to helping protect the safety of our communities’ streets by working closely with WSP and other county agencies for this special emphasis. ?While sometimes glamorized, reckless racing and drifting outside appropriate venues is extraordinarily dangerous. Recently, several people in our county have been severely injured, and one has died, as a result of these illegal street-racing activities. Our office is proud to provide legal assistance to our law-enforcement partners aspart of this emphasis team.”

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YOU CAN HELP: Crowdfunding to help White Center businesses recover from vandalism

May 5th, 2021 Tracy Posted in Crime, How to Help, White Center news 1 Comment »

If you haven’t already heard about this – it’s gotten regional media attention – we’ve been asked to share the link for a crowdfunding campaign to help White Center businesses recover from vandalism. The GoFundMe page says businesses hit so far include:

· Salvadorean Bakery & Restaurant
· Bizzarro Italian Cafe
· Full Tilt
· Macadons
· Mynt Salon
· Decoraciones Ely
· Za-Za Boutique
· Crawfish House
· Beer and Wine Source
· La Tipica Oaxaqueña

If you can contribute, here’s where to go.

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FOLLOWUP: Ambaum crash suspect charged; fundraiser launched for victims’ children

April 9th, 2021 Tracy Posted in Crime, White Center news Comments Off on FOLLOWUP: Ambaum crash suspect charged; fundraiser launched for victims’ children

The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has just filed five felony charges against 26-year-old Irene Plancarte-Bustos, arrested after the Ambaum crash that killed two people on Tuesday. The South Delridge resident is charged with two counts of vehicular homicide, two of hit-run, one of negligent driving. The charging documents say her 3 1/2-year-old son was in her car when she hit the victims’ car in the 11800 block of Ambaum, going about 60 mph in a 35 mph zone. He was not hurt. Deputies found her in the nearby mini-mart parking lot; she had not called 911 nor attempted to return to the crash scene, they said. Plancarte-Bustos, who has no known criminal record, remains in jail, bail set at $250,000.

Meantime, the victims are identified as a West Seattle couple, 38-year-old Kamel Dupuis-Perez and 35-year-old Lauren Dupuis-Perez, parents of two young children. Friends and family have set up this crowdfunding page to ensure the children’s educational (and other) expenses are covered.

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FOLLOWUP: $250,000 bail set for driver who deputies say caused double-fatal Ambaum crash

April 7th, 2021 Tracy Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news 2 Comments »

More information this afternoon about the Ambaum crash that left two people dead on Tuesday just south of White Center. The woman blamed for causing the crash remains in jail, bail set at $250,000. She is 25 years old and court documents say she lives in West Seattle. Deputies say they found her in the Rainbow Mini-Mart parking lot, clearly intoxicated, and that she admitted to having been drinking. She told them she was driving home from her job on Beacon Hill and was “in a rush.” The documents say she was driving a white car and appeared to be “racing” a black car in the northbound lanes when she hit the blue car containing the victims, who spun into the path of oncoming southbound traffic. A red pickup’s driver was unable to stop in time to avoid hitting them. She faces possible charges of vehicular homicide and felony hit-run. The victims have not yet been publicly identified; the incident report describes them only as a man and a woman who appeared to be in their 30s.

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WHITE CENTER CRIME WATCH: Rainbow Mini-Mart hit

March 3rd, 2021 Tracy Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news Comments Off on WHITE CENTER CRIME WATCH: Rainbow Mini-Mart hit

Deputies are launching a search right now for somebody who apparently drove into the Rainbow Mini-Mart at Ambaum/116th a short time ago. Radio communication indicates the car is still there but an “older white man wearing jeans and a tan shirt, carrying a box” was seen leaving on foot. A K-9 crew will be joining the search.

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Myers Way shooting investigation

February 25th, 2021 Tracy Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, Myers Way, White Center news 4 Comments »

King County Sheriff’s Deputies are in the 10600 block of Myers Way South right now, investigating a shooting. A woman reported a man had been shot, and described the person who did it as male, Asian, 5’10”, 165 pounds, long dark hair, wearing a red bandana, dark sweatshirt, and black pants. We don’t know the victim’s condition; medics have been dispatched. Deputies plan to use a K9 to search.

