News

Gunman kills 1, wounds 3 at Seattle Christian college

Gunman kills 1, wounds 3 at Seattle Christian college

CAMPUS KILLING:A policeman secures the scene at Seattle Pacific University after the campus was evacuated due to a shooting in Seattle, Washington June 5. Photo: Reuters/David Ryder

By Bryan Cohen

SEATTLE (Reuters) – A student security guard who doused a gunman with pepper spray and tackled him to the ground prevented greater loss of life during a shooting spree at a small Christian college in Seattle that left one person dead, police said on Friday.

Police arrested Aaron Ybarra, 26, in the Thursday shooting at Seattle Pacific University in which two others were wounded.

A Seattle television station, citing unidentified police officials, reported that Ybarra was obsessed with the 1999 mass shooting that killed 15 people at Columbine High School.

Police declined to comment on that report and have offered no motive for the shooting at the Methodist liberal arts college of 4,000 students in Seattle’s upscale Queen Anne neighborhood.

Ybarra was scheduled to make his first court appearance on Friday afternoon.

Ybarra, who was not a student at the university, is accused of walking into an academic building on campus, Otto Miller Hall, and gunning down three people before pausing to reload his weapon.

At that point, police said, a student building monitor pepper-sprayed and tackled the shooter to the ground as several other bystanders jumped in to help restrain him and seized his shotgun. He was arrested minutes later by police, who said the suspect also was carrying a knife and additional ammunition.

A man died shortly after the attack at Harborview Medical Center, while a woman was in critical condition on Friday after five hours of emergency surgery. Both were in their 20s. The third victim, a 24-year-old man, was hospitalized in satisfactory condition with pellet wounds.

A third man was treated for minor injuries suffered in the scuffle with the suspect and released, police said.

The bloodshed in Seattle marked the latest in a series of mass shootings at schools and other public places around the country in recent years that have renewed a national debate over gun safety and mental illness.

Two weeks ago, a 22-year-old man stabbed three people to death and fatally shot three others before taking his own life in a rampage across a college town near the University of California at Santa Barbara.

Ybarra, who was booked into the King County Jail, was characterized as a troubled but mild-mannered individual by an acquaintance who described himself to Seattle television station KIRO-TV as a onetime drinking buddy of the suspect.

“I didn’t think he was capable of something like that,” Jason Wells told KIRO. “He seemed a little bit on the crazy side but he needed somebody to reel him back.”

Citing unidentified police sources, KIRO said Ybarra was preoccupied with school shootings and had visited Columbine, the Colorado high school where two students killed a teacher and 12 fellow classmates before taking their own lives in 1999.

(Addititional reporting by Bill Rigby, Deepa Seetharaman from Seattle, and Cynthia Johnston from Las Vegas; Writing by Steve Gorman and Eric M. Johnson; Editing by Doina Chiacu)

Recent Headlines

in Local

Storm Spotting Class In Yankton

Todd Heitkamp

We all have to take responsibility for our own safety when it comes to severe weather.

in Local

Rounds Votes No On Lynch

Rounds and Rook

Lorretta Lynch was confirmed by a 56 to 43 vote in the US Senate as the next US Attorney General.

in Local

Executive Board To Meet

state capitol pierre

The Executive Board of the South Dakota Legislature holds its first post session meeting on Monday in Pierre.

in Local

Mental Institutes in Iowa Old, But Effective

hospital hall

Four employees at the state-run Mental Health Institutes in Clarinda and Mount Pleasant testified before the Iowa Senate Oversight Committee Wednesday.

in Local

New University of Nebraska President Tours State

University_of_Nebraska-Lincoln

University of Nebraska President Hank Bounds is new to the position of heading up the university system...and new to the state.