Most of the neighborhood heard about the Madison Park bank robbery and subsequent fatal shooting of the suspect that occurred last week.
In summary – if you haven’t heard about it – a man dressed as a woman robbed the Wells Fargo bank near East Madison Street and McGilvra Blvd. in Madison Park on Thursday, April 3rd at about 9:15 a.m. He fled on foot with a rolling suitcase, before he was seen getting into a silver sedan. Approximately 10 minutes later, SPD received word that a silver Hyundai had crashed and flipped in the Denny-Blaine neighborhood, and the driver was seen leaving the scene with a suitcase. After a couple of hours spent tracking down the suspect, they found him in the 100 block of 39th Avenue East. He pulled a knife on the detective attempting to apprehend him, and refused to put it down. The detective fired his gun on the suspect when the man charged him (officers are required to use deadly force when an individual is an imminent threat to police or citizens), killing him on the scene. Click here for the full KING 5 report from the day of the incident.
We later learned that the suspect was Cody Spafford, a sous chef at the Walrus and the Carpenter.
Since the incident, more details have come out. After the car accident and the following couple of hours when police could not find Spafford, an officer spotted him running between two buildings close to the intersection of 39th Avenue E. and E. John Street at about 11:40 a.m.; a little more than two hours after the bank robbery.
A detective made contact with the Spafford, who was on top of a garage, holding a large knife. The detective repeatedly ordered him to drop the knife, as a lieutenant called officers with stun guns to their location. Before the officers could arrive, Spafford ran toward the detective with knife in hand. The detective fired multiple rounds from a rifle, after Spafford was within 15 feet. Spafford was hit and medics attempted CPR, but he died on scene.
According to an SPD news release, “Although officers armed with less-lethal tools were responding to the incident at the time of the shooting, police are trained to use deadly force when facing a threat from a deadly weapon, like a gun or knife.”
SPD recovered the rolling suitcase nearby in a garage, still filled with cash. They also recovered an Airsoft gun that realistically resembled a handgun (possibly the one used in the robbery) from Spafford’s crashed car, which is still being processed. The detective who fired on Spafford is Jim Rodgers, a 15-year veteran of the SPD. He is now on paid administrative leave as the Department investigates the incident.
Police did not identify Cody Spafford as the deceased suspect, but his boss at the Walrus and the Carpenter did. He said that Spafford seemed to be doing well, was about to take a job in New York, and had not shown any signs of money problems or mental illness. This incident comes as a complete shock to the restaurant and Cody’s friends, who spoke with The Stranger about their perspective.
“Looking back at things, there were a lot of signs that none of us knew how to read,” The Walrus and The Carpenter’s Chef de Cuisine, Eli Dahlin, told The Stranger’s Ansel Herz. “He stopped wearing short-sleeved shirts. He started disappearing into the bathroom more than seemed normal. He started coming in late more often, which was strange for him. The quality of his work diminished. We thought, ‘He’s moving in a few weeks. He’s over it.’ It was one of those things like ‘Why make a fuss about it?'” Monica Mason, Spafford’s housemate and friend, found drug paraphernalia in his room, and believes he had been using heroin.
The Walrus and The Carpenter was closed for three days (Friday through Sunday) for employees to mourn Cody’s death, and through April 13th all proceeds from the restaurant will be donated to Recovery Café, which helps people recovering from addiction or trauma.
Featured photo from KiroTV.com.