King County Sheriff Patti Cole-Tindall’s hopes, fireworks-ban hotline, more @ North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting

June 3rd, 2022 Tracy Posted in King County Sheriff's Office, North Highline Fire District, White Center news 2 Comments »

By Tracy Record
White Center Now editor

Public safety was the central theme of the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council‘s last meeting before summer hiatus, held online Thursday night.

The first guest was newly confirmed King County Sheriff Patti Cole-Tindall.

NEW SHERIFF: She began with her history, coming to the job with a “non-traditional” background, starting off as a law-enforcement officer 30 years ago but then taking “a different path” for a while. In 2010, she became Director of Labor Relations for King County; in 2014 she took on law-enforcement oversight, and in 2015 joined the Sheriff’s Office. In 2020, then-Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht appointed her as Undersheriff, and now after County Council confirmation, she is the official permanent sheriff, as of May 24th. She said her background gives her a “different lens” and an ability to ‘bring something that is different and unique” that residents want.

As for what she envisions from here, “the effort to rebuild and reestablish relationships” – with the community, with other county departments, and with the KCSO employees, after four years she described as “difficult.” She says frequent communication, listening sessions, a monthly video for employees, and other things are helping that rebuilding. “I really look at it as, everybody is helping us move things forward … the other thing we’ve dedicated time to is” connecting with community in a new way. That includes partnerships with various community agencies, to solve problems that can’t just be solved by law enforcement alone. “Community groups can be pivotal and key in ways to identify solutions.” She plans to create Community Action Councils (as she mentioned at the White Center event announcing her nomination for the job). “I really believe that at this place, this time, we have so much opportunity to work with the community.”

Asked to elaborate on her mention that employees weren’t pleased with the way things were going in the past four years, she says she feels the two charter amendments’ passage, rendering the previous sheriff a lame duck, was partly to blame, as well as the previous administration’s communication style. The 2020 protests “were tough on people,” as were firings/resignations based on vaccine non-compliance. “There was this animosity toward the police … police (felt) not supported.” Overall, she said she and her team has been working “to change that … being present … I really believe we are seeing the tide turning. … We want to make the King County Sheriff’s Office … a premier law-enforcement agency.”

That includes hiring – 113 vacancies out of 778 deputy positions, and 58 professional openings. They’re offering a $15,000 bonus for lateral transfers, %7,500 for new officers. $5,000 for referrals. “But (current employees are) not going to refer people if they don’t feel this is a good place to work.” That has meant some policy changes – like allowing facial hair. “I believe our best recruiters are our current staff.”

What are the qualifications? At least 21 years old by the time you complete the academy. College degree not required. People skills are good – “you have to be willing to communicate …. a lot of this job is communication.” Go to the KCSO website to find qualifications and disqualifications listed. (No maximum age, she added.)

Undersheriff Jesse Anderson introduced a new Southwest Precinct commander, Major Mark Konoske. Then Anderson spoke to “all the horrific tragedy that’s been happening in our country” for those wondering “what are we doing about it?” – he said he’s spoken to supervisors in the field and needs to get people back into training for those kinds of situations. They especially have to be prepared for how they’d handle a crisis with a limited amount of resources. Training lapsed while schools were closed for COVID. Like Seattle Police, KCSO has redeployed some specialty-unit deputies into patrol. “I’m hoping we can turn this around … it’s time to get a grasp on it and get things back in line with more of a normal and safe society.”

NHUAC’s Barbara Dobkin asked Sheriff Cole-Tindall how much time she’s spent in White Center and what she knows about it. “I don’t know a lot,” she admitted, but did a ridealong recently. She added that she used to work in south West Seattle (Westwood).

Asked if legislators had “tied their hands,” Undersheriff Anderson said some bad laws had been made that led to a lot of “lawlessness,” but the most-recent session “fixed a lot of that.” He said KCSO has had a restricted pursuit policy anyway. “They are listening to law enforcement now, whereas before they were not.”

Another question – if people are getting arrested, nothing’s happening to them, at least in the public perception – what’s up with that? “If you don’t have a consequence for the action, it’s going to keep happening.” They pointed that question to Deputy Bill Kennamer, who agreed it’s ‘very frustrating” for officers like him, especially because of continuing COVID-related booking restrictions at jail. “We need to open the jails.” Asked if there’s anything community members can do, the sheriff suggested writing to elected officials. “You write, you call, testify when you have an opportunity – express your concerns. They do listen to their constituents.”

