EVERETT — An armed suspect was arrested after a lockdown that lasted over three hours at the Snohomish County Courthouse on Monday, according to police.
The 32-year-old Woodinville man entered the lobby carrying at least two guns around 12:30 p.m., causing the courthouse and the rest of the county campus to shut down in downtown Everett, according to the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office.
No one was injured in the incident, sheriff’s office spokesperson Courtney O’Keefe told The Daily Herald. It’s unknown what kind of guns the suspect had, but he had more than one, O’Keefe told reporters. His motive remained under investigation.
Selena Rios said she came to the courthouse around 12:25 p.m. She was going to the county clerk’s office with her 5-year-old child, she said.
The suspect, who Rios identified as a white man, walked in right after them, she told The Herald via text as she was barricaded inside the courthouse. She said the man appeared to have several rifles and a bulletproof vest. He refused to put them down when ordered by officers, Rios said. Officials put her and her son in a small room as the courthouse went into lockdown, Rios said.
A tweet from the sheriff’s office advised people to not enter or exit the building at 3000 Rockefeller Ave. until further notice.
The @SnoCounty government campus in Everett (3000 Rockefeller) is on lockdown for police activity. Please avoid the area until further notice. If you are in the courthouse or other buildings, follow the instructions from first responders at the scene. More info as available.— snocosheriff (@SnoCoSheriff) December 12, 2022
Dozens of officers from the sheriff’s office and Everett police had swarmed streets around the building by 1:30 p.m. Washington State Patrol troopers were also on scene, as well as an interagency bomb squad, the FBI and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Caution tape blocked traffic on several neighboring streets in downtown Everett. Pacific Avenue was blocked from Colby Avenue to Oakes Avenue. The lobby of the courthouse is largely visible through glass windows, and witnesses outside were pushed back from the area. O’Keefe said the man didn’t make it through courthouse security in the lobby.
Deputies spent hours trying to negotiate with the suspect. Around 3 p.m., authorities began evacuating some people from the county campus. Just after 3:30 p.m., the sheriff’s office announced the arrest.
The courthouse remained closed after the man was taken into custody, O’Keefe said.
The suspect was expected to be booked into the Snohomish County Jail on Monday evening. The exact charges he faces remain unknown.
Jake Goldstein-Street: 425-339-3439; email@example.com; Twitter: @GoldsteinStreet.
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