911 calls poured into police from the library after an armed 46-year-old woman was seen walking through the building

Share story

A Lynnwood woman was arrested at the Lynnwood Library Sunday afternoon after she was seen carrying a shotgun and walking through the building.

No shots were fired and no one was injured, said Lynnwood Police Sgt. Jerry Riener, who responded to the call.

Police received the first call at 11:48 a.m. that a woman was walking into the library with a gun. As 911 calls started to spill in from others in the library, Riener and another officer walked out of the police department, which is across the street from the library.

“We saw people running out of the library,” Riener said. “Library staff were telling people to get out.”

The officers found the woman in an employee area of the library. After the officers announced their presence, the woman walked into an open area, carrying a shotgun that was pointed at the floor.

The Lynnwood officers ordered the woman to drop the gun several times. She did not comply the first few times, and eventually asked “Are you the real police?”

Riener and another officer assured her they were the real police, and she eventually dropped the gun and was arrested.

The police suspect the 46-year-old woman suffers from mental health problems. Officers are determining which criminal charges will be filed and what mental health assistance is needed.

Many people who were unable to exit the library had taken shelters in various rooms, and officers cleared the whole building.

At least 40 people were in the library at the time, Riener said. The library is closed for the day and will re-open tomorrow.

“Everyone is safe, but you have to imagine the staff is a little distraught,” Riener said.