Man killed in late night shooting in Ballard

Updated: The Tacoma News Tribune is reporting the victim is Robert Baker, the brother of Budda Baker, the UW football star and now Arizona Cardinal. Budda Baker posted this statement:

“On behalf of the Baker Family we want to thank everyone for their generous outpouring of love, support, and prayers during this extremely difficult time at the passing of our dearly beloved son, brother and husband, Robert Baker. We ask that you respect our family’s privacy in this difficult time. – The Baker Family”

Earlier: Just before 2 a.m. this morning, police raced to the 4900 block of NW Leary Way — near Cedar Room and Shelter Lounge — for a report of a shooting. They discovered a 29-year-old man with a gunshot wound a block away at NW 49th St. and 17th Ave. NW.

“Officers performed CPR until relieved by Seattle Fire. The victim was pronounced dead while being transported to the hospital,” says Detective Mark Jamieson.

Bryan Orendor told My Ballard he was outside Shelter Lounge with his girlfriend and two friends when he heard the shots.

“I heard 3 booms which sounded like fireworks,” he said. “As a second passed, a couple more shots went off and I grabbed my girlfriend and told my buddies to run and get inside Shelter now, there is an active shooter around the corner. As we ran inside, we ducked behind the bar, and I just remember everyone crying and yelling ‘lock the door, lock the door!'”

A large number of officers searched the surrounding blocks, clearing buildings looking for the suspect. (Silver posted updates in the My Ballard Facebook Group last night.) But so far, the suspect remains at large.

Investigators arrived and processed the scene for evidence, taping off the immediate area.

Anyone with information on this incident is urged to contact the SPD tip line at (206) 233-5000.

This is Ballard’s second homicide in a little more than a week. Last week officers discovered a gunshot victim inside a camper at 15th Ave. NW at north end of the Ballard Bridge.

(Top photo courtesy of KING 5’s Doug Dillon, who has a few more photos here. The video above is from KOMO’s Dan the Truck Guy.)

Police investigating fatal shooting of a man found in a camper

Homicide detectives are investigating the shooting death of a 79-year-old man who was found in a camper parked at the north end of the Ballard Bridge on 15th Ave. NW.

Engine 18 was dispatched a report of an unresponsive man yesterday at 6 p.m. When medics first evaluated the body, it appeared he had died several days ago of natural causes, SPD said. But when the medical examiner arrived, “a single bullet hole was discovered on the body,” explains SPD’s Mark Jamieson. “A cursory search of the camper did not reveal a discarded weapon.”

Investigators were called to the scene to process the camper, looking for evidence. The case has been assigned to homicide detectives, who ask anyone who may have any information on the case to please contact the police department.

A year ago, a woman was killed in a stabbing in an RV in the 900 block of Leary Way, about a half mile away from this latest incident.

Burglars crash car into Greenwood pot shop

Burglars crashed their car through the front door of the Have a Heart marijuana shop on NW 85th St. and 3rd Ave. NW early this morning.

Surveillance video shows a well-coordinated burglary that began at 3:15 a.m. Less than two minutes later, the thieves had made their escape.

With the front door smashed, four burglars quickly exited the car and “stole an undisclosed amount of marijuana before fleeing,” Seattle Police said.

The thieves left in an older model Ford Taurus, which detectives believe was stolen. Officers were unable to locate the suspects, and they’re now working with the business owners — and examining the video — to find additional evidence.

Bicyclist injured in possible hit and run


Update: Rachel in comments says she was the one who was hit. “I am the cyclist – still at Harborview with a broken nose and teeth and a lot of stitches but should be able to leave soon and am glad it was not worse,” she said. “I hope they find the driver too!”

Earlier: Medics responded to a possible hit and run at Market St. and 14th Ave. NW just after 9 p.m. A woman riding her bike was hit by a driver of a Ford Explorer, according to scanner reports.

The extent of her injuries is unknown. She was taken to the hospital.

Officers said they’re looking for a Ford Explorer with front-end damage. We’re checking with SPD for more information.

(Thank you Silver for the info in the My Ballard Facebook Group. Traffic camera photo from the Seattle Department of Transportation)

Firefighters reunite with woman who fought off attack at Golden Gardens

It’s been just over a year since Kelly Herron fended off an attack in the Golden Gardens restroom. Firefighters at Ballard’s Station 18 responded that day, tending to her cuts and bruises.

In a dinner at Station 18 last week, Herron reunited with the same firefighters. “Kelly, we admire your bravery and are happy to see you again,” said Seattle Fire on Twitter, sharing this photo.

Training for a marathon run, Herron had just dried her hands in the public restroom at Golden Gardens when police said 40-year-old Gary Steiner was hiding out in a stall and attacked her. Fresh off a self-defense training course, Herron fought back and managed to escape. Police arrested Steiner — a level 3 sex offender with prior convictions for assault — who is facing charges of attempted rape and assault.

Since the attack, Herron has become out outspoken advocate of self-defense training, occasionally hosting free classes for the public.

“I’m happy that my story could inspire people to have a voice, not just in physically fighting back but also in standing their ground and not letting other people underestimate them,” Herron said.

Neighbors organize new group to take better care of Salmon Bay Park

After a report of a sexual assault in January — and growing concerns about graffiti and drug use — Loyal Heights neighbors have formed a new group to take better care of Salmon Bay Park.

It’s called the Salmon Bay Park Stewards, “a grassroots group dedicating to ensuring Salmon Bay Park remains a safe, beautiful, vibrant place for all.”

