A woman accused of burglarizing an apartment in Seattle’s First Hill neighborhood was shot and injured after releasing three pit bulls that attacked the building manager and other residents, police said.
Police said they plan to request charging the 37-year-old woman with residential burglary and the 50-year-old apartment manager for reckless endangerment after Friday’s incident.
The manager for Ten Twenty Apartments, a 45-unit building on University Street, said Sunday that he accidentally shot the woman in the collarbone while trying to scare the attacking dogs after a series of escalating events. The Seattle Times does not name people who have not been charged; the manager is not being named because it is unclear whether he has been charged.
He said the problems started when he received a text from a tenant complaining of a woman banging on residents’ doors. He said he approached the woman, who he said was staying in her boyfriend’s apartment while he was away.
Fifteen minutes later, another resident called to say she was attacked by three pit bulls after getting off the elevator, and video footage showed the woman with the dogs entering the unit next to her boyfriend’s and then releasing the dogs, the manager said.
The manager said he called police, who responded about 10:30 pm but left after finding the dogs had been returned to their owner’s apartment. Within minutes, officers returned after hearing reports that a woman had been shot.
In the time that the officers were gone, the dogs escaped, and “the next thing I know, I’m sitting there fighting two pit bulls and I got a gash in my hand. I got this bite down my ribs. I got a bite puncture in my leg,” the manager said.
He said he was able to trap the dogs between the building’s two sets of front doors, but released them to the woman who had initially let the dogs out.
“I’m like, ‘OK, if this dog bites me again, that’s on you,’” the building manager said. “So I let the door go. And of course the dog comes after me again.”
He said the woman took the dogs outside, and as he returned to his apartment to call 911, he heard a scream, grabbed his gun, and ran outside to find a couple holding their dog over their heads while the pit bulls jumped on them.
The manager said he fired three shots, one shot in the air to scare the dogs, and two more when they didn’t stop. One of the bullets struck the woman, so he again called 911, he said.
Police said medics transported the woman to Harborview Medical Center with a gunshot near her collarbone. She told officers there that she had entered the apartment to let the dogs out and had stolen several items, police said.
By Saturday afternoon, the woman was back in the building and banging on residents’ doors again, the building manager said.