An eight hour standoff at Capitol Hill apartment building ended Friday morning after a man, who had barricaded himself inside his apartment, opened fire and was fatally shot by Seattle police officers.
Early this morning, just before 3 AM, neighbors at the apartment complex called police and reported hearing 5 gunshots on the building’s fifth floor. One caller also reported seeing an armed man inside the building’s elevator.
As the chaotic situation unfolded, officers learned the armed 28-year-old man was a resident in the building who previously had a number of contacts with officers and members of the department’s Crisis Intervention Team, which works with people suffering from mental health crises.
When officers approached the man’s apartment, they could hear the man watching what appeared to be a gun maintenance training video on his television, and heard what they believed was the sound of the man racking and dry-firing a gun.
When officers tried to contact the man through the door, he turned the volume on his television up, drowning out officers’ voices and making it difficult to communicate with the man.
Officers then began working to evacuate the building.
As police called for a negotiator, they could hear the man barricading furniture against his apartment door. Officers then called for SWAT and the Crisis Intervention Team to respond to the scene.
Over the next seven and a half hours, police intermittently made contact with the armed man who, at one point, came out on his apartment balcony armed with a handgun with an extended magazine. During the incident, the man repeatedly told officers he was prepared to defend himself against “zombies” and refused numerous requests by police and negotiators to surrender his gun to officers.
Just before 10:30 AM, the 28-year-old man opened fire through an apartment window onto Denny Way.
Two officers returned fire, striking the man.
Officers lost sight of the suspect in his apartment, but negotiators in the building could still hear the man inside.
Because the man had barricaded his door and previously made threats to booby trap his apartment, officers carefully planned a careful tactical entry into the apartment.
Just before 11 AM, officers breached the door and methodically searched the apartment, where they found the suspect.
Officers called for medics, but the man succumbed to his injuries.
The two Seattle police officers who fired at the suspect has been put on paid administrative leave, as is department policy in all officer-involved shooting incidents.
The Seattle Police Department’s Homicide Unit will now investigate the incident.
UPDATE: Detectives recovered the suspect’s handgun and extended ammunition clip at the scene: