UPDATE: Shots Fired, Huge Police Turnout Near Sylvester Middle School
UPDATE 9/19/11 9:30 p.m.: KCPQ-13 posted the following video Monday evening, confirming that the windows of the Seattle Ambulatory Surgery Center were indeed hit by an unknown shooter:
UPDATE 9/19/11 4:15 p.m.: We just received confirmation from Sgt. John Urquhart of the King County Sheriff’s Office that the shots that were fired Monday around Noon actually came from an apartment complex, with “at least one” hitting the Ambulatory Surgery Center at 275 SW 160th Street near Sylvester Middle School.
Urquhart also added that in addition to the surgery center, shots hit “a car or two I think.”
UPDATE 9/19/11 3:20 p.m.: Other media outlets are reporting that Monday afternoon’s shooting in Burien actually took place at the Ambulatory Surgery Center, located at 275 SW 160th Street, just east of Sylvester Middle School.
We were told directly by Sgt. John Urquhart of the King County Sheriff’s Office that the shooting took place at an apartment complex located east of there on SW 160th.
Shots were apparently fired from an apartment complex located about one block east of Sylvester Middle School on SW 160th in Burien Monday around 11:30 a.m. (Sept. 19), according to Sgt. John Urquhart of the King County Sheriff’s Office.
Nobody was hit, there were no injuries, and as this story was posted, the shooter was still at large.
“This had nothing to do with the school,” Urquhart said over the phone. “We think it was just reckless shooting from an apartment nearby.”
The apartment is apparently located just across the street from Andy’s Handy Mart/Arco station in the 150 block of SW 160th.
Sylvester Middle School was locked down as a precaution, as was Three Tree Point Montessori School and other buildings nearby.
UPDATE 9/19/11 3 p.m.: At 2:56 p.m., the following email was sent out by Slyvester Middle School:
Dear Sylvester Families,
Today around 12:00 p.m. the Sylvester Middle School office received a call from police that shots were fired at a residence near campus. Authorities asked us to put the school in lockdown during the search for the suspect. As the safety of our student’s is our number one priority, we put the school in lockdown, and all students were accounted for. At 1:45, we were informed by police that we could go into modified lockdown, which allows students to move about inside the school, and all students were able to get their lunch.
Police have informed us that it is safe to release the students at 2:40 today, but all after school activities have been cancelled. Students will be released on 4th Avenue to 158th with police presence to direct them away from the police activity.
It is a common precautionary measure to put a school in lockdown whenever there is police activity in the area. As a standard practice, school remains in lockdown until we receive clearance from the police department to return to our regular schedule.
For the safety of both students and parents, we do not alert parents while a lockdown is in progress or allow students to contact their parents by cell phone. This is emergency management best practice. Police do not want parents to come to school to retrieve their children, because that could put the parent in danger and/or could compromise the police investigation.
I know it is alarming when there is police activity near your child’s school. Please know that your child’s safety is the central purpose of all our emergency procedures.
If you have any questions about this incident, please call the office at 206-631-6000.
Principal Vicki Fisher
UPDATE 9/19/11 2:32 p.m.: We just spoke with Lisa at the main office at Sylvester, and she assured us that students will be released on time today.
If you were anywhere near the area Monday afternoon, you may have heard the Sheriff’s Guardian One chopper circling overhead (as of 2:15 p.m. it was still circling), or you saw up to 10 or so police cruisers along with numerous officers wearing bulletproof vests scouring the area.
Publisher/Editor Scott Schaefer was on the scene between 1 – 1:30 p.m., and he took the following pics: