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 Sports

WSU’s Leach looking to build on last year’s bowl game

Updated
Washington State Head Coach Mike Leach takes questions at the 2014 Pac-12 NCAA college football media days at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles Wednesday, July 23, 2014.

The Cougars return eight starters, including school record setting, senior quarterback Connor Halliday, from a 6-and-7 campaign last season.

in Local Sports

USC’s Sarkisian happy for the University of Washington

Southern California head coach Steve Sarkisian takes questions at the Pac-12 NCAA college football media days at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles, Wednesday, July 23, 2014.

USC's Sarkisian on the Huskies: "I can honestly say I'll be rooting for them this fall."

in Local Sports

Colon overpowers Seattle in New York’s 3-2 win

Updated
New York Mets starting pitcher Bartolo Colon throws against the Seattle Mariners in the first inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, July 23, 2014 in Seattle.

Colon came within seven outs of a perfect game giving up a single to Robinson Cano with two outs in the seventh inning. Mariners drop series to Mets and have gone just 2-and-4 since the All-Star break.

in Local Sports

Oregon picked to win Pac-12 in preseason poll

pac 12 logo

The Washington Huskies and Washington State Cougars were picked to finish 3rd and 5th respectively in the North Division.

in Sports

Kansas City Chiefs, running back Jamaal Charles reach deal

Updated
Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles (25) runs the ball against the Denver Broncos in the second quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013, in Denver.

The six-year NFL veteran ran for 1,287 yards and 12 touchdowns last year as the Chiefs reached the playoffs.