The King County Sheriff’s Office announced Wednesday afternoon (Jan. 13) that around 4:15 p.m. another shooting took place at/near the Heights in Burien apartment complex located in the 13700 block of 12th Ave SW (map below). As many will recall, a student from Highline High School was fatally shot there on Friday, Jan. 11 (read our previous coverage here). Sgt. Cindi West told The B-Town Blog that a 36-year old man was found shot near a parking lot with life-threatening injuries. “Shortly after we arrived another man showed up at Highline Medical Center with a gunshot wound,” she added. “Don’t know if his shooting is related to the one at the Heights yet.” No word yet on a suspect or motive for the shooting. This is a developing story, and as we get more info we’ll update this post (refresh browser to see the latest)…

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B-Town Blog Staff

Since 2007, The B-Town Blog is Burien’s multiple award-winning hyperlocal news/events website dedicated to independent journalism.

26 replies on “UPDATE: Shooting near Heights in Burien seriously injures 36-year old man”

  1. Hope the kid lives and is not too scared to tell the sheriff who was doing the shooting.
    A lot of families live in these complexes on Ambaum, a lot of innocents are put at risk when this stuff happens.

  2. I live 1-1/2blocks from this location. It is disgusting that this very location behind the derelict strip mall and the heights has been the location of more than 5 or more shootings in as many years. What will it take before the city steps up and calls it what it is. An absolute blight on the city. The lighting is awful, there are always people loitering and selling drugs, there is the occasional prostitute roaming the area.
    2 shootings in 5 days is enough to put some effort into eradicating the projects permanently. We need low income housing however they need to manage what goes on on their property.
    As a close neighbor we have over the years found 4 slugs of varying calibres in our yard and 1 in the siding of our daughters bedroom wall.
    Time to move?

  3. My mom lives in The Heights apartments. Her apartment is right where this kid was shot. This has always been a horrible place to live and now its become completely unsafe.

  4. It’s sad that a handful of idiots misusing guns can make us question the safety of our city. Guess who ends up with the medical bills from all these gunshot wounds. So much for improving Burien’s image. The police really need to get to the root of the problem here: who are these gun users? Why do they feel the need to shoot people at the Heights? What needs to be done to prevent future shootings? Let’s fix this. Better lighting, cameras, more patrols, and vigilant citizens who help the police for starters.

  5. I would vote for a tax for more police funding! I’m not sure there is much they can do to prevent a lot of this but the time it takes to investigate it after the fact is probably pulling time away from services for the rest of the community and none of our neighborhoods can afford less police time.

    1. Since we are a contract city with King County Police, as I understand it, these shootings will probably be handled by a Major Crimes unit of K C P D and not take much of the local patrol time or put a big overtime cost in the local P D budget.. A big advantage of not having a small local P D like Normandy Park.

      1. Thank you for the helpful info Lee! I shouldn’t have jumped to conclusions about the detective work. However, I would imagine that a stepped up patrolling of the area would mean those officers are being pulled from patrolling other neighborhoods. Do you think I’m right on that?
        Burien’s reputation is getting worse all the time with my friends from other areas. Right when I’m starting to see some progress with the new buildings going in and the retail in Burien Town Square starting to be leased. We need to lower these crime statistics for all sorts of reasons.

        1. Elizabeth,
          You are probably right but I trust the PD to use their best judgement on how to be the most effective.

  6. I’ve lived here 16 years and its always been a bad area .. IM speaking about The Hgts “and” also other surrounding areas of Burien.. No matter how much you try to sugar coat the area. Burien is not on the most desirable places to live sheet by far. Its not where you want to build your dream home..Also Insurance companies know the zip codes very well..That is not going to change overnight. Burien has so much to offer with soo many shopping locations and its proximity to just about everywhere. But its just feels scarey being here and at night, Forget it.,..If you welcome the unwelcome they will come..

  7. Inspecting closely the above video, it appears that Navos is across the driveway of some of the Heights buildings. I really don’t know of there being any relationship, but it just seems ironic that mere days ago the Governor was there making a speech about improved gun control. I agree that there might be a drug “turf war” also at the root of this latest and prior shooting.
    So sad for the people who have no the choice in where to live. Forget about the high cost of having to come up with the 1st and last months rent and damage deposit. I’ll bet they would be out of there if they could.
    Let us pray for those left behind.

    1. I’m 99% confident that it has nothing to do with Navos. Navos unfortunately or fortunately depending on how you see it selected the building site.
      Navos gets such a bad rap for helping those mentally ill or mentally challenged. Anyone who wants to blame Navos should really go there sometime and see how non-negative of a campus it is. They truly help for vast range of diagnosis and ability levels and have an abundance of programs.
      I personally see a wonderful domestic violence therapist and attend therapy for PTSD and anxiety caused by child abuse family molestation and DV

      1. Forgot to mention – Navos also has a great little cafe (not located in the actual medical building)
        Lived in Burien over 30 years and everyone knows they can rename and try to clean up those apartments as much as they want but they’ve ALWAYS been bad.
        Shootings likely gang related. People typically aren’t just going around shooting random people for no reason.

