During yesterday’s rush hour a sheriff’s deputy shot a Link passenger after a fare enforcement officer escorted him off the train at Sodo, and the passenger allegedly drew a handgun.

The incident and subsequent investigation diverted all buses off the Sodo busway. The scene split Link into two segments with a bus bridge operating between the two for about four hours.  According to ST spokesman Bruce Gray, the call to start the bus bridge was at 4:47, about 20 min after they got notice to hold trains. I’m guessing that’s when it was clear that police were not going to allow single tracking through the scene.”

Mr. Gray noted that getting the bus bridge started during the evening rush is “tricky” given that Metro has few spare operators or buses. Nevertheless, 8 buses ran between Stadium and Beacon Hill for 4 hours. He also said “there was quite a bit of discussion” about running trains nonstop through Sodo, which would obviously have been operationally simpler and more efficient for passengers. ST defers to the police in these cases, who decided against having passengers ride right by a crime scene with a body on the platform for about two hours.

Fare enforcement, though routine, is also somewhat dangerous. At the same time, it’s far better that the enforcement falls on a trained security professional than a driver with numerous other responsibilities and skills.

Discussion of guns, police use of force, and general criminal pathologies are off topic for this post.

86 Replies to “Fare Enforcement Incident Results in Shooting”

  1. As to;

    Fare enforcement, though routine, is also somewhat dangerous. At the same time, it’s far better that the enforcement falls on a trained security professional than a driver with numerous other responsibilities and skills.

    I agree completely. I do hope the use of deadly force is investigated, as much as I support offing a fare evader who pulled a gun on a cop IF that is what happened.

    1. I am in wholehearted agreement.

      The quicker we can move to a Proof Of Payment system, with dedicated and trained fare enforcers walking the buses, the sooner bus drivers will stop getting assaulted and shot.

      Remember, a Metro operator is assaulted every 48 hours.

      1. Is that Metro transit operators, or bus drivers nation wide?

        As a bus driver, I have had 2 close calls in my time at Metro. First was a teen on the 7 who threatened to pound my face in if I didn’t give him a transfer for not paying… The second was a crazy person who started to make death threats at me. Thankfully I have been able to avoid injury, but most people don’t get that we really are not paid enough for what we do day in and day out.

  2. So the second updated transit alert I received at 5:13 yesterday said:

    For service toward downtown Seattle, board Route 36 at posted bus stop northbound on Beacon Ave S and S Lander St and transfer to Link at Stadium station.

    For service toward SeaTac Airport, board Route 36 at posted bus stop southbound on Beacon Av S and S Lander St and transfer to Link at Mt Baker station.

    Which does not make sense to me, since the 36 doesn’t go to either location and is on wire. Did anyone actually take the detour at that point who can say what they were doing on the ground?

    1. Sounds like someone typing before thinking. Transfer back to Link northbound at IDS or southbound at Othello.

  3. Costing 10,000 people 1/2 an hour = 5,000 hours wasted = 208 days of life wasted.

    All to protect our delicate sensibilities.

    1. I wouldn’t like to take my kid by a dead body, much less on who had died in such a violent manner. No thanks! Some sensibilities do need protecting.

      1. I, however, would rather go by a dead body (while on a safe train) than take an extra hour to get where I’m going. Some people’s sensibilities do not need protecting.

      2. Maybe we need expandable dead body screens at each station, for this eventuality.

        Actually, this is yet another argument for enclosed tracks. Seoul’s are glass, but covered in advertisements. Quiet, clean, efficient, removes possibility of jumpers, and is a built-in dead body screen.

      3. Enclosed tracks are a good idea.

        Police that can get a crime scene cleaned up in under two hours is another.

      4. Thank you, Andrew! Some people would be much more impacted by the site of a dead body that was killed in a violent manner than losing 1/2 hour. I can’t believe people make so much fuss about 1/2 hour lost when someone has been killed, even if it was a criminal.

      5. Public policies designed to protect all children from ever seeing or hearing things their parents don’t want them to see or hear are, generally speaking, inconsistent with a free society.

      6. Public policies designed to protect all children from ever seeing or hearing things their parents don’t want them to see or hear are, generally speaking, inconsistent with a free society.

        LOL. What on earth are you going on about?