The undersheriff added that county officials want to be sure they’re not criminalizing homelessness, but that’s “missing the reality of where we need to restore the order and hold people accountable for bad behavior” if they are committing crimes. “We want to help people who need help, but we also want to hold people accountable.”

NHUAC’s Liz Giba asked what they see as next for North Highline. What happens whenever Deputy Kennamer finally retires – is there a commitment to community policing? Major Konoske said they would look for someone who could replace him and have him “overlap with Bill so they can learn from Bill.”

In closing, Sheriff Cole-Tindall said, “Anything you feel you need from us, feel free to reach out to us.”

FIRE CHIEF: Mike Marrs followed, with topics including the fact this is the first year of the fireworks ban. They’ve been working with other departments to figure out what enforcement will look like. For “all but the most egregious violations,” this will be an “informational” year. They’ll be lobbying for more resources to help enforce in subsequent years. They’ve had yard signs made that say “Respect Your Neighbors, Respect The Ban.” He added, “I’m hopeful this message” – sponsored by the King County Fire Chiefs Association – will catch on. They’re ordering about 100 and you’ll be able to pick one up at the fire station soon.

Who’s going to do that informational notification on the 4th? For one, they’ll take complaints and refer to Code Enforcement, which will have a handout. They haven’t worked out other details. Local Services added a link to this page with a way to report violations overnight. There’ll be a fireworks hotline for leaving messages starting June 14th – you’ll leave a message – 206-848-0800 will be the number. On that date, there’ll be a “fire and summer safety event” in Skyway with more info to kick it off. The hashtags will be #CutTheFuse and #DontBlowIt.

In subsequent Q&A, the chief expressed concern that all this extra spring rain will lead to a lot more vegetation that’ll fuel fires.

He also was asked to talk about how the Fire Department will be affected by the Subarea Plan. He said they’re most concerned about population increases leading to higher call volumes and lower revenue due to more tax-exempt property. (The fire benefit charge has only gone so far in helping with that.) “That becomes a challenge for us.” Some areas of increased density may have a reduced water flow – “it may be adequate but there are areas … that have inadequate water flow.” He’s also concerned about road standards supporting emergency-response routes, and cited the narrow streets in areas such as Greenbridge and Seola Gardens. “It’s very difficult when it’s raining and 2 o’clock in the morning to navigate” some of those narrow streets. Also, taller buildings means a need for equipment that can pump water to higher floors.

LOCAL CRIME UPDATE: Deputy Kennamer showed the latest stats – many have gone down. In one declining category, larceny, he said the colleague who helped put the stats together says catalytic-converter thefts have dropped in a big way. Gun crimes have gone up – mostly non-injury cases.

The new precinct commander said they are working on a dashboard to make more data available to deputies. It will help them proactively patrol – seeing what is historically happening and where – as time allows. “It’s going to be a tool that’s pretty fantastic.” He’s expecting it to be online within a few months.

Deputy Kennamer also mentioned that a marijuana store, Star 21, was shut down – he said, by the Liquor and Cannabis Board.

In Q&A, he was asked about a nuisance house at 18th/100th. “There’s definitely movement” toward action, he said. He added that the house might soon be sold.

TEEN PROGRAM: Darlene Sellers talked about everything that’s happening, including the upcoming job fair, and a basketball tournament days later. Fifteen local teens are being hired to work in the summer program at the Log Cabin at Steve Cox Memorial Park.

WHITE CENTER KIWANIS: Scott Davis reminded everyone that the pancake breakfast is coming up 8 am-noon July 16th at the White Center Eagles HQ. They’ll have a raffle for gift baskets at the event. “All of it goes to youth in one way or another,” he said. Tickets are $10, kids under 5 free.

ECONOMIC RECOVERY: Michael Morales is working in the fire-impacted WC area, where another round of small-business grants will be launched starting June 15th. “This round is going to prioritize the fire-impacted area,” he said. COVID-related expenses will be covered too – if you’ve made investments like ventilation, for example, or premium pay to keep or recruit people.”We’re going to be pounding away at getting that district revitalized.”

NEXT MEETING: NHUAC’s summer hiatus starts now, so watch for word of that in September.

