Bank robbery suspect Seattle police fatally shot was chef
A man who allegedly robbed a bank in the Madison Valley Thursday afternoon, crashed a car, and who was shot by a Seattle police officer has been identified.
Law enforcement sources say the suspect was Cody Spafford. Detectives say he has a criminal history including burglary, possession of a dangerous weapon, theft, drug possession, criminal mischief, obstruction and possession of stolen property.
Spafford, 26, was a sous chef at Ballard’s the Walrus and the Carpenter. The restaurant is closed Friday.
“Guests, The Walrus and the Carpenter will be closed this evening so that we may mourn the loss of a dear and beloved friend. Thank you for your understanding.”
Police say an officer shot Spafford Thursday about two hours after he allegedly robbed a Wells Fargo near E. Madison Street and McGilvra Blvd. Police say the suspect was disguised as a woman – wearing a lot of makeup, a brunette wig, and women’s clothing.
Police say he demanded money from a teller and fled with a rolling suitcase. He then crashed and rolled a silver car about 10 minutes later near 39th Avenue and E. John Street.
Police say they found Spafford’s clothing used in the bank robbery near the scene of the crash.
They closed off streets near 39th and John and the nearby Bush School was locked down.
Just before 11:30 a.m., a neighbor called 911 to report seeing Spafford, according to police. The suspect was found in the 100 block of 39th Ave E. Officers at the scene reported seeing the suspect with a knife.
“He presented a threat to the first detective that encountered him and the detective was forced to fire his weapon,” explained Detective Mark Jamieson.
The restaurant community Spafford belonged to is shocked to learn their friend is gone. One of the Walrus and the Carpenter partners wrote:
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. 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.
“It’s really difficult for us to reconcile what happened with the person that we knew. We’re all sort of in a state of disbelief and just trying to make sense of it all,” Jeremy Price, co-owner of the Walrus and the Carpenter, told KIRO Radio’s Ron and Don Show.
Price said they’re bringing in grief counselors for employees.
Police say the type of bank robbery Spafford is accused of is rare. “The take-over style – they order everyone in the bank to do what they say,” said Assistant Seattle Police Chief Paul McDonagh.
He said usually a robber will slip a teller a note and take off without anyone else knowing what happened.
Det. Ron Smith, president of the Seattle Police Officer’s Guild, told Ron and Don that Detective James Rodgers, the officer who shot Spafford, is a 15-year veteran and is on the bank robbery squad.
“You don’t get assigned to those type of assignments unless you’re a top notch officer, in this case a detective,” said Smith.