Ballard chef shot by SPD after allegedly robbing bank in Madison Park

Cody Spafford guy killed by SPD yesterday, April 3, 2014.

According, to our news partners The Seattle Times a local man allegedly robbed a bank in Madison Park dressed as a woman on Thursday and was later fatally shot by a SPD detective.

The man was identified by police today as local sous chef Cody Spafford. According to court records, Spafford, who worked at well-known Ballard restaurant Walrus and the Carpenter, had no history of violent crime.

Spafford’s colleague, Chad Dale, wrote the following in an email to The Seattle Times this morning:

Cody was a beloved member of our family. He was hard-working, unassuming and kind. He was talented beyond his years, and was only beginning to explore the many opportunities before him.

He was a well-trusted employee and friend. We do not know the circumstances that led to this apparent act of desperation, but we know it was not him. His was a life taken tragically and far too soon. Our hearts are broken.

According to their Facebook page, The Walrus and the Carpenter will be closed tonight “so that we they may mourn the loss of a dear and beloved friend.”

The Seattle Times report that Spafford’s criminal record includes a conviction for felony possession of marijuana out of Sherman County, Oregon. He reportedly served part of his probation under Washington Department of Corrections (DOC) supervision after he moved here. Spafford also has convictions for misdemeanor theft, drug possession and failure to stop upon command of law enforcement charges in Utah.


According to SPD reports, a man wearing a skirt, heavy makeup and a brunette wig robbed the Wells Fargo branch in Madison Park (near East Madison Street and McGilvra Boulevard East) at approximately 9:15 a.m. on Thursday (See right SPD released image from a video surveillance camera). The alleged robber then left the scene in a silver Hyundai with an undisclosed amount of cash.

Two women, who were out for a walk, reportedly saw the silver Hyundai speed past them shortly after the robbery on McGilvra Blvd. The car then crashed and rolled over at 39th Ave E and E John St.

SPD reports that a man was then seen running from the vehicle, with a rolling suitcase dragging behind him. SPD officers later caught up with the man in the yard of a home in the 100 block of 39th Avenue East. The suspect was reportedly armed with a knife, refused to drop it and was then shot by a detective in the robbery unit.

SPD Assistant Chief Paul McDonagh identified Detective Jim Rogers as the officer who shot Spafford after he allegedly “charged” at him with a knife.

According to Jennifer Sullivan from The Seattle Times SPD report that the detective fired because the suspect “presented a threat.”

The King County Medical Examiner’s Office formally identified the body of Spafford at approximately 3 p.m. this afternoon. According to their report, Spafford died of multiple gunshot wounds and his death has been ruled a homicide. SPD officers say that he died at the scene.

Photos courtesy of The Seattle Times. Photo credit – Renee Erickson.

26 comments on “Ballard chef shot by SPD after allegedly robbing bank in Madison Park”

  1. > See upcoming events in our Ballard calendar <

  2. Yikes. Too weird. You are just left standing there shaking your head going “what the…?”. I had to read the story twice.

  3. Very sad story. For someone who had lots going for him, this definitely seems out of character. Something in his life must’ve created enough desperation to trigger a crazy stunt like this. That’s just terrible.

  4. “For someone who had lots going for him”

    He did? He was working as a sous-chef–do those jobs pay well? I was under the impression that is one step above dishwashing or bussing tables.
    Maybe he actually saw his job as a dead-end and figured he needed to look elsewhere for real cash (which he was likely strapped for).

  5. uh, biff, you are quite wrong regarding what a sous-chef is and/or does.

    brilliant theory on why he may have done this, but I am under the impression that you have no idea what you are talking about…

  6. And I don’t mean to sound flippant. Drugs destroy lives. May this troubled young man rest in peace.

  7. ” a sous-chef–do those jobs pay well? I was under the impression that is one step above dishwashing or bussing ”

    At one of Seattle’s most famous, popular and expensive restaurants? Yes, he was making good money from shared tips. Enough to take two week vacations in Europe with the family? Maybe not, but more than enough to live in.

    I know it might be hard for some people in these parts to understand, but he may have pointed that gun and terrorized a bunch of innocent people simply because he is a BAD PERSON. Maybe for one second people in Seattle can think about the victims of crimes like this. Imagine for one second looking down the barrel of this man’s gun and thinking you are going to die. Just imagine that for a moment. imagine your parents, your siblings, your children. Stare down this man’s gun and imagine him shooting you. Then replay that experience in your mind for a day, a week, a month, the rest of your life. For some people this kind of experience can bring on years of trauma.

    So I have zero sympathy for this man. He got what he deserved. I feel for the victims.