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UPDATE: Crashes in White Center after King County Sheriff’s Office pursuit

May 24th, 2022 Tracy Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news 6 Comments »

8:28 PM: This is just developing now along 16th SW in White Center – according to emergency-radio traffic, King County Sheriff’s Deputies were pursuing a vehicle (we don’t yet know why) and, after use of the PIT maneuver, it ended with collisions reported on 16th SW – one around SW 104th and another around SW 100th. We’re on our way to find out more. In the meantime, if you have to go through White Center, avoid that stretch of street.

8:44 PM: Photo above is from the scene at 16th/100th. Road closures start there/southward. So far, we’ve learned only that this began with an incident in SeaTac. A suspect is in custody. Major Crimes detectives are responding, so this will be an active scene for some time.

9:17 PM: Added photo from 104th scene. Deputies at the scenes aren’t commenting but we just talked by phone with KCSO Capt. Tim Meyer. He says they started chasing the suspect as a “followup to an open and active investigation from a couple days ago” and that the 104th collision happened during the pursuit, with the suspect’s vehicle coming to a stop at the WC Starbucks. Capt. Meyer said two people were taken to hospitals – one to St. Anne in Burien, one to Harborview Medical Center.

9:54 PM: Going back through archived radio exchanges from the start of the pursuit, the only additional detail we can deduce is that the red pickup truck (partly seen in the photo above) is what the suspect was in, and that the deputy who started trying to pull him over recognized him from a “bulletin” that had been circulated regarding the earlier case.

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VIDEO: Interim Sheriff Patti Cole-Tindall nominated for permanent job

May 3rd, 2022 Tracy Posted in King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news 1 Comment »

11:22 AM: In the parking lot at Steve Cox Memorial Park this past hour, both King County Executive Dow Constantine and his newly announced nominee for Sheriff, Patti Cole-Tindall, paid homage to the park’s namesake as someone who embodied community service. Cole-Tindall, who’s been serving as interim sheriff since the start of the year, promised to carry on that tradition. We were there as both spoke with the media, and we’ll have the full story plus video later today.

ADDED 12:15 PM: Constantine declared, “I think we have found the right person to lead the King County Sheriff’s Office.” He noted that he chose Cole-Tindall – who joined KCSO seven years ago – from what started as a field of 12 candidates, narrowed to 3 finalists (the other two were from out of state). He believes she’ll “chart a new course” as an “effective leader for change,” especially given her background in roles including the Office of Law Enforcement Oversight. Here’s how he introduced her:

Cole-Tindall acknowledged she isn’t and won’t be “a traditional sheriff.” She again mentioned Deputy Cox, saying he “loved this community and they loved him back.” We asked her about specific plans for the unincorporated communities such as White Center/North Highline, and she said one idea is to create “community councils/action committees” to “hear directly from folks (and) engage with the community.” Engagement, she says, is what she heard the most about from members of the public during the hiring process.

Another of her top priorities will be to restructure the Sheriff’s Office. Right now, for example, it has only three divisions, in some cases ‘mash(ing) together” unrelated responsibilities. No job loss, she promised. And she wants to work on both employee retention and hiring incentives, as KCSO copes with a staffing shortage like that plaguing so many departments around the nation. Here are her full remarks:

Cole-Tindall’s most-recent role in KCSO before interim sheriff was as undersheriff. The County Council considers her nomination on May 18th and Constantine says he’s hoping for a final vote by month’s end. Meantime, it’s been noted that since Cole-Tindall hasn’t been serving as a certified officer in recent years, she’ll have to go back to the academy, an almost five-month-long process, no later than January. While she’s there, “an acting Sheriff from the KCSO leadership team willl be appointed,” today’s announcement says.

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New King County Sheriff to be announced Tuesday in White Center

May 2nd, 2022 Tracy Posted in King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news Comments Off on New King County Sheriff to be announced Tuesday in White Center

King County Executive Dow Constantine says he’s made his decision on who he’d like to hire as the next sheriff, and will introduce his nominee to the media tomorrow morning at White Center’s Steve Cox Memorial Park. Three people were identified as finalists for the job, which is now an appointed rather than elected position: Patti Cole-Tindall, Interim Sheriff; Charles Kimble, Chief of Police, Killeen, Texas; Reginald Moorman, Major, Atlanta, Georgia Police.

