Witnesses at police inquest describe chaotic scenes from school shootout

May 29, 2012

Just after 11 a.m. Sept. 24, as Ronald W. Ficker meandered from a downtown Issaquah intersection to Clark Elementary School, Leslie Olerich stared down the barrel of Ficker’s rifle.

“He looked right at us, looked down the barrel and he smiled,” Olerich said May 21 at a court hearing about the incident.

Issaquah police fatally shot Ficker, 51, after the rural Maple Valley man abandoned a rental car at a downtown intersection and, carrying rifles and ammunition, set off in the direction of school campuses and, along the way, brandished firearms to passers-by.

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City Council announces annual goal-setting retreat

May 29, 2012

Citizens can join the City Council for a daylong retreat June 2 as officials meet to set goals for 2013.

The council meets each spring to draft goals and determine priorities for the months ahead. The process starts the effort to craft a municipal budget for the coming year.

Mayor Ava Frisinger, municipal department chiefs and other officials also join the council.

The retreat runs from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the lower Community Room at YWCA Family Village at Issaquah, 949 N.E. Ingram Way.

The council set ambitious goals for 2012, including possible solutions for cash-strapped Lake Sammamish State Park, a more citizen-friendly budgeting process and a commission to address economic vitality.

Other priorities included offering additional city information online, improving downtown parking access and discussing possible arrangements for the aging Julius Boehm Pool.

The goal to create a municipal Economic Vitality Commission came to fruition May 16, as members held the inaugural meeting.

Jurors rule in favor of officers in Issaquah police inquest

May 23, 2012

Issaquah Officer Brian Horn uses a map to indicate key locations Tuesday at the inquest into the death of Ronald W. Ficker in a September shootout against Horn and other officers. By Greg Farrar

NEW — 6 p.m. May 23, 2012

Jurors deliberated only 19 minutes Wednesday before determining Issaquah police officers faced a life-threatening scenario and properly used lethal force to stop a rifle-toting man on the Clark Elementary School campus last year.

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Officers feared Issaquah gunman could escape, shoot bystanders

May 23, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. May 23, 2012

Police involved in a shootout at Clark Elementary School feared the gunman could escape from the campus and shoot bystanders in surrounding neighborhoods, and resorted to lethal force to eliminate the threat, officers involved in the shooting testified at a court hearing Tuesday.

Police fatally shot Ronald W. Ficker, 51, in late September after the rural Maple Valley man abandoned a rental car at a downtown intersection and, carrying rifles and ammunition, set off in the direction of school campuses and, along the way, brandished firearms to passers-by. Moments later, at about 11:30 a.m. Sept. 24, Ficker shot at bystanders and police officers on the Clark Elementary campus.

The tense moments after Ficker reached the school grounds formed the basis for the Tuesday testimony at a King County-led inquest into the actions of officers involved in the shootout — Laura Asbell, Brian Horn, Christian Muñoz and Jesse Petersen.

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Inquest opens to examine Clark Elementary School shootout

May 22, 2012

King County authorities started to examine the actions of Issaquah police officers involved in a deadly September 2011 shootout at Clark Elementary School as a prosecutor-led inquest opened May 21.

The officers shot and killed Ronald W. Ficker, 51, after the rural Maple Valley man abandoned a rental car at a downtown Issaquah intersection and, brandishing rifles and carrying ammunition, set off in the direction of school campuses.

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Witnesses at police inquest describe strange scenes from school shootout

May 22, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. May 22, 2012

Just after 11 on a September morning, as Ronald W. Ficker meandered on a fateful trek from a downtown Issaquah intersection to Clark Elementary School, Leslie Olerich stared down the barrel of Ficker’s rifle.

“He looked right at us, looked down the barrel and he smiled,” Olerich said Monday at a court hearing about the Sept. 24 incident.

Issaquah police fatally shot Ficker, 51, after the rural Maple Valley man abandoned a rental car at a downtown intersection and, carrying rifles and ammunition, set off in the direction of school campuses and, along the way, brandished firearms to passers-by.

Olerich testified Monday at a King County-led inquest into the actions of police officers involved in the shootout — Laura Asbell, Brian Horn, Christian Muñoz and Jesse Petersen.

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Strange behavior shaped Issaquah gunman’s final days

May 15, 2012

Inquest into police shootout starts May 21

The rough outlines resemble doodles more than a far-fetched blueprint, and the instructions on the page defy explanation.

Ronald Ficker

In hand-scrawled notes about a manmade island scattered among the sketches, the creator urges, “Start building Atlantis.”

The creator later stuffed the notes, sketches and more than $23,000 in Swiss francs into a safe deposit box at the Bank of America branch in Issaquah.

The stack of documents contained instructions for the reader.

“If I get hurt, must take this to police.”

The sentence outlined the future. The man behind the notes, Ronald W. Ficker, 51, died in a police shootout on the Clark Elementary School campus Sept. 24.

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Press Editorial

May 8, 2012

Park bond should include new museum

The Issaquah City Council is considering asking voters to approve another park bond, either this fall or in 2013.

Voters last passed a park bond six years ago.

The city will soon launch a public opinion survey to gauge residents’ interest in what the bond might include. The survey should reach residents by late spring or early summer.

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Issaquah voters could decide parks funds in November

April 17, 2012

Issaquah voters could decide as early as November on a multimillion dollar package to fund expansions and upgrades to city parks.

The proposed park bond could generate dollars to add amenities to existing parks, create additional parkland and purchase undeveloped land for conservation. The package could infuse funds into the parks system as lean municipal budgets limit the number of projects the city can undertake.

The municipal Parks & Recreation Department is in the initial stage to prepare for such a bond package, although the timeline is not yet firm. The decision to put a bond measure on the ballot is left to the City Council.

The city is considering offers from firms to conduct a public opinion survey to gauge residents’ interest in parks amenities. The survey should reach residents by late spring or early summer.

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Presidents Day means Issaquah closures

February 15, 2012

NEW — 6 p.m. Feb. 15, 2012

Presidents Day means closures and schedule changes Monday.

King County Metro Transit operates on a weekday and no University of Washington schedule for the holiday.

Sound Transit buses operate on a regular weekday schedule for Presidents Day. Sound Transit customers can also sign up to receive Rider Alerts via e-mail or text message for specific services and bus routes.

Metro Transit also offers Transit Alerts to update riders about inclement conditions, road construction and other service changes.

The city, county and state close government offices in observance of the holiday. In addition, the Issaquah Community Center and Julius Boehm Pool close for the day.

State liquor stores also remain open for the holiday.

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