SEATTLE - Seattle police are reporting a bizarre chain of events happening at an apartment complex in First Hill Friday night. Multiple people were attacked by pit bulls, the building manager was arrested for shooting at the dogs and a woman was hit by one of his bullets. The same woman will be charged after admitting to burglarizing a unit and letting the dogs out.
Due to the complexity of the situations that unfolded at the apartment building, this article will be split up by the incidents that officers responded to, and what the suspects involved told them when they were interviewed.
POLICE RESPOND TO REPORTS OF DOG ATTACKS
According to the SPD, at around 10:30 p.m., officers responded to investigate an animal bite at an apartment complex near the corner of University St. and Terry Ave. The victim who called 911 told dispatch that she heard dogs barking on the floor below her, so she went to make sure it was not her friends’ dog. When she got off the elevator, three dogs attacked her and bit her arm.
When officers arrived, the dogs were inside the apartment unit. Authorities say they knocked on the door to speak with the owner, but nobody answered.
While officers were inside the apartment complex, the building manager called 911, requesting police to check on a different situation. The building manager called, reporting that the woman living in the unit next to the door officers just knocked on had been regularly jiggling door handles around the building. Officers then knocked on her door, but again, no answer.
POLICE RETURN TO REPORTS OF SHOTS FIRED
SPD says the officers left the apartment complex, and within minutes turned back around to respond to reports of a woman that had been shot.
When officers arrived, they found a 37-year-old woman with a gunshot wound near her collarbone and treated her. Authorities say medics with the Seattle Fire Department arrived to the scene, and immediately took her to Harborview Medical Center.
SPD investigators started looking into the shooting, and learned that the building manager was one of many who called 911 to report it.
POLICE INTERVIEW THE BUILDING MANAGER
According to SPD, this is what he told investigators:
As soon as the police left the apartment, the pit bulls were out in the building’s courtyard again. When he tried talking to the dog’s owner, the dogs started attacking him. According to his statement to police, he guided the dogs from the courtyard to the street, closed the door behind them and locked them out.
The building manager told police that the woman, who was jiggling door handles that he reported to dispatch earlier in the night, came outside and told him to let the dogs back in. He told her no, so she went outside to tend to the dogs.
After the manager went inside, he heard screaming from a couple who were walking their smaller dog outside the gates. He told authorities he saw the couple holding their dog in the air while the pit bulls were jumping, trying to attack it.
SPD says he went back inside, grabbed a gun, and fired multiple warning shots in the air to scare the pit bulls off. They were unphased, so he aimed the gun at them and fired two shots, one of them hitting the woman who just left the courtyard to accompany the dogs.
According to SPD, the gun was seized as evidence, medics treated the building manager for his dog bites and arrested the 50-year-old for reckless endangerment.
POLICE INTERVIEW THE DOG OWNER
SPD says police at the scene interviewed the owner of the pit bulls, who came back to the apartment after receiving text messages saying that his dogs had escaped. The owner told police that whenever he leaves his apartment, he locks the three of them up in their three individual crates.
The dog owner then told police that the only person who might have let them out, would be the woman who lives in the unit next to him, because she has jiggled his door handle in the past and likes playing with his dogs.
The dog owner also told police that several expensive pairs of shoes and several hundred dollars in cash were missing from his apartment.
POLICE INTERVIEW THE WOMAN WHO HAD BEEN SHOT
According to SPD, officers went to the hospital to interview the woman who had been shot by the building manager. She told officers that she entered the dog owners' apartment, stole several items and let the dogs out.
Police then determined probable cause to arrest the 37-year-old woman for residential burglary, however, since her gunshot wound needs immediate medical treatment, she will be charged after she recovers from her injuries.