      7. Finally back in Seattle, late to all the arguments, time to piss everyone off:

        – Given that a man was shot to death and there may not be an impartial witness that got a clear view of what happened, taking a couple hours to collect evidence at the scene before disturbing it seems prudent.

        – To me, the tracks shouldn’t be closed unless something happened on the tracks. Like Sam points out below, wouldn’t the police already have temporary visual shields to use when investigating events on public streets?

        – Why was the SODO busway also closed? It could have provided some measure of redundancy during the track closure if we’d planned for it adequately. Appropriate measures to keep the SODO busway open when there’s an incident that closes these tracks should be in the manual for next time (and these tracks will be closed again — it’s a surface rail line with at-grade road crossings, stuff happens).

        – A permanent track enclosure opaque enough to serve as a “dead-body screen” (can this phrase please not exist anymore?) and covered in advertisements is the dumbest thing I’ve read on this blog, and I’ve read a lot of dumb things on this blog (and written more than a few). For one thing, a permanent screen blocking views of and from the approaching train, and views across the street at surface stations, to cover the extremely rare dead body on a platform, is flatly dystopian. For another, an opaque enclosure right up to the train would need its own lighting between the enclosure and the train. That’s not an impossible problem to solve, but… once you’re at the point of solving such a problem you’ve lost the way miles ago. It’s not good that the tracks had to be closed, but I’d rather have suffered a track closure yesterday than suffered a permanent “dead-body screen” every day.

      8. Al, being a screen would be the smallest problem enclosed tracks would solve. They’re really a good idea, and are used in the best subway systems. They even have them at SeaTac. Is it the advertising you have a problem with? The lighting concern is a strange one, and we already light up the entire tunnel.

        Here’s a picture of what I’m talking about, though it looks like this station’s doors aren’t covered by advertisements (the one I’m thinking of was).

      9. A screen that’s transparent at the doors is fine for subway stations. A screen that’s totally transparent at window level might be OK for street median stations.

        Blocking the whole view into and out of the train and across the tracks at all times is dystopian nonsense.

      10. Why? I honestly don’t understand the issue or why it’s dystopian. Is your issue that passengers can’t see into the station except through the open doors? They’re really not missing much – it’s just a platform. If you’re worried about placefinding the train itself talks to you and has clear electronic signs telling you where you are.

        Not seeing the platform seems like a very, very small loss compared to the clean, quiet, safe environment enclosing tracks creates.

      11. Matt: That looks like the Horizontal Lift design originally in the St Petersburg metro. (Two photos, click on each for larger.) The problem with this is that when the train stops it takes an extra couple seconds to line up with the door holes before opening the doors, so it slows down every trip.

      12. Very nice. That sounds like a system-specific technical problem, and one easily solved. It certainly doesn’t seem to take any time in airport trams, though maybe the issue goes away when you fully automate a line. I could imagine this being solved a dozen different ways, from full automation at one end, to a tennis ball on a string at the other.

      13. There are all sorts of things you see when you look around you, even in a fairly limited place like an underground train platform. The ability to see your surroundings helps you form an intuitive understanding of where you are. This is least important underground, but even our underground stations have different styles of decor and a variety of art, which makes them interesting places to roll through even if you’re not getting off. And even there, the view of the platform you get as you approach can help you orient yourself and plan your exit from the station intuitively while you’re still on the train.

        At-grade there are additional concerns. Street-median stations have narrow platforms, and being stuffed in a narrow box with opaque sides is just dismal (subway stations are sometimes dismal in this way, but they provide a huge mobility benefit in return). As you ride a train at-grade you can see businesses, parks, and cross-streets; this helps you build a mental model of the station area, assures you when you see your destination out the window, and lets you see businesses immediately near the station, all intuitively (with very little effort, as our brains readily assemble visual and spatial information as we move). It might let you see someone waiting for you on the platform, a basic human connection you naturally make with your senses. Street-median platforms are also part of public streets, and it is a good thing to be able to see across a public street! And if the train station is elevated, elevated station platforms often have unique, awesome views that people love and want to visit again and again. Even the prosaic benefits of being able to look out the window have an emotional component; for all we know they could save more people from depression and suicide than full-height barriers prevent from falling in front of trains in non-crush-loaded stations. Human connection in small, subtle measures, is not to be dismissed.