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WHITE CENTER CRIME WATCH: Grocery Plus crash-and-grab burglary

February 21st, 2021 Tracy Posted in Businesses, Crime, White Center news Comments Off on WHITE CENTER CRIME WATCH: Grocery Plus crash-and-grab burglary

That security video shows a burglar inside Grocery Plus at 16th/98th on Saturday night around 10:30 pm – a burglar who got in by crashing a car into the doors:

A member of the store owners’ family provided the video and photos, saying the burglar(s) “drove a mid-sized car/suv in a dark forest green color that police found was stolen into the front doors of the shop. Witnesses across the street have live footage they shared with the police, and the store also has a few surveillance videos that show the suspect rummaging through cigarettes and scratch tickets.” One of those clips is above; here’s a screengrab:

A plate from the car was left behind, and deputies told the victims it was stolen. This happened about two hours after closing time. If you have any information, report it to KCSO, and refer to case # C21005703.

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WHITE CENTER CRIME WATCH: Robbery investigation

February 19th, 2021 Tracy Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news 2 Comments »

The King County Sheriff’s Office isn’t providing details but does confirm that Bartell Drugs at 15th/Roxbury was robbed this afternoon. Scanner traffic at the time indicated that the robber was suspected to have fled north into West Seattle, so deputies searched for a while, with a K9 team helping. No word of an arrest so far. We also don’t know whether the robber targeted the pharmacy – in West Seattle, at least three pharmacies have bren held up in the past week, and Seattle Police believe there are links to what they call a regional series of holdups.

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SCAM ALERT: No, the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office isn’t trying to reach you to make a deal

December 29th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Crime, Safety, White Center news Comments Off on SCAM ALERT: No, the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office isn’t trying to reach you to make a deal

Here’s an alert from the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office:

The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office is aware of a scam call going to Western Washington residents regarding criminal cases and demanding money be transferred immediately.

These calls are a scam and they are targeting people who have no involvement in a crime. The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office is not calling demanding money from people involved in prostitution cases or any type of cases. Our office has never done that, and will not.

If you are charged with a crime, the way you will find out is through a formal summons or a warrant. Both must be handled in person.

Here’s the outline of one of the previous scam calls:

-The caller identifies themself as King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg and says the call recipient is being prosecuted for contacting someone underage.

-The number being faked is 206-477-1200.

-The call recipient is told to send a MoneyGram for $890 in order for the charges to be dropped. Do not wire money to this person. Our office will never call and demand money in exchange for charges being dropped.

Similar scams happened back in July and mid-August.

If you receive what you believe to be a bogus call from someone pretending to be from the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, here are steps you can take. This information comes from our Economic Crimes Unit, which handles felony fraud cases such as this.

-Don’t panic. This threat is not legitimate. Even if you take no action you will not be charged with a crime.

-Write down any information you can gather about the call. This may include the time you received it, what number showed on your called ID and any statements made by the fraudulent caller. While a recording of the conversation may be helpful to law enforcement, in Washington it is illegal to record someone without first telling them the conversation will be recorded. So, if you decide to record the call, give them notice, turn on the recorder, and then repeat your notice.

-Contact your local law enforcement to report the attempted fraud. The non-emergency number for the Seattle Police Department, for example, is 206-625-5011 and you also can make a report online. Save the documentation regarding the report after you’ve filed it.

-If the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has actually charged you with a crime, separate from these scam calls, notify your attorney.

If you have questions or want to verify that a communication you received actually came from us, the phone number for the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office is 206-477-1200 and our email is Prosecuting.Attorney@kingcounty.gov. We are happy to help you.

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UPDATE: King County Sheriff’s Deputies investigating gunfire, crash in North Shorewood

December 7th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, Shorewood, White Center news 1 Comment »

3:47 PM: Avoid the 26th/107th [map] intersection for a while. King County Sheriff’s Deputies are swarming the area after a 3-vehicle crash that followed gunfire from a car a short time ago; the intersection is blocked off.

