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April 4, 2014 at 11:03 AM

Alleged bank robber ID’d as chef; police describe deadly encounter

Cody Spafford guy killed by SPD yesterday, April 3, 2014.

Cody Spafford (photo by Renee Erickson)

UPDATE, 3:57 p.m.:|The King County Medical Examiner’s Office has formally identified Cody W. Spafford, the man who was killed after police say he robbed a Madison Park bank with a fake gun yesterday.

Spafford died of multiple gunshot wounds. His death has been ruled a homicide.

Seattle police Assistant Chief Paul McDonagh identified robbery unit Detective Jim Rogers as the one who shot Spafford after Spafford “charged” at him with a knife. Rogers, a 15-year veteran of the department, has been involved in two prior on-duty shootings, McDonagh said.


UPDATE, 3 p.m.:| The man who was fatally shot by a Seattle police detective had used a toy handgun to rob a Wells Fargo bank branch, police said during a news conference this afternoon.

The suspect wore “lots of makeup,” a fake nose, a dark wig and women’s clothing, according to police. They said he brandished a handgun during the robbery and told witnesses inside the bank that he would kill them if he heard police sirens, police said.

During the subsequent search, officers spotted the suspect running onto the roof of a detached garage. As the suspect ran across the garage, away from officers and out of view, a detective scaled a wall adjacent to the garage to get to higher ground and a better view.

As the detective climbed the wall, he saw the suspect standing nearby, holding a large, fixed-blade knife, police said.

The detective repeatedly ordered the man to drop the knife, but the man refused, police said. A lieutenant at the scene called for officers with Tasers to respond to a courtyard area.

However, the suspect ran toward the detective “brandishing” the knife and closed to within 15 feet of the detective. The detective fired his rifle several times, striking the suspect.

The suspect died at the scene.


Police released this bank surveillance photo of the bank robber. (Seattle police photo).

ORIGINAL POST:| A Seattle man who allegedly robbed a Madison Park bank dressed as a woman and was then fatally shot by Seattle police Thursday has been identified by law-enforcement sources as Cody Spafford.

Spafford, 26, has no history of violent crime, according to court records.

Spafford was a sous chef at the restaurant The Walrus and the Carpenter in Ballard. He had worked at the restaurant for about four years and was planning to move to New York later this month.

His colleague, Chad Dale, said in an email this morning:

“Cody was a beloved member of our family. He was hard-working, unassuming and kind. He was talented beyond his years, and was only beginning to explore the many opportunities before him.

“He was a well-trusted employee and friend,” Dale said. “We do not know the circumstances that led to this apparent act of desperation, but we know it was not him. His was a life taken tragically and far too soon. Our hearts are broken.”

The Walrus and the Carpenter said on its Facebook page that they will be closed tonight “so that we may mourn the loss of a dear and beloved friend.”

Spafford’s criminal record includes a conviction for felony possession of marijuana out of Sherman County, Ore., a case that resulted in him serving part of his probation under Washington Department of Corrections (DOC) supervision after he moved here. Spafford also had convictions for misdemeanor theft, drug possession and failure to stop upon command of law enforcement in Utah.

Norah West, DOC spokeswoman, said Spafford was supervised by community corrections staff in their Northgate office from June 2011 until May of last year.

Seattle police say a robbery detective shot Spafford because the man was armed with a knife. One law-enforcement source said he ran at police with the knife.

Additional details about the shooting, as well as the name of the detective, are expected to be released during a news conference this afternoon.

Law-enforcement sources said today that Spafford was armed with a gun during the robbery.

Police say a man dressed in a skirt, heavy makeup and a brunette wig robbed the Wells Fargo branch in Madison Park, near East Madison Street and McGilvra Boulevard East, around 9:15 a.m. The alleged robber took off in a silver Hyundai with an undisclosed amount of cash.

Two women, who declined to identify themselves, said they were out for a walk when they saw the car speed by them on McGilvra. They said the driver was rubbing what appeared to be heavy black eyeliner off his face. Moments later the Hyundai crashed and rolled over at 39th Avenue East and East John Street.

A man was seen running from the vehicle, dragging a rolling suitcase, police said.

Witnesses also told police the fleeing man was shedding clothes as he ran, police said.

Police spokesman Mark Jamieson said the robbery detective spotted the suspect in the yard of a home in the 100 block of 39th Avenue East. Jamieson said the suspect was armed with a knife that he refused to drop.

The detective fired because the man “presented a threat,” police said. Police did not immediately say whether the suspect lunged at police or made some other threatening move.

Authorities say the suspect, since identified by police sources as Spafford, died at the scene.

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: Bank robbery, Department of Corrections, Seattle Police Department


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