  8. Hey Simon Says…No one who gets shot by police while armed with a fillet knife “got what he deserved” The police officer who killed this young man needs to be fired and arrested for murder.

  9. @9 you think an 8 inch filet knife in your gut or chest is a joke? The police were well within their rights and the law to shoot. Me? I thank the SPD.

  10. “Oh no” is a police hater or delusional. I also say good work SPD. I am not happy they had to shoot and kill this man. But they did exactly what they are trained to do and should have done. If the police order you to drop a weapon and you do not, then you had better damn well expect to be ventilated shortly with every round they have loaded. I would say the odds are this man wanted them to shoot him as a form of suicide. What lunatic thinks he can take someone holding a Glock 9mm with a fillet knife?

  11. I knew this boy. I saw him nearly every day for the last four years. He was like a little brother to me. I am sad that he committed a crime, but he did not deserve to die. He was not a bad person, but was desperate and created a desperate situation. Everyone needs to understand that people who commit crimes are not always bad people. The worst thing a person does does not define their whole life. Everyone is capable of addiction and misjudgment, and this incident is the culmination of those two things.

    I am sorry that Cody broke the law, but i’d rather have him alive than dead, and i’d have preferred he had his foot shot off than had seven bullets in his vital organs. I think all of you would feel the same if he was your son, brother, or friend. People who commit crimes still matter to someone, and our justice system is predicated on the belief that everyone deserves a chance to make up for their wrongs and do something good with their life. As for the SPD, until they begin to quantify the advantages a trained, armed, and armored officer has over a suspect, and until they stop disregarding human life with policies that encourage shooting to kill, justice will not be served, as in this case, and no one will be presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

  12. @13 sorry but I’m still more concerned about the victims of this crime and the trauma they must suffer with for years. Cody made his choices yes to live or die them. The Seattle police were doing the jobs and what they did was legal justified.

  13. Simon–what i’m saying is you can simultaneously have compassion for the victim and the perpetrator. Both are precious to someone, and if someone you cared about ended this way, you would likely feel as i do, which, to reiterate, is sorrow that the police countered cody’s choices with the choice to kill him. Either way, you are talking about someone you don’t know and have only read a few paragraphs about, ever. Cody Spafford was not a bad person. Shame on you.

    The job of the police is to serve and protect, not to live and let die. And you should know that this incident has been ruled a homicide and is being investigated, ergo, not clearly justified at all. Nobody won in this situation, but the party most capable of keeping the number of people suffering to a minimum was the police, and they chose to add cody’s family and friends to the sufferers. Everyone made choices. It is only the living who are capable of making better choices next time.

  14. I wasn’t saying what he did was right. Just curious about his motive. And I’ve been robbed at gunpoint once in my life, so I know how the victims feel.

  15. It is unfortunate that he flipped the vehicle while trying to remove his eye-shadow. Otherwise he would have likely gotten away with this crime.

    Nothing about the SPD procedurals have changes under Mayor Ed Murrary. He has done nothing to improve the perception of the force or the outcomes of social disorders gone wrong.

  16. I’m more concerned about public safety because of the southend punks shooting, mugging and robbing than the SPD using deadly force once in awhile. Parts of Seattle are like the wild west and now it’s happened in Greenwood.

  17. “It is unfortunate that he flipped the vehicle while trying to remove his eye-shadow. ”

    Not enough practice. My missus can do a full hair and makeup doing 70mph down I-5.

  18. His murder may have been legal, but it was not moral.
    Bt in Amerka we kill to protect property, even, money that is insured.
    Good thing the police didn’t have to sdo any detective work. It’s so much less paperwork to just kill first.

  19. @20 you are totally right. Don’t we all have a relative or friend who has gotten caught up in drugs and done something illegal? If not, you should never comment on the real world. If you have, should they have been chased and shot ? Here’s one, how about getting a negotiator on the scene. Or hitting him with a tazer gun?

  20. How about putting a nice bowl of warm milk out and waiting for Cody to come out purring like a kitty?

  21. @MyBallard: Please reconsider baring anonymous commenters not linked to facebook. The above comment is a perfect example of why we need this. A young man is dead. The people who loved him are devastated. And because of his actions other people are traumatized. There is NOTHING funny about this. And yet this person thinks it is appropriate to make “jokes”. If that doesn’t violate your policy of being respectful I don’t know what does. You do not owe this person or any other a forum.

  22. @everyone attacking the cop here: If you were holding a gun and someone holding a knife was charging you, what would you do? Should the cop have tried diplomacy? Maybe he should have pulled out is own knife to make it fair?

    Also, i think this is the first time in my life i have defended a cop but cmon!! Do any of you have some better way this story could have ended?

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