North Sound News

32-year-old Woodinville man in custody after hourslong standoff at Snohomish County courthouse

EVERETT, Wash. — A routine start to the workweek took an unexpected turn when a heavily armed man walked into the lobby of the Snohomish County Courthouse.

“He’s got a jacket on, backpack and what appeared to be a bulletproof vest,” said a witness.

Authorities say a 32-year-old Woodinville man was carrying multiple weapons when he walked into the Snohomish County courthouse in Everett at about 12:30 p.m.

He refused to leave or put down his arsenal.

Dozens of people were inside the building as the drama unfolded, trapped for hours while authorities tried to negotiate with the man.

“I was just going through the metal detector and they announced that somebody was walking up the stairs with guns,” said a man who was inside when the building was placed on lockdown. “As I turned around, there he was, as I was putting my belt on and grabbing my phone and grabbing my final stuff. He, sure enough, had a gun sticking out of his backpack. And then we realized he had a gun in his hands. When the officer told him to put his gun down, he refused to.”

The entire campus, including the courthouse and two administration buildings, went under lockdown.

The lockdown was lifted at about 3:30 p.m.

“A large law enforcement response came to the courthouse which resulted in a three-hour standoff,” said Courtney O’Keefe, spokeswoman for the Snohomish County Sheriff. “Region One SWAT team was able to successfully negotiate with him. And he did surrender here around 3:30 p.m. this afternoon. At this time, we don’t know the motive. That is part of the investigation.”

O’Keefe said she did not know how many weapons the man was holding, but she did confirm that he brought multiple firearms into the building.

The good news is no one was injured. And all of these buildings are expected to be open for business as usual on Tuesday.