Evicted Resident Confronts Building Workers in Deadly Attack

September 25, 2020

A resident who was evicted Wednesday from a luxury high-rise apartment in Seattle returned to the building soon afterward, resulting in the deadly stabbing of a maintenance worker that also left a property manager seriously injured, according to multiple media outlets. The incident is yet another reminder during September's REALTOR® Safety Month of the dangers that exist in property management, particularly as the threat of evictions grows over the next few months. 

According to police reports cited by The Seattle Times, Michael Roberts, 46, who allegedly has a history of making threats against building residents and staff, was evicted from the building Wednesday morning. A report on KOMO-TV news added that she had directed threats toward the Centennial building’s security guard earlier that day. She returned to the building’s lobby later that morning, where a dispute arose between her and the building’s staff.

Police, who were called to the building just before 11:30 a.m. after a report of a stabbing, allege that Roberts brought a kitchen knife into the building’s lobby and attacked the maintenance worker. The property manager intervened and used pepper spray on Roberts, but was also stabbed in the abdomen, according to witness reports. Stanimir Tzankov, a longtime service manager at the Centennial building, died from multiple stab wounds, reports said. The injured staff member is reportedly recovering at home.

Police reportedly found Roberts barricaded in her former apartment on the 24th floor, which resulted in a six-hour standoff. Police entered the apartment with a warrant and arrested Roberts with use of a stun gun.

Court documents allege Roberts has drug and mental health issues. Roberts is being held in King County Jail and faces charges of murder and attempted murder.