By Samantha Pak and Aaron Kunkler / Bothell-Kenmore Reporter
Bothell police have a man in custody after a more than eight-hour standoff at a downtown store.
The standoff began at about 10:30 a.m. Sept. 12 when police responded to a suspicious circumstance that led to a suspect barricading in a locked bathroom of Not Just Antiques.
The Bothell Police Department tweeted at 6:35 p.m. that the man was taken into custody without incident.
“He will be transported for evaluation then will be booked on an outstanding felony warrant,” the tweet stated.
BPD initially alerted the public about the incident in a tweet at 11:45 a.m., stating that there was police activity in the 19100 block of Bothell Way Northeast. The tweet also stated that the suspect was possibly armed and asked people to avoid the area.
Bothell police Capt. Mike Johnson said the call they responded to reported three suspicious people in Not Just Antiques.
One of the store owners, Maria Rosacia, was in the store with a vendor when it opened at 10 a.m. She said three people, two males and one female, walked in and tried to separate her and the vendor by asking them to open cabinets. Rosacia and the vendor felt they were trying to case the store and called the police. When police arrived, the female and one male were detained. The second male ran into dressing room, locked himself there.
Rosacia said the suspect locked himself in a dressing room while police said it was a bathroom.
Not Just Antiques was cleared of civilians and only police and the suspect were then inside the store.
Throughout the day, the individual spoke to the police and Rosacia and the other store co-owner Troy Lybbert said they heard the man say at one point that he had a gun.
Just after 1 p.m., police removed a backpack from the store but did not reveal what it contained.
By about 2 p.m., Bothell police brought in a mobile command center to the situation and the King County Sheriff’s Office’s bomb disposal unit arrived just before 2:30 p.m. to investigate the suspicious bag.
At 2:33 p.m., police tweeted that the suspect was still barricaded in the restroom.
“Officers continue to talk with him,” the tweet stated. “Out of an abundance of caution, King Co Sheriff’s Office Bomb Techs are on scene to x-ray a back pack that may or may not be associated.”
It is not clear if the bag was associated with the situation.
At that point, more law enforcement personnel were seen carrying rifles and a sheriff’s deputy entered the store with Bothell police.
In addition, units from the Kirkland Police Department arrived just before 3 p.m. with what may have been a portable telephone system, though it was not confirmed.
The North Sound Metro SWAT team — which includes officers from Redmond, Bothell, Kirkland, Edmonds, Lynnwood and Monroe, as well as other jurisdictions — arrived on the scene at about 4:15 p.m.
Law enforcement emerged with the suspect at about 6:25 p.m. and it appeared they had used tear gas as all officers were in gas masks when they exited the store. At that time, the alarms at the neighboring Rite Aid store went off as well.
During the standoff, police blocked the Rite Aid and adjacent Alyssa Burnett Adult Life Center parking lots but there were no traffic impacts on Bothell Way Northeast.
This story originally appeared in the Bothell-Kenmore Reporter, a sibling paper of The Daily Herald.