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Three finalists announced for King County Sheriff

April 7th, 2022 Tracy Posted in King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news Comments Off on Three finalists announced for King County Sheriff

Three people – including the current interim King County Sheriff – are in the running for the permanent job. Here’s the announcement:

Following three rounds of interviews with the hiring committee, three candidates have been selected to move into the final phase of the recruitment process for a new King County Sheriff. A total of 12 candidates submitted applications to the nationwide search conducted by POLHIRE, which began in November 2021. Seven candidates were moved to a first round of interviews.

The three finalists selected are:

Patti Cole-Tindall, Interim Sheriff, King County Sheriff’s Office
Charles Kimble, Chief of Police, Killeen, Texas Police Department
Reginald Moorman, Major, Atlanta, Georgia Police Department

In the final phase of the selection process, the candidates will both meet with members of the Public Safety Advisory Committee, King County employees, labor representatives, and contract city representatives and engage with the community in a separate series of public forums prior to a final interview with Executive Constantine. These community forums are a chance for the public to provide input, ask questions, and get to know the candidates better . Forums will take place virtually with the first on April 18 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. and the second on April 21 from 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. Candidate bios and more information on how to participate in the forums can be found here.

“Using priorities and criteria set by the Public Safety Advisory Committee, I am pleased we have identified three highly qualified finalists to be the next King County Sheriff,” said Executive Constantine. “Before I appoint the next Sheriff, I am eager to hear from the public and our KCSO employees as they meet the candidates and hear their vision for delivering high quality, professional, and equitable public safety.”

The King County Sheriff’s Office is transitioning to an appointed, rather than elected, Sheriff, following the passage of a Charter Amendment in November 2020. As part of that process, the Public Safety Advisory Committee developed recommendations for the characteristics of the next Sheriff, focusing on a strong background in law enforcement, community leadership, and community partnerships; a reputation for integrity, honesty, and transparency; the ability to inspire and motivate change; and a commitment to equity, racial and social justice, and LGBTQ+ issues. These recommendations were reviewed by Executive Constantine and the King County Council and considered during the interview process.

As part of the job requirements, the successful candidate will need to be certified by the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission within one year of appointment.

Executive Constantine will make a final sheriff selection and transmit the nomination in early May to the King County Council. The council will then begin their confirmation process, with the new Sheriff expected to be on board this summer.

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UPDATE: Shooting investigation in White Center

March 20th, 2022 Tracy Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news 2 Comments »

SUNDAY NIGHT: King County Sheriff’s Deputies are investigating a shooting near 14th SW and SW 107th, with at least one victim being taken to the hospital. According to radio exchanges, the call first came in as a drive-by shooting that damaged a vehicle, and then came word that a woman had been shot. One deputy told dispatch there are “casings all over 14th.” The suspect vehicle was described as a gray BMW. That’s all we have so far – we’ll add any updates that become available.

TUESDAY AFTERNOON: KCSO did not answer our followup inquiry Monday but did today. The only update is that the victim is in stable condition; otherwise, the investigation is ongoing.

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CRIME WATCH: More North Highline marijuana-shop robberies

March 11th, 2022 Tracy Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news Comments Off on CRIME WATCH: More North Highline marijuana-shop robberies

Cannabis shops around the metro area have been targeted by armed robbers, and North Highline was hit again at least twice this week. We confirmed with the King County Sheriff’s Office that NimBin Pot Shop (10861 1st Avenue South) was hit Wednesday night around 11:30 pm. KCSO would confirm only that the three robbers left on foot and then may have gotten into a red vehicle. Scanner traffic at the time described it as possibly a Dodge Challenger type vehicle, saying that the three robbers were armed with four guns, and that they escaped with cash. Then tonight another robbery was reported; thanks to Gill for the tip that KING 5 TV reported the nearby West Seattle Marijuana Store (which is not actually in West Seattle) on Myers Way was robbed around 5:30 tonight. KING’s report says “two or three” armed robbers hit the shop and got away.

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Suspect arrested after street standoff at 16th/Roxbury

March 4th, 2022 Tracy Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news Comments Off on Suspect arrested after street standoff at 16th/Roxbury

Deputies have just arrested a man after a relatively short standoff that closed the intersection of 16th and Roxbury as well as streets around it. They say he had threatened them with a knife. He stood at the northeast corner of the intersection with the knife, but eventually moved close enough to deputies with shields that they were able to deploy a Taser and now have him in custody. We’re told the streets should reopen within half an hour (by 10:15-ish).

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FOLLOWUP: Patti Cole-Tindall announced as interim King County Sheriff as of January 1

November 23rd, 2021 Tracy Posted in King County, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news 1 Comment »

We noted yesterday that an interim King County Sheriff would be announced today, taking over after the term of elected Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht concludes at year’s end. Here’s the announcement, just in:

Executive Dow Constantine has appointed Patti Cole-Tindall to serve as Interim King County Sheriff while the County conducts a nationwide recruitment process for a new Sheriff to be appointed in mid-2022. Cole-Tindall will be the first person of color to serve as Sheriff in King County’s history. Executive Constantine also announced a new retention and recruitment bonus program for Sheriff’s officers.

Following the passage of a Charter Amendment in November 2020, the King County Sheriff’s Office is transitioning to an appointed, rather than elected, Sheriff. The Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC) has developed recommendations for the characteristics of the next Sheriff, focusing on a strong background in law enforcement, community leadership, and community partnerships; a reputation for integrity, honesty, and transparency; the ability to inspire and motivate change; and a commitment to equity, racial and social justice, and LGBTQ+ issues.

“Patti’s background and experience in the Sheriff’s Office and across County government – working with labor, serving her community, and demonstrating integrity and transparency – make her uniquely qualified to step into this interim role. She embodies the key qualities we’re looking for as we begin to rethink community safety, hire the next generation of officers and search for a newly appointed Sheriff,” said Executive Constantine. “I am confident she will ensure a smooth transition and provide strong leadership for Sheriff’s Office employees and the public.”

Cole-Tindall has a background in law enforcement, labor relations, human resources as well as service to the community. She joined the King County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) in October 2015, serving as the Chief of Technical Services Division for almost five years before being appointed to Undersheriff, where she is responsible for day-to-day operations with the team of three Division Chiefs. She currently oversees the development and implementation of the KCSO strategic plan and the examination and strengthening of the KCSO complaint and use of force review processes.

Prior to that, Cole-Tindall served as the County’s Director of Labor Relations, advising Executive Constantine and the County Council on strategic planning, labor policy, and employment law. She concurrently served as the interim director of the Office of Law Enforcement Oversight, working with staff, the Sheriff’s Office, and the public to improve services and promote awareness of the role of civilian oversight in King County.

“I am honored to serve as the Interim Sheriff, and will be working closely with my management teams to support and lead the people of the KCSO until the new Sheriff is appointed,” said Cole-Tindall. “During this transition, my mission is clear: support our workforce, ensure a smooth transition, and listen to the communities we serve as we reimagine law enforcement in King County.”

Additionally, today’s appointment included the announcement of a proposal to be transmitted to the King County Council to, subject to ratification by the respective unions, appropriate funds for recruitment and retention bonuses for existing and new Sheriff Officers:

• A one-time $4,000 retention bonus to all commissioned Sheriff’s Office employees employed on Jan. 1, 2022
• A hiring bonus of $15,000 for lateral hires of Sheriff’s Deputies
• A hiring bonus of $7,500 for new Sheriff’s Deputies
• A $5,000 referral bonus for current Sheriff’s Office employees who refer successful candidates who are hired as Sheriff’s Deputies.

Last week, Executive Constantine announced the start of a nationwide search for King County’s next Sheriff. The recruitment process has worked to incorporate community identified priorities and qualifications for the next appointed Sheriff, using recommendations from PSAC and will include opportunities for input from community representatives, employees, and labor representatives. Cole-Tindall’s first day as Interim Sheriff will by January 1, and she will serve until the conclusion of recruitment in the summer of 2022 at which time a new Sheriff will be appointed.

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WHITE CENTER CRIME WATCH: Deputies searching for bank robber

October 12th, 2021 Tracy Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news 2 Comments »

Deputies are searching for a man who just held up the KeyBank in White Center. He is reported to be armed. No description or other details yet.

4:05 PM: Photo added. The bank is closed while deputies gather witness statements. No clear description yet but a getaway vehicle is believed to have been involved. Also, deputies told dispatch the robber gave bank employees a note threatening to shoot if they didn’t hand over cash.

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CRIME WATCH: Armed robbery at marijuana shop

September 17th, 2021 Tracy Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news Comments Off on CRIME WATCH: Armed robbery at marijuana shop

King County Sheriff’s Deputies are investigating a robbery that was just reported at Nimbin Pot Shop on 1st Avenue South in Top Hat. Deputies were told that three robbers – at least two with guns – held up the store. According to emergency-radio exchanges, they are still working on description information and whether they got away on foot or via vehicle.

