Armed Intruder Reveals Security Challenges at Downtown Everett Courthouse

Break 10

A closer look at the knife used by the suspect. Click photo to enlarge.

Break 3

The first search team enters the courthouse. You can see the broken glass door to the right.

Break 8

The suspect is searched after being spotted about a mile south of the courthouse.

On Sunday, a man carrying a knife and crowbar smashed out a main entrance door at the Snohomish County Courthouse in downtown Everett. He made his way to the 4th floor Sheriff’s Office and threatened employees. That led to a top to bottom search of the building. When the security contractor arrived deputies were able to access video and determine the man left after about 15 minutes. He was arrested on the streets of Everett about two hours later. The incident shook employees working inside the building and has led to questions regarding security at the Courthouse. We asked Snohomish County Sheriff’s spokesperson Shari Ireton about security at the building and received the following response via email…

Because there are staff in the Courthouse 24/7, there is no security alarm on the building. There is a fire alarm. After normal business hours, there is only one security guard (with Olympic Security) on-site. The building was built during a different era (long before security concerns were top of mind at courthouses) and has been remodeled many times so it does not have an ideal “footprint” in regards to security.

Construction planning for a new courthouse across the street from the current building is underway and there is a public meeting set for next Wednesday to provide a look at the project and give answers to the public’s questions. Here’s information on that meeting from Rebecca Hover at the Snohomish County Executive’s Office…

new county courthouse

Drawing of proposed Courthouse building courtesy Snohomish County Executive’s Office.

Snohomish County’s nine-story courthouse project is slated to break ground this summer. Members of the community interested in learning more about the project from the inside out are invited to attend a public presentation by lead architect Doug Kleppin of Heery International at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 3 in the public hearing rooms of the Robert J. Drewel Building on county campus in downtown Everett.

The presentation, followed by a brief Q & A session, is scheduled to last approximately one hour.

With more than 25 years of experience working on public buildings – many of them courthouses – Kleppin has a unique perspective on design. His presentations give the audience a clearer picture of the building and its features, as well as how it will serve them for years to come. Heery International has designed more than 70 courthouses across the country.

The 253,000 square foot building – which will be built on Wall Street between Rockefeller and Oakes avenues – will offer the public faster and more convenient access to services through a customer service counter on the entry level of the building. The building also will house the Snohomish County Clerk’s Office, the Prosecuting Attorney’s Criminal Division, the Office of Public Defense, the Sheriff’s Office, Superior and District courts, and a law library. The courthouse is expected to be completed by October 2017. Once the new replacement courthouse is occupied, the existing courthouse will be demolished and a new public plaza will be created in its place.

About myeverettnews

My Everett News is a hyperlocal news website featuring breaking news and events in Everett, WA. We also cover City of Everett information and items of interest to those who live and work in Everett. It's written by Leland Dart a former Snohomish County based radio reporter born and raised in Everett.

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One Response to “Armed Intruder Reveals Security Challenges at Downtown Everett Courthouse”

  1. Eleanore Says:

    Will the new courthouse have a parking garage? Cool they are making the old courthouse a public plaza…