        Even in very busy stations where platform crowding is an actual risk and a barrier is more likely to protect people, a waist-high barrier preserves the ability to look out the window, or across the street. That would be far preferable to anything that blocks the view, because blocking the view is a bad thing 99.999% of the time.

        It is frankly shocking to have to write this.

      14. I mean, if you’ve designed a series of subway stations around enclosed tracks, with suitable platforms and entrance/exit paths that’s one thing. You can build platforms to a width that doesn’t feel claustrophobic, integrate naturally with the ceilings, basically design a public space worth being in. If I’ve gotta nitpick, door openings as permanent as the ones in the St. Petersburg example limit your ability to change train configurations, which you might want to avoid if you’re building a station to last a century or more served by trains that might last three decades. I don’t see any evidence that the outer doors in St. Petersburg are opaque, and they mostly aren’t on airport trams either.

        Retrofitting this onto Central Link, especially the at-grade stations, would be a criminal act.

      15. “Retrofitting this onto Central Link, especially the at-grade stations, would be a criminal act.”

        Stepping away from the opaque/advertisement point, let’s just talk about enclosures. This could absolutely be Beacon Hill station. The walls and doors would be constructed in less space than the yellow line, and you’d end up with a cleaner, quieter, safer station without losing much visibility.

      16. 1. Why would Beacon Hill be cleaner with the tracks enclosed?

        How much quieter? The noise advantage would be minimal as our LRT vehicles are quiet, and don’t move fast in the middle of stations; it would probably be louder for people on the train if noise bounced around a small enclosure instead of dissipating.

        As for safety, the safety advantage seems real though much smaller than it would be in a busy station on a line with high-floor boarding and third-rail power. The safety advantage could be easily obtained with a chest-height barrier. That robs you of the ability to plaster the barrier with ads, but ads on the platform walls are better anyway, because they’re legible from the moving train.

        So a mostly transparent track enclosure at Beacon Hill (and maybe the DSTT stations after buses are gone) would be merely a half-witted annoyance and not a crime against humanity. But a significant number of stations are (or will be) elevated or at-grade. Back to the drawing board there.

        2. When you say, “Stepping away from the opaque/advertisement point,” in an argument that started with your advocacy for blocking views between the train and the platform, all I hear is, “Al 1, Matt 0.”

      17. A huge problem with platform side doors is it means you have to always have equipment with doors in the exact same spot each time new cars are added to the fleet. Airport people moves are such low volume production that this really doesn’t matter, but on a light rail line it may be the difference between an off the shelf Bombardier or Alstom design or a custom designed car structure.

    2. Why couldn’t they have let Link continue running (with no stops at SODO Station), and the police investigators could have simply erected a large and long tarp or tent to shield the crime scene and continue their investigation without unnecessarily disrupting hours of rail and bus service?

      1. It might not have been practical or possible to erect a screen that didn’t interfere with the investigation and could withstand the wind currents generated by a passing train every 7.5 minutes. Also, there were likely investigators on the tracks or equipment and people on the yellow strip; the trains would have to pass through the station at reduced speed to avoid blowing away the investigation. How grisly would it be to have a train passing by the scene of a fatality investigation at 5 mph every few minutes? ST and Metro need to have workable plan that can be communicated to commuters when it’s necessary to bypass stations.

  4. Unfortunately this all seems very odd to me. Since when could a fare enforcement employee physically detain someone? The fare evader should have been able to just walk off.

    I don’t know what the 36 did, but it was packed to the gills when it passed me. I waited for a 7 and the ride was full, but not packed. Drivers were having us board any door and not worry about payment, given the crowds.

    I received the email about a service disruption from Link around 4:30 and forgot about it until I entered the tunnel at 5. The tunnel was packed. They need better announcements in the tunnel, so many people waiting for a train to “come momentarily”.

    1. Jeff, I don’t believe FEO’s ever physically detain anyone. I believe the most they ever do is ask a fare evader to voluntarily get off at the next station. Also, having a policy of letting all fare evaders simply walk off the bus or train, and that would be their sole “punishment,” would eventually lead to most people never paying the fare.

      1. It’s my they can remove a person from a train and “detain” you while they ascertain if you are a known person in their system for fare evasion, trespass, etc. I understand they are also fairly aggressive on fare evasion, and even in the case of TVM or ORCA malfunction they will issue you a citation. The rest of my opinion on them is that they are glorified mall cops….

    2. Security guards (“mallcops”) do detain people on a regular basis. They’re only allowed to do so when holding a suspect for en-route law enforcement officers.

      They are also allowed to physically remove people from the property.

      Whether Sound Transit’s security agency is actually directed to do either of those things under their contract with ST is something I don’t know. I suspect not. Most cheaper security contracts only involve requesting actions of suspects, escorting suspects to the edge of the property, and staying with / monitoring non-compliant suspects until true law enforcement arrives to take over.

      However my understanding of this particular instance is that security was escorting someone off the property, and that the someone pulled a gun. Not that security was detaining them or physically removing them at the time. Just monitoring and escorting.

  5. Also reported: two officers and two other people were injured in a police accident on the way driving to the scene.

      1. The chaos was over the suspect allegedly pulling a gun. No gun, no chaos. People evade the fare and are ticketed all the time and there is rarely ever any resulting chaos.

        BTW, I urge people to go back an reread Ben’s February piece on ST wanting their FEO’s to be able to issue tickets. Would that have changed anything regarding yesterday’s shooting? I doubt it, because if a fare evader won’t or can’t produce I.D., then the police would still have to be called.

      2. Turnstiles, or removing the fare altogether would reduce these incidents. Of course it’s the suspect’s fault (assuming he did draw a gun), but the fewer bullets that fly through our crowded stations the better.

      3. Removing the fare altogether would reduce fare-related incidents but hugely increase other incidents.

  6. Hopefully this doesn’t become a trend… if it does I could see it as a strong argument for skipping enforcement and installing ticket turnstiles instead. The savings you get by doing enforcement instead of turnstiles would be negated if you start having a lot of deaths from said enforcement.

    1. You still need to enforce turnstiles. People (myself included) jump turnstiles all the time.

    2. Charles,

      This was at an at-grade station. Turnstiles are worthless in them. A would-be evader will just walk along the tracks. And yes I do know that’s unsafe.

  7. How do other cities handle shootings/crime investigations on transit platforms? Would WSDOT close an entire freeway during investigation of a fatal crash?

    The Delhi Metro had a different solution to this problem when I visited in 2008: everyone entering the subway stations had to pass through a metal detector.

    1. As a matter of fact, SPD recently closed an entire highway during investigation of a fatal crash.

    2. WSDOT routinely closes major highways/freeways for fatal crashes that require investigation. The difference is in the recent 99 closure they kept one direction open. Nobody seems to worry about passengers seeing blood on roadways (maybe we’re even used to it).

      It’s hard to second-guess the police, as we weren’t there – maybe there was evidence down on the tracks, maybe it was really too brutal (though couldn’t they find a sheet?). But it sure seems like they could have kept the city running and not slowed the wheels of justice.

      1. Response to transportation “incidents, ” even serious ones where there are human bodies, should be managed with significant attention to the effect of network disruption. That means fast clearance is very, very important, traded off against other requirements and the fast-tracking of those other requirements.

        Suppose the new Police Chief had showed up on scene with a stop watch going in her hand?

        I remember an expert on highway incident management some years ago telling me that in Chicago, “nobody dies on the highway.” Previously, there was too much waiting around for a priest to deliver last rites. Waiting for the police to do the things they do. Waiting for the coroner’s truck when an ambulance was sent away empty.

        WSDOT has worked with our State Patrol on incident response on its highways since when Secretary MacDonald focused on the issue, and the agency now routinely measures incident clearance time. You can look up how that’s been going overall, notwithstanding recent memorable incidents.

        For a random insight into best practice on the highways, scan this article by a knowledgeable cop:

        http://www.policechiefmagazine.org/magazine/index.cfm?fuseaction=display_arch&article_id=2716&issue_id=72012

        Photogrammetry for quick documentation of a scene is important.

        What happened yesterday in Seattle during evening peak is appalling performance for a great city where people need to keep moving.

      2. Just be grateful it wasn’t in the tunnel, they have been known to shut down the entire tunnel in the past for problems because there is no way to turn around between stations.

        If we do eventually build another downtown tunnel, we definitely need the ability to only shut down single stations when needed.

