• Streets blocked during University District standoff

    By: KIRO 7 STAFF


    SEATTLE - A man threatened to blow up the University of Washington Jewish center Monday afternoon, causing a large police response and traffic backups in the University District.

    The incident happened shortly before 2 p.m. at the Center for Jewish Life, 4745 17th Ave. N.E. The man was arrested about 2:45 p.m. and no injuries were reported.

    Officers responded with hostage negotiators, SWAT officers and the Arson/Bomb Squad. Firefighters also dispatched a haz-mat response.

    Police closed Northeast 50th Street between 16th and 17 Avenue during the standoff and aftermath.

    "At 1:45 p.m., employees at the Hillel center at Northeast 47th and 17th Avenue Northeast contacted police and said an employee had ]threatened to mix toxic chemicals to cause an explosion in the building, and had headed for a supply closet," police spokesman Jonah Spangenthal-Lee said in a statement. "Employees evacuated the building, contacted police and informed SPD the suspect may also be armed with a knife."

    The man was fired Sunday or Monday and came out of the basement on his own after being overcome by the chemical fumes.

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