  8. Things can be done to lessen the violence and inclination for the undesirables to hang out nearby. Take a look at what the central district (and Chicago and Detroit, for that matter) are doing. Start with inviting the Burien Council and Police Chief and King County Drug Enforcement Sargent and the manager/owners of the Heights to a few regular meetings. This will allow the residents to know who among them are like-minded in wanting this violence to stop. Then plan regular walks in the area with police escorts to show the number of people who want the mess cleaned up. Get the TV crews out for these events. Talk to the owner about the need for Lighting, Security Cameras, Security Guards, Security Gates, Off site parking for visitors and fencing. Once some people know that they are not alone in wanting this stuff to stop, they can work together to find safer ways for their children and themselves and demand the owners help in providing these remedies. Send a letter to the governor signed by one and all and ask for his help.

    1. Sandy, Those are really some good ideas and valid points. Great thoughts.. However in the area of added patrols, fencing, cameras, guards it all involves $$$.. And guess who eventually pays for that.. The people barely getting by living there. I hope Burien has enough officers on staff to really give the place the added attention they need there. I do know its a very, very busy and demanding city and call delays are really common and were not even referring to proactive type stuff..
      After they clean up the Hgts, got a few more areas they can start on !!

      1. I hear you dumpsterdiver. It can feel like there is no way to stem the tide of such crap. But that is why you get the council and governor involved. Bring-up those concerns. Ask for solutions to the cost of keeping the place secure. You must not take on a defeatist attitude or all is lost before it is begun. Talk to some people in the central area who are fighting the same battle and get informed about what can be done, with the police and with owners who are also not winning when this type of stuff happens. You can bet there are already people who have given notice and few who are coming to look at the Heights for a rental, after this past month. At least it’s a way to find out who among your neighbors wants this stuff to stop.

    2. These ideas are nonsense! Tear the place down and build upscale housing. Drive the lowlifes out to Federal Way or Kent with all the other thugs! This is an incredible under utilized property. World War II barracks! Time to move on and up….Burien is totally downscale and heading for worse…the gang bangers are taking over! The suggestions above are deck chairs on the Titanic and from low energy people of that area. Stop accepting the status quo and looking for government solutions. Its not going to happen.
      I

  9. Sensibility, are you saying anyone who works for minimum wage is low life? Are you for raising minimum wage? Do you have any idea how many good people you rely on everyday who work for minimum wage, while supporting families? Sometimes at 2-3 jobs? Are you suggesting that there are not good people who live in the Heights who could use some help with this situation? Just like you would ask for help, if it were happening wherever you live?
    Are you calling me a low energy person? Just for the record I am not and I do not rely on any government funding, much less SS, which I am of an age to be entitled to. I find your ‘…send the thugs to Federal Way or Kent’, offensive as well. Don’t those places deserve to be free of them, too! I like my surrounding communities, very much and happen to have friends in them. Not everyone can live as you would like. You wouldn’t have all of the services you rely on, if everyone could afford to live in up-scale housing.
    BTW- There are other ways to come-up with the funding to turn this situation around. Why not give it some positive thought and suggest some. Or, are these ‘Height people’ ones you have written-off and would just as soon seen shot one by one to make room for up-scale housing?

    1. Issues relating to an uptick in shootings can be solved by enforcing existing laws, and the realization that poverty promotes crime.
      #1 Immediately evict anyone who get’s caught breaking drug,gun, theft laws on the property, if that’s your kid I guess you should have done a better job as a parent.
      #2 Enforcement of public assistance rules where able bodied adults of working age cannot milk the system indefinitely while not finding a job in this robust economy.
      #3 Required proof of legal residency before allowing that unit to be rented, harsh, yet why allow someone who broke the law.
      #4 Make it a gated community, only allow visitors who are vouched in, nobody get’s to freely cruise around looking for drugs or looking to shoot someone who runs with the other gang or deals drugs on their turf.
      To remedy a problematic long standing community eyesore and haven for crime, a person has to be willing to pull their head out of denial and cut the head of the snake.

    2. I agree, Sandy. The idea that by kicking low income families out of our community and building “upscale” condos we can magically halt crime is naive at best. Better to bring the community together to solve the problem than to divide and vilify it. I lived for over two years in the complex when it was called Seahurst Village. Loved my apartment but of course saw a lot of undesirable activity. You see that in ANY community. It’s not that Belltown, Kirkland, Bellevue, and Redmond – all upscale neighborhoods – don’t have gangs, shootings, and drug problems! We see it on the news every night. The majority of low income folks are lovely, family-oriented people who work hard and obey the law. Might help to have an active neighborhood watch program and be more actively inclusive. Despair and hopelessness is at the heart of gangs – create a community that includes and encourages our kids and we go a long way to cutting down on the violence.

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