One person is reported to be in custody and another possible suspect is being sought. The Guardian One helicopter was there for a while to help (and at least one TV helicopter showed up later). Deputies have described the car from which someone was shooting as a white BMW sedan. … We’re at the scene now, added a photo, working to find out how the injured people are doing.

4:41 PM: We just talked to KCSO spokesperson Sgt. Tim Meyer. He says the car that was being shot at is a Toyota Corolla carjacked in Seatac (updated) on Saturday; it collided with two other cars at 26th/107th. Two people were in the Corolla after the crash, 1 ran, and was subsequently found. All three plus two people from the other cars were hurt, but none by gunfire so far as authorities can tell. No major injuries. The car from which someone shot at the Corolla, after some kind of dispute, is still at large. The three people in the Corolla are described as in their teens.

KCSO expects the intersection to be closed for at least 2 more hours. We have all this on video and will add that when our crew’s back. (added) Here it is:

7:35 PM: Nearby resident Jim says the vehicles are being towed, so the intersection might not be closed much longer.

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UPDATE: Robbery investigation in Top Hat

November 29th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, Myers Way, Top Hat, White Center news 2 Comments »

King County Sheriff’s Deputies are arriving at the West Seattle Marijuana Store in Top Hat (10825 Myers Way S.) after a report that the shop was robbed at gunpoint. Deputies are looking for multiple suspects who are reported to have left on foot. You’ll see deputies taking up “containment” spots for some distance around the area. The robbers are described as 3 Black men in their 20s, wearing hoodies – one blue, one green, one gray – and at least two with backpacks. Updates if and when we get more information.

ADDED MONDAY: No new details except that no one’s been arrested, says KCSO.

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CRIME WATCH: Helicopter search; stolen car

October 19th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Crime, Helicopter, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news 1 Comment »

Two notes tonight:

HELICOPTER: If you noticed Guardian One circling north White Center for a while earlier this evening – we didn’t know what that as about until we got a tip about a sizable response in the O’Reilly Auto Parts lot at 17th/Roxbury. There, we were able to talk briefly to a King County Sheriff’s Office sergeant; he told us they’re looking for a “fugitive” but would not elaborate further, aside from confirming that the helicopter presence was related. We’ll update if we find out more. (Added 9:10 pm: KCSO spokesperson Sgt. Ryan Abbott says the person they were seeking is “a homicide suspect wanted out of Seattle.”)

STOLEN CAR: Reported by Byron:

Our red 2007 Honda Civic 4-door, license plate 867WSD, was stolen from our driveway. Sometime between 9pm last night and 11:15 am this morning. (10600 block of) 27th Ave. SW. There’s a car seat in the back and a brand new Yakima rack and kayak carrier on the roof.

If you see it, call 911.

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CRIME WATCH: About the 17th SW/SW 107th SWAT raid

October 15th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Crime, White Center news Comments Off on CRIME WATCH: About the 17th SW/SW 107th SWAT raid

Thanks for all the tips. We got to this scene at 17th SW and SW 107th, just west of the mini-mart, just as the SWAT operation was wrapping up. Some research revealed that it wasn’t a King County Sheriff’s Office operation – it was led by Renton PD. They weren’t able to provide us information immediately – but we just got some from KCSO’s Major Jeffrey Flohr, speaking at the North Highline Town Hall that we’re covering right now. He said the operation was indeed in partnership with Renton PD – it started with officers pulling over a car last night and finding 10 pounds of meth, leading to warrants being served today, including this one.

Maj. Flohr said several people were taken into custody today at locations including this one, and that drugs and money were seized.

We’re hoping for additional info from Renton PD tomorrow.

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CRIME: Robbery investigation at 15th/Roxbury

September 25th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Crime, White Center news Comments Off on CRIME: Robbery investigation at 15th/Roxbury

Deputies are headed right now to the Texaco station/mini-mart at 15th/Roxbury for a reported robbery. The emergency-radio dispatcher has advised deputies that the robber implied he had a gun, though none was seen. He left on a bicycle, westbound. Initial description: “Unknown race male, 30s, 5’5″, thin, hood and mask.” If you have any information, call 911.

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CRIME: What closed White Center Starbucks for the day

September 24th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Crime, White Center news Comments Off on CRIME: What closed White Center Starbucks for the day

Thanks for the tip. The White Center Starbucks had an unscheduled closure today. A reader told us the store was burglarized and that resulted in a broken window. We just talked with the company and they confirm the staff found a broken window upon arrival this morning, and decided to close for the day, but will reopen tomorrow.The broken window was on the drive-thru side. No other details on the crime so far.

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UPDATE: Deputies investigating White Center shooting

July 21st, 2020 Tracy Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news Comments Off on UPDATE: Deputies investigating White Center shooting

5:46 PM: King County Sheriff’s Office deputies are in the 10400 block of 2nd SW, investigating a shooting. They say the victim was shot in the hand by someone who fled and is still being sought. No other details so far.

6:20 PM: KCSO says the victim also had left the scene before investigators arrived; they are checking with area hospitals.

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FOLLOWUP: Suspect charged in arson at ex-funeral home in White Center

July 20th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Crime, Fire, White Center news 6 Comments »

By Tracy Record
White Center Now editor

This afternoon, the former Yarington’s Funeral Home in White Center is just a burned-out shell and piles of charred debris. And a 35-year-old man is in jail, charged with setting the 2-alarm fire in the early hours of July 8th. Matthew Robert-David Hicks is charged with first-degree arson and second-degree burglary, his bail set at $200,000.

The King County Sheriff’s Office announced Hicks’ arrest today, though he has been in jail since Thursday night, two days after we broke the news that the fire was ruled arson. The charging documents say Hicks has “a lengthy history of crime”; King County Jail records show this is his sixth booking in less than a year (his record, however, appears to be mostly misdemeanors). We recognized his name because he was arrested in connection with a big White Center fire early last year, but released without charges.

The probable-cause documentation from the new charge against Hicks says he has been on investigators’ radar since the morning of this fire. An investigator who recognized him “from other fire events in the area” saw him kitty-corner from the fire scene that morning, standing near the gas station/mini-mart. The investigator says the next day, a private security guard watching the still-smoldering site told him that a woman had come by early that morning and said a man named “Matt” had been bragging about starting the fire. The investigator subsequently learned the same woman had told the same thing to firefighters at the scene the night after the fire. Soon thereafter, a sheriff’s deputy contacted the investigator, saying he was with Hicks and should come talk to him.

Though Hicks denied starting the fire, he talked with the investigator about having been in the building befooe the fire. Once the investigator was able to get onto the site, he determined those were details that only would have been known by someone who had been there. The investigator also found two places where the fire had started, neither with any potentially accidental sources of ignition.

The probable-cause narrative goes on to say that he tracked down the women who had said “Matt” was bragging about starting the fire. She said she was an acquaintance and that they both lived unsheltered. She also said “Matt” seemed to have “mental issues” and was known for talking to himself. She also said he had a street reputation for being “a pyro” and that she had witnessed this in an area park a year or two earlier, with Hicks playing with matches.

From there, the probable-cause document concludes by noting that when Hicks was arrested, he “fought with officers.” Also noted: The burned building was last appraised at more than $800,000.

Hicks is scheduled for arraignment on July 30th.

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FOLLOWUP: 2-alarm White Center fire ruled arson

July 14th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Crime, Fire, White Center news Comments Off on FOLLOWUP: 2-alarm White Center fire ruled arson

(WCN photo from last Thursday, as fire flared up for a second day)

Last week’s fire that gutted the former Yarington’s Funeral Home in White Center has been ruled arson. That’s what King County Fire District 2 Chief Mike Marrs tells WCN. The two-alarm fire drew firefighters and apparatus from multiple departments last Wednesday (WCN coverage here), and flareups brought firefighters back the next day; no one was hurt. Investigators are not commenting on anything else about the fire, except to say it’s a “very active investigation.”

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