Gunman menaces downtown Issaquah

Downtown Issaquah transformed into a crime scene Sept. 24, 2011, after a gunman menaced residents and later died in a police shootout on a school campus. The Issaquah Press used Twitter and Facebook — and near-constant updates to issaquahpress.com — to inform readers as the event unfolded.

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  1. Twitter chatter alerted reporters at The Issaquah Press to a possible shooting in the Issaquah area. The initial question to readers asked for more information. Police remained tight-lipped as the incident unfolded.
  2. Immediately, attention turned to hundreds of people gathered at a youth football game at Issaquah High School, near the gunman's reported location.
  3. In the police response to the incident, law enforcement officers from at least 10 agencies flooded downtown Issaquah. Officers shut down a main north-south road as a police helicopter thudded overhead.
  4. The dramatic image of a sniper perched on the King County Sheriff's Office helicopter appeared in the top spot on issaquahpress.com throughout the incident — and later on the front page of The Issaquah Press.
  5. In the moments after police secured the scene, readers directed questions about safety to The Issaquah Press. Priority No. 1 focused on reassuring community members.
  6. The road closure caused Issaquah to grind to a halt for hours as investigators searched the gunman's abandoned car for clues — and possible explosives.
  7. Facebook, Twitter and issaquahpress.com allowed The Issaquah Press to share images of police searching the vehicle from a vantage point inaccessible to other news outlets.
  8. Just as soon as the incident concluded, more questions started to come in from readers. Did schools cancel extracurricular activities? Would the road reopen soon?
  9. Later, investigators released the gunman's identity and clues about a possible motive for the incident.
  10. The Issaquah Press used Twitter to offer a minute-by-minute account from a King County Sheriff's Office news conference days after the shootout.
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