Suspect Made Threats Day Before Opening Fire on Officers

Police were investigating a man for sending threatening texts to family members the day before he opened fire on officers.

Officers began their investigation when they responded to a report of a disturbance in the 300 block of W Prospect Street. Officers made contact with the male resident and verified that he was the only person in the home.

Later that evening officers received information that the suspect had just texted threats to his family. Officers returned to the residence to arrest the man but didn’t locate him.

Seattle Police Force Investigations Team detectives are continuing to investigate every facet of this incident.

The following media details what residents and officers heard Saturday evening and depicts the firepower the suspect had at his disposal.

911 call


Radio Traffic

The suspect staged these weapons at the entrance of his home. Not pictured here is the rifle the suspect used to fire at officers.

Gunman Fatally Wounded After Exchanging Gunfire With Police

Gunshots in the 300 block of W Prospect Street prompted at least one resident to call 911 just before 10:30 p.m. tonight. Responding officers arrived quickly and were greeted by the sound of continued gunfire.

The first officers on scene, including at least two who were rifle trained and equipped, took positions near the front of the house in question.

The adult male suspect was still outside brandishing his firearm, before quickly retreating into his residence via the front door. A short time later, the suspect came out again and opened fire on the officers. Two rifle equipped officers returned fire, fatally wounding the man. The suspect crawled into his house and out of view of the officers.

SWAT officers responded to the scene and attempted to make contact with the suspect, to no avail. SWAT officers sent a robot into the building and found the suspect, who by this time had succumbed to his injuries. SWAT officers entered the home and found multiple firearms including semi-automatic rifles and shotguns as well as body armor staged near the front door.

No one else was injured during this incident. It is still not clear what the suspect was shooting at just prior to and during officers’ arrival.

Detectives from the Force Investigations Team as well as Crime Scene Investigators are processing the scene, collecting evidence and statements. Per policy, members of the Office of Professional Accountability were on hand to observe the investigation.

Both officers involved in the shooting will be on paid administrative leave, in accordance with department procedure.

This investigation is ongoing. Information posted here is subject to change as the investigation proceeds.

We’ll continue to update this post as more information becomes available.

Life Vests, Tents, a Radiation Detector and Other Military Surplus Items Provided to SPD

In light of the ongoing national conversation about the militarization of law enforcement agencies in the United States, the Seattle Police Department has received several requests for information about military equipment purchased through a federal surplus program.

Those items—provided by the Department of Defense between May 2010 and March 2014—are listed below:

  • Flotation vests
  • Ballistic plates for officers’ bulletproof vests
  • Binoculars
  • Telescopes
  • Signage
  • Ventilated tents
  • A radiation detector
  • Rifle sights, used by the approximately 130 officers who have passed the department’s rifle-certification program.
  • Two utility trucks, which the department returned to Joint Base Lewis-McChord after seven months.
  • Coveralls
  • Gloves
  • A metal utility cabinet
  • And pistol holsters

You can download a spreadsheet detailing these items here.

The prices listed in the spreadsheet show the items’ original value, not the amount paid by SPD. Equipment provided through the DoD’s 1033 surplus program only requires police agencies to cover the cost of shipping.




Images via Creative Commons

Neighbours Nightclub Arsonist Sentenced to 10 Years In Prison

The man who set fire to Capitol Hill nightclub on New Year’s Eve will spend the next 10 years in prison. From the US Attorney’s Office:

A former Bellevue resident who set fire to a Seattle nightclub just after midnight on New Year’s Eve 2014 was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to ten years in prison for arson, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan.  MUSAB MOHAMMED MASMARI, 30, pleaded guilty in May 2014, admitting that he smuggled a one gallon tank of gasoline into the nightclub and attempted to set the club on fire.  At the sentencing hearing U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez said, “but for the actions of some very quick thinking folks, we could have a very serious tragedy.”  Judge Martinez said MASMARI deserved an exceptional sentence of ten years based on the number of people in the nightclub, that it was New Year’s Eve, the busiest night of the year, and that “it was a few seconds from causing significant injury or death.”

“The Court sent a clear message: this conduct cannot be tolerated.  Motivated by ignorance and intolerance, this defendant put more than 700 lives at risk when he purposely started a fire at a crowded nightclub on New Year’s Eve,” said U.S. Attorney Durkan.  “We are fortunate that the workers acted so quickly – or we may have had a horrific tragedy.  I thank them for their actions and appreciate the dedicated work of the Seattle Police Department and FBI in holding this defendant accountable.”

“This important case shows the utility of a close federal-local law enforcement partnership,” said King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg.  “It was an exhaustive effort by federal agents and SPD, with invaluable assistance from prosecutors in each system.”

        According to the facts admitted in the plea agreement, MASMARI carried a one gallon tank of gas into the club in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood around 11:30 PM on December 31, 2013.  He concealed the gas tank in a shopping bag.  Just after midnight, MASMARI poured some of the gasoline on a staircase in Neighbours and hid the gas container behind a planter at the top of the stairs.  The container was still more than half full of gasoline.  At 12:06 AM, MASMARI lit the gas he had poured on the stairs and hastily left the club.  MASMARI was identified as a suspect following a review of surveillance videos.  He was arrested by the Seattle Police Department and FBI on February 1, 2014 as he was preparing to travel to Sea-Tac Airport for international travel.

       Because of the differences between state and federal law, federal prosecution ensured a longer sentence than was available in state court.

The case was investigated by the Seattle Police Department and the FBI.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Todd Greenberg and Senior Deputy King County Prosecuting Attorney Susan Storey.

Press contact for the U.S. Attorney’s Office is Emily Langlie at (206) 553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@usdoj.gov.

Off-duty Officer Arrested By Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office

A member of the Seattle Police Department has been arrested by the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office on criminal charges related to off-duty conduct. The officer was placed on administrative leave on June 18, 2014 when SPD was first made aware of the investigation. For additional information regarding this case, please contact Shari Ireton, Director of Communications for the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office at 425-249-6263.