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Deadly shooting in North Highline

July 30th, 2021 Tracy Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news 2 Comments »

(WCN/WSB photo by Patrick Sand)

King County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Sgt. Tim Meyer says the victim in a shooting near 28th/Roxbury last night has died. We don’t know anything about the victim yet except that, after being shot at least three times, he ran to the Shell station at that intersection before collapsing. Emergency responders worked to save his life before taking him to Harborview Medical Center, where he arrived in critical condition and died overnight. No one has been arrested yet in connection with the shooting, which deputies were told might have happened outside nearby Roxbury Lanes before the killer took off in a vehicle.

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UPDATE: King County Sheriff’s Office callout at Saar’s Super Saver Foods

July 19th, 2021 Tracy Posted in King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news Comments Off on UPDATE: King County Sheriff’s Office callout at Saar’s Super Saver Foods

3;59 PM: If you’re wondering what’s going on at Saar’s: Shoppers and staff were evacuated because deputies are dealing with a person in crisis. That’s all we know so far; we’re monitoring the situation.

5:09 PM: Not resolved yet. The person was armed with a knife, which is why the response is sizable.

5:33 PM: Deputies have the person, a 31-year-old man, in custody.

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FOLLOWUP: Fire that destroyed 7 White Center businesses now reclassified as arson

July 9th, 2021 Tracy Posted in Businesses, Fire, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news Comments Off on FOLLOWUP: Fire that destroyed 7 White Center businesses now reclassified as arson

(Also published on partner site West Seattle Blog)

(WCN/WSB photo, Monday)

Thanks for the tips. We’ve confirmed with the King County Sheriff’s Office that the fire which gutted the LumberYard Bar and seven other businesses in downtown White Center early Monday is now being investigated as arson. Though the original tentative determination was that it was likely accidental, KCSO spokesperson Sgt. Tim Meyer tells WCN that they received “new evidence” that led investigators to “reclassify it as arson.” Though the LumberYard has posted on social media that “This most likely is also a hate crime,” Sgt. Meyer would not speculate on a potential motive. Anyone with any information should contact KCSO.

We just went over to the fire scene to see if we could find out more; no one’s around, but we did photograph the signs asking for tips – 800-55-ARSON. That’s reiterated in this statement just sent by the White Center Pride Committee:

The White Center Pride Committee is deeply disturbed and saddened to learn that the fire at The Lumberyard Bar on July 5th has reportedly been reclassified from an electrical fire to arson. The possibility of this being a hate crime targeted at an LGBTQI+ gathering space is also being investigated. Not only was The Lumberyard Bar destroyed, but also 7 other businesses, many of which were minority owned.

We will continue to stand with all of the businesses and individuals that were impacted by this horrible act. Our community is strong and will never back down in the face of adversity. We implore anyone with information to reach out to the King County Sheriff’s Office with any information at 206-263-2070 or 1-800-55-ARSON.

The fire broke out after 1 am on Monday. No injuries were reported. But along with the LumberYard, it devastated neighboring businesses The Boxing Gym, La Tipica Oaxaqueña, John’s Hair and Nails, Rat City Tattoo, Nuggi (which was soon to open), and Dottie’s Doublewide (which was getting ready to reopen)

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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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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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UPDATE: Crash at Ambaum/116th kills 2

April 6th, 2021 Tracy Posted in King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news 7 Comments »

5:31 PM: Avoid Ambaum and 116th – King County Sheriff’s Office detectives are there investigating a two-car collision and they’re likely to be there a while. More when we get it.

6:38 PM: Just back from the scene, which is actually on Ambaum just south of 116th. In our photo, a King County Medical Examiner vehicle is at left. They are usually called in to investigate fatalities; KCSO is not confirming anything yet. Deputies at the scene told us the road should reopen soon; they were originally dispatched around 3:30 pm.

WEDNESDAY UPDATE: We followed up with KCSO spokesperson Sgt. Tim Meyer, who says, “Two lives were lost in this three-vehicle collision that began when the driver/suspect of a northbound (on Ambaum) sedan struck a hatchback, which caused it to rotate in front of a southbound pickup. It was the occupants of (the hatchback) who passed when they were stuck by the pickup. The suspect driver (sedan), who was believed to be impaired, was booked last night for two counts of vehicular homicide AND felony hit & run. The King County Sheriff’s Office MARR unit continues their investigation.”

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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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