Among the group’s priorities: establish a block watch group, apply for public funding to revitalize the park and organize social events to connect with neighbors.

Organizers are looking for anyone who’s interested in joining. The group’s kickoff meeting is Thursday, March 22nd at 6:30 p.m. at Ballard Homestead. If you’re interested in attending, you’re asked to RSVP by this Friday by emailing sbpstewards@gmail.com.

Police looking to identify man in video who hit Safeway employee

Seattle Police detectives are looking to identify a man who’s suspected of stealing food from the Ballard Safeway and striking an employee, according to a Q13 Crime Stoppers report.

The incident happened on February 18th at the Safeway on Market St. Video in the report shows the man walking out of the store, followed by a female employee. When he didn’t stop, she pushed a shopping cart in his direction. The video shows him returning to the store and striking her twice in the face. The employee was not seriously injured.

Police are looking for the man (you can see more photos in the report) on charges of robbery and assault, Q13 reported.

From our anecdotal scanning of police reports, shoplifting is an increasingly common crime in the Ballard area — especially in the area around 15th and Market. In late January, a man shoplifting inside Bartell’s took a couple swings at an employee, sparking a large police response. Similar to the Safeway incident, he was stealing food.

Man assaulted near Ballard library, bike stolen

A man was walking his bicycle at NW 57th St. and 22nd Ave. NW just after midnight early this morning when a man and two women began talking with him.

Police say the man hit the cyclist over the head with a pipe. The victim responded by pepper-spraying the suspect and calling 911. Police arrested the suspect, but officers were unable to find the bike.

Investigators believe the two women who were with the suspect stole the bike, a brown Kona 38-speed. The victim described them as a Hispanic woman, 5′ 5″, weighing 350 pounds and a Caucasian woman wearing pajamas, police said.

Officers booked the suspect into King County Jail for investigation of robbery.

Food truck owners write open letter to city about ‘massive increase’ in crime

The Ballard-based owners of the Cheese Wizards food truck have written a “plea for help” to Seattle civic leaders — which includes quotes from 14 other small businesses — about a sharp increase in property crime and vandalism.

“The small business community in Seattle is reeling from the absolute worst year we have ever experienced,” writes Bo Saxbe, who along with his brother Tom run Cheese Wizards. “I am writing to you on behalf of the entire community to beg for help. Property crime and vandalism is absolutely out of control.”

Saxbe says they’ve experience three major thefts “where our generator has been cut off the food truck” — twice in gated lots — which has tallied up to $14,000 in losses. On top of that, they’ve had two attempted burglaries in the last three months. In the last week, they said a burglar broke into the kitchen and robbed the safe of petty cash.

“The last calendar year we’ve had seven crimes committed against our business. Contrast that with just one in the previous five years,” explain Bo and Tom Saxbe in the letter.

The letter goes on to list testimonials from over a dozen other small businesses — food trucks and restaurants — throughout the city. While a couple business owners write of burglaries in Ballard, others say they’ve been hit repeatedly in Sodo, South Lake and the University District.

“Hallava has been vandalized every four days (on average) down in Sodo,” explained James Barrington of Hallava Falafel.

“We have experienced as many break-ins in our two parking lots in the last six weeks then we have in the last 10 years,” writes Keith Mathewson of KBM Commissary Kitchens in South Lake.

“We are witness to a massive failure by the city to protect us,” writes Saxbe in the letter. “We need to break the rings of thieves who are organized and ruthlessly targeting the smallest businesses. Current policy and resource allocation is allowing these predators to thrive in Seattle…. We need more police, right now.”

Saxbe sent My Ballard the letter, which he said was delivered to Mayor Jenny Durkan, the city councilmembers and acting police chief Carmen Best.

Mayor Durkan’s spokesperson, Stephanie Formas, responded to the letter and said the mayor has heard the concerns of small businesses and “will work closely with them to take action and keep our small businesses safe.” Formas also said SPD is doing a “data driven analysis” on crimes against food trucks, and the mayor “looks forward to meeting Mr. Saxbe soon to hear his concerns and the concerns of the micro-restaurant community.”

Police arrest burglary suspect in Ballard

Police arrested a burglary suspect in Whittier Heights early this morning thanks to some old-fashioned police work and a homeowner armed with a surveillance camera.

It all started when the homeowner, watching a surveillance camera several blocks away, saw a man enter a detached garage near a home under construction in the 800 block of NW 67th Street.

Police responded and saw the suspect running away. “The suspect managed to elude officers by running in between houses, over a fence and into a pond,” explains SPD Detective Mark Jamieson.

That’s when officers discovered a suspicious vehicle with a possible accomplice inside, Jamieson said. “Officers contacted the occupant in the driver’s seat and identified him after he denied any involvement. Officers left, but kept an eye on the vehicle,” he said.

Sure enough, Jamieson said the suspect returned to the vehicle a short time later, and they drove off. Police pulled them over near 11th Avenue NW and NW 70th Street (below), and officer discovered the burglary suspect in the back, covered with blankets, he said.

“Officers were able to compare the physical description of the suspect with the video images provided by the homeowner,” Jamieson said. “The 32-year-old suspect was arrested for the burglary and was later booked into the King County Jail. The driver of the vehicle was identified and released.”

(Thanks to Zach for the photos and tip. We blurred the identity of a man in the photo, as it’s unclear if he’s the suspect or the driver who was not arrested by officers.)