Federal Charges for Community College Gunman

A 32-year-old man who allegedly fired a rifle across I-5 from the edge of a community college campus last summer could end up spending the next decade in jail, if federal prosecutors have their way.

Last month, the US Attorney’s office filed charges against Richard Floyd Blake for “felon in possession of a firearm,” and US Marshals moved Blake from the King County Jail to a federal detention center in SeaTac. Blake was convicted for robbery in 2003, making it illegal for him to possess a firearm.

On August 28th, a swarm of SPD officers descended on the North Seattle Community College campus—just one block from the North Precinct—after Blake allegedly fired several volleys of shots over I-5.

The freeway was shut down in both directions, and SPD called in the SWAT team, a King County Sheriff’s Office helicopter, and a Washington State Patrol plane to find Blake, who was hiding in a wooded area at the south end of NSCC’s campus with another man. Blake was arrested in the woods several hours later. When Blake was interviewed by police, court records say, he told them “If I had wanted to shoot officers, you would have had some dead cops.” No one was injured in the incident.

That evening, when officers searched the woods looking for the gun used in the incident, they found a “military style encampment” where Blake had apparently been living. At the site, officers found bullets, gun parts, and a copy of the Anarchist’s Cookbook. According to Blake’s Myspace page, Blake also hoped to attend a sniper school in Texas.

According to US Attorney’s office spokeswoman Emily Langlie, Blake could be facing 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and 2-3 years of supervised release if convicted.