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Adam Tratt
Adam Tratt

Haiku Deck CEO Adam Tratt was the victim of a frightening carjacking on Sunday afternoon, one which resulted in the pistol-wielding perpetrator later being shot by Seattle police officers in the Ravenna neighborhood.

Tratt, a well-known startup CEO and former marketing director at Cranium whose latest company has won GeekWire Awards and other recognition, was taking his kids to the University of Washington Tennis Center when the gun-wielding carjacker entered the facility, demanding Tratt’s keys.

It was the second of three cars the armed man purportedly stole on the violent crime spree through several neighborhoods of Seattle.

Tratt detailed the scene in a Facebook post:

Today it was my turn to drop the kids at tennis lessons. While Max took to the court, Ava, Ben, and I waited in the lobby of UW Tennis Center. It was around 1:15. I greeted my old friend Jamil who was on his way out of the building. A few moments later, a wild-eyed guy came into the facility waving two pistols, demanding car keys. My first reaction was, ‘That’s weird. why would a guy bring two guns into a tennis place? Nobody even has their wallet on them.’ About two synapses later, I realized he didn’t come to steal… He was trying to get away. I reflexively told the kids to run, which they did. Tossing my keys to the center of the room, I pointed towards my car, parked in front.

The guy sped off over the sidewalk and across the lawn back out to Montlake Blvd- and eventually up to Roosevelt where he apparently realized that, though practical for daily family use and carpooling, the Toyota Sienna minivan leaves much to be desired as getaway car. He hopped out of the car and carjacked another, sportier vehicle for his final wild ride through northeast Seattle.

Though shaken up, we’re incredibly grateful that nobody other than the criminal was seriously injured.
If reading this story makes you angry or sad or a little scared, please join me in doing something about it. Demand federal background checks for people purchasing guns. Also, donate to http://csgv.org/.

Here’s what Tratt told GeekWire this evening:

As it was unfolding, my immediate reaction was to get the kids out of the room. I’m so thankful that they reacted quickly. Once they were out of the room, I realized he was just trying to get away from someone. He didn’t ask for money. He didn’t try to take anything from us. He just wanted a car.

In retrospect, there wasn’t time to think hard about it. In light of what’s been happening with gun violence around our country, throwing my keys to the guy was the easiest decision I’ve had to make in recent memory. I’m glad that nobody else got hurt yesterday. I’m grateful for the first responders who chased after him and I’m sad we live in a country with so many guns.

Here’s the interview that Tratt gave to KIRO 7 in Seattle after the incident, one which resulted in two police officers being injured.

And here’s dash-cam footage from Seattle police showing parts of the high-speed chase and eventual shootout:

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