    3. London shuts down entire subway lines when there is a death (accidental or otherwise)

      1. London also has multiple subways, so people can try to re-route their commute. We have one.

      2. @Charles B. Ask Commuters on the GWML how well that works out for them when (as happens all too often) there’s a one under at Southall. btw, in my experience, response time there is fairly similar to what we saw yesterday. Also note that yesterday’s shooting was officer related, which opens a whole ‘nother can of worms.

    4. Book called “The Lunatic Express”, about a brave reporter who went all the way around the world on the transportation that most of the population has to use: buses that fall of Peruvian mountains, Indonesian ferry boats that sink with all hands, airliners from countries without mechanics.

      And especially high speed electric commuter trains in India, where ridership itself is major cause of death. If you position yourself wrong in a critical split-second, either you can’t get off for miles- or you literally get squeezed out the door at sixty+.

      In at least one major city, the transit system itself has its own morgue. Would favor Medina for ST site as part of EastLINK.

      MD

      1. Great book Mark, read it on a plane flight going back east.

        Said thanks to my ‘experienced’ flight attendant getting off the plane.

        She appreciated that, telling me they don’t hear thanks often.

    5. Yep, It’s been my experience that Washington law enforcement doesn’t have a particular sense of urgency to reroute traffic around a traffic fatality. Maybe its gotten better while I was away but from last months carmageddon apparently not.

  8. Question: this probably isn’t related to this incident, but if the passengers were asked to leave the train at SoDo, what would have happened if the person had simply forgotten his wallet and was hence unable to pay? Would that person be forced to walk all the way to his destination (which is ridiculous for just $2.75) or would that person have been allowed back onto the train after a warning?

    1. That person could stand and wait for the next train if they wanted.

      When I was of lesser means, I would stand by the door and watch for fare enforcers. If I saw one I’d get off and wait for the next train (or change cars).

      1. Except that the platforms outside the DSTT are proof of payment zones. Being on the platform without a valid fare could get you a ticket. He or she could however go down to the bus zone adjacent to SODO station and try your luck with a KCMetro or ST bus.

        Having been down on my luck at points in my life, I know how challenging it can be to just get anywhere. I’ve sometimes taken to “paying it forward” by offering to pay for someone’s bus fare or complete their fare if they were short on change. It’s not a regular thing but sometimes I feel moved to do that.

    2. I have to chime in here….a couple of years ago I was taking my son who was visiting from college to a Seahawks game. At Kent Station, they had just switched the tracks so the inbound train was on the opposite side of the platform and it was just about to arrive. I was so concerned about getting his ticket, I forgot to swipe the ORCA card that I always carry around in my wallet.

      Once underway I realized my mistake. The train was packed but I knew they often checked tickets between Tukwila and Seattle since it often slows down and allows enough time to do so. So, at Tukwila, I rushed out of the crowded train, squeezing past people through the doors. I looked right. I looked left. I couldn’t find a yellow swipe.

      I went back inside. I bit my lip and I heard the ticket collector doing spot checks. I just knew he would check me. Bingo, he gets me! I tried to explain but I wouldn’t believe it myself. Takes my picture, puts it in the system and issues me a warning.

      I tried, although I fully accepted that under the current system I was at fault.

      Thoughts — can there be a reader on the train? Cell phone app to purchase tickets? Yeah, I know someone could rush in and swipe it to pay the lowest fare possible before getting nabbed, but perhaps public enforcement of a “grace period” might help.

      1. I would like to see the option to buy tickets on the vehicle too. I was about to miss a Swift bus and in the last few seconds got my fare.

        Thing is, that was the ONE time on a Saturday there was a fare enforcement officer on board. My luck!

      2. If there’s an Orca reader on the train, wouldn’t it be too easy to just only tap when you actually see a fare enforcement officer about to check you?

      3. Sound Transit seems to have a major problem with a shortage of ORCA SaFTP’s. It seems like every station there is a shortage of them (for example the platform at Puyallup has 2-3 on each side, causing a line up of people using the things to tap on/off. King Street Station, and the tunnel stations are similar. a handful of ORCA SaFTPs forcing everyone to contort around to use them (or find their favorite hidden one).

