Suspect flees, crashes car, is shot by police
At about 9:15 this morning a man robbed the Madison Park Wells Fargo branch and, after getting money from a teller, fled the branch on foot. The SPD Blotter states that the man, who reportedly was wearing a wig, makeup, and women's clothing, was seen getting into a silver-colored car parked nearby. About ten minutes later, SPD received a report that a silver-colored car had crashed and flipped over near 39th Avenue E. and E. John Street.
The driver of the crashed Hyundai then exited the scene, rolling or carrying a suitcase with him. Witnesses at the robbery scene had reported that the suspect had a rolling suitcase in hand when he got into his getaway vehicle.
Police helicopters and news helicopters soon converged over the Denny Blaine neighborhood as police on the ground blocked off the area and began their search. The suspect was described as being white, about 5' 7'' in height,170 pounds, and wearing a large bandage on his nose. When confronted by police, the suspect reportedly brandished a knife, which he refused to put down. Police then shot the man, who was pronounced dead at the scene.
|Google Map view of area where suspect was shot: 39th Avenue E. and E. Howell St.|
The earliest word we received regarding this incident was a posting on the Next Door newsfeed by Community Council member Bob Edmiston, who was actually in the branch as the robbery was happening and ran out to call 911. He reports that everyone in the branch was unharmed. Police locked the branch down immediately thereafter to investigate the crime. The area where the suspect was shot is also closed off while the investigation proceeds.
|Intersection of Lake Washington Blvd. & 39th Avenue E.|
Afternoon Update: MPB reader Geri Nelson, who lives on E. Howell, reports that she confronted the robbery suspect in her yard late this morning, just before the police discovered him. "He looked [to be in his] early twenties," and was "kind of preppy," she says. He was "wearing tan shorts, a tan hat, a blue collared shirt, and carrying a tan over-the-shoulder bag that he was clenching against his hip." She asked him what he was doing on her property, but she couldn't understand his response. "He split to the next yard thru the laurels. I immediately called 911 and they had him before I got off the phone." She reports that the suspect had some money in the bag that he was carrying, and he had stashed his luggage in the neighbor's garage. While searching for the suspect, police had earlier discovered some discarded women's clothing that had apparently been used by the suspect in the robbery.
The fatal shot came at about 11:45 a.m., approximately two and a half hours after the robbery occurred. It is not clear why the suspect was shot, though an Seattle Police spokesperson has been quoted in the media as stating that the officer who confronted the suspect felt threatened.
[Overturned-vehicle photo courtesy of the Seattle Police Department.]