  9. I doubt the shooting had very much to do with fare enforcement, except for providing presence of that particular passenger that particular platform at that particular time. If non-payment was only offense and the passenger had kept his cool, worst the police could have done to him would be to issue him a warning or a ticket.

    Which if he’d been a really bad dude, he could’ve thrown away- nothing to fear but being hunted down by STB readers who demand that evaders be punished. My guess is that he was looking at a warrant for something worse than evasion- like maybe graffiti even uglier than bus wraps on windows or more sickening than LINK cars disguised as Subway sandwiches.

    Like capital murder. Unless you’re drugged, insane or suicidal, your don’t “throw down” on armed police unless you think it’s literally your last chance.

    Do wonder what the police had to investigate that would’ve taken so much time- glad it didn’t happen in this afternoon’s temperature. Time, cause of death, and knowledgeable witnesses were all there to see. And no skid-marks on pavement.

    But it’s critical that person on radio knows the system so well he doesn’t have to look anything up or ask anyone. Radio people should be required to ride the system intensively as part of their training.

    For what it’s worth, if it had been me or somebody close lying there under a sheet, I would’ve appreciated the courtesy of not being left in public view. It’s just one of those things that keeps us civilized- and also, like with lockdowns, pat-down searches, and urine tests without cause, public death is not something I want our people to get used to.

    Like the in blues song “Last Kind Word”…”I’d rather you leave me in the open and let the buzzard eat me cold!”

    MD

    1. Rail operators defer to the local jurisdictions regarding the needs of the investigation, although they can advise on procedures that can allow them to restart as quickly as possible.

  10. I just wish there was a more intuitive way of knowing when there are disruptions. I would have been happy to have just walked home. As it was, the whole thing was pretty cryptic.

    1. The problem is that with all the different devices that people carry, they can become quite insulated from what is happening around them. Headphones? Won’t hear the announcements over the general purpose PA system.

      I don’t know about the tunnel stations up there, but here TriMet puts special announcements on the display screens. However, you have to be at a station that has the new display screens. The older displays just show the line color and time to arrival.

      King County Metro has a twitter feed, but in looking at what it says it just says “Reminder: Train riders should look for bus bridge between Link Stadium and Beacon Hill stations due to police activity at SODO station.”
      http://twitter.com/kcmetrobus
      Twitter won’t work in the tunnel stations, but in that case important rider alerts should show up on the display screens, I would hope.

      Here, TriMet uses Twitter to get rider alerts out. For example, TriMet’s feed today mentions some of the weather related delays:
      https://twitter.com/trimet
      However, these are also the same rider alerts that get displayed on the web site, and are entered into the phone system so that people can get alerts that way. Once the alerts are entered into the web site, the mobile version of the web site as well as several of the 3rd party smart phone apps will display the alert impacting a route when someone looks at the schedule of that route or a stop on that route.

      The bus drivers have a new electronic display that came with the new ticket printers. This shows not only the name of the next stop (sometimes it is difficult to see at night, and not all drivers know all routes) but also displays the important rider alerts, as well as alerts that are not necessarily intended for public view.

      Even with all that effort, sometimes people still say they didn’t know about a certain problem or other.

      What next? Hire a skywriter? I’m not sure many people today would even notice.

      1. On Central Link any system announcements come across both the dynamic displays and audio system. They also repeat fairly often.

        I was not near the system on Monday so I did not witness announcements or lack thereof. I did receive the ST and Metro email blasts alerting recipients to the delays in the system.

        There is supposed to be a person dedicated to disseminating information over all conduits when service disruptions occur.

  11. Not to be provocative, just out of curiosity, what do older, established systems like BART or CTA or the NYC subway do when stuff like this happens?

      1. IL: Metra Apologizes for Locomotive Breakdowns
        http://www.masstransitmag.com/news/11474596/metra-apologizes-for-locomotive-breakdowns
        “”As a passenger on the first train to break down, I sat in confusion with fellow riders as no announcements were made after the initial news that the engine had broken down,” Lake Zurich resident Benjamin Goode told the Tribune.”

        Art-project box suspends Metro-North service
        http://www.ctpost.com/local/article/Art-project-box-suspends-Metro-North-service-5568856.php
        “While Metro North stopped all of its trains at 6:13 a.m., the first alert to passengers came at 6:56 a.m. — nearly 45 minutes later — warning of long delays due to “police activity.””

  12. The more details that come out, the more gratitude we can feel for our cops:

    http://blogs.seattletimes.com/today/2014/07/deputy-struggled-with-2-men-before-fatal-shooting-at-sodo-station/

    According to the probable-cause statement outlining the police case, video surveillance footage shows that three men – two 23-year-olds and a 26-year-old – were escorted off train No. 144 B by three Sound Transit fare-enforcement officers at the Sodo Station. A King County deputy assigned to Sound Transit police was called to assist, it says.

    The three men all had backpacks.

    One of the 23-year-olds was armed with a gun in his right hand, and the deputy wrestled with him and grabbed the man’s right wrist while drawing his own gun with his right hand, the statement says. During the struggle, the second 23-year-old grabbed the deputy’s wrist and arm from behind, according to the statement.

    The first 23-year-old man was shot and the deputy managed to break free from the second man’s grasp, who fell to the ground and put his hands up in surrender as the deputy turned and pointed his gun at the second man, it says.

    The second man slipped out of his backpack as other deputies arrived, says the statement. Inside, officers found a 9 mm handgun with two loaded magazines and an additional 19 rounds of ammunition, the statement says. He has a previous felony drug conviction and is barred from possessing a firearm, the statement says.

    One bad guy right now a slow crisp in Hell, the other one probably facing life in prison. Better than another #@*&^$! PREVENTABLE cop funeral!!

    I am also going to say this as the token Republican here and I will backup my entire comment if the moderator(s) understandably find this last shot off-side so [ot]

    1. Despite the traffic mess, I for one am very glad that those guys didn’t wind up at whatever their final destination was. Convicted felons (if that is who these people were, as it sounds like) carrying rounds of ammunition in backpacks couldn’t have any good purpose in mind at the end of their journey.

  13. So I walk down into University street at 5pm, no idea the trains are not running, masses of people everywhere, no one knows what’s going on, one poor security officer getting the same questions over and over again who didn’t know anything. No message up on the signs.

    OK so no transport system is perfect, what annoys me is everyone reporting that extra buses were running to get people to where they needed to be. This was not the case at University street. There were people trying to get to the airport and allsorts. Nuts.

    I’m new to Seattle, no idea what buses go where, luckily I managed to find a bus (106) that passed through University street station and took me to Rainer Beach after about 20 million stops.

    Whining aside, I like the light rail, would be great if the city could get more of it built in a timely fashion. From using the system its pretty evident people love using it. I often overhear people commenting on how nice it is compared to other rail systems.

      1. They work as designed, to give you a 2 minute warning to train stop. Never mind the fact that Vancouver BC, for over a decade has had signs telling you in how many minutes the next trains were and making other announcments, or BART, LAMTA on the subway, etc, etc, etc.

      2. They inform you that you’re in the “Downtown Transit Tunnel”. Otherwise you might think you’re in some other downtown facility or in a skywalk at Northgate or something. And this is important enough information that it has to be on the real-time displays rather than on permanent signs, even though it never changes.

    1. I was at University Street station around 4:30 and the signs were showing that Link service was suspended until further notice. Went upstairs and got on a 7X that thankfully hasn’t been cut (yet!). If the signs weren’t updated to reflect the emails that st sent later, that is a failure.

  14. Did anybody use Lyft or Uber to get home during the Link disruption? If so, how many times the normal rate did it end up costing?

  15. I am reading two types of posts…

    1) “Ugh! These things happen all the time. Let’s design a solution, so we can move on with life uninterrupted.”

    Liability, friends. Liability on two fronts. If opaque covers were housed at stations or along tracks to obscure nastiness, this may open ST to culpability to knowing that their trainsets may cause bodily harm whereby hiding visual clues of their grosstesque ped vs train collisions would be needed. Additionally, incidents like what happened the other day need detailed investigations (surveys, treodolites, and clear scenes) to help the local law enforcement agencies investigate the shooting. The last thing is the hustle of commuters and travelers.

    2) Why didn’t ST or SDOT do anything?

    Easy….SDOT shuts down their operation centers fairly early at 6pm. Contingency plans flopped on part of ST and Metro the result was a cluster trying to get in and out of downtown via the DSTT. Also, DSTT has piss poor cell coverage so Twitter and FB are useless!

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