Seattle Campus Shooting Leaves One Dead, Three Injured

The epidemic of gun violence came to a small Seattle University yesterday when a lone gunman shot and killed one person and injured three others before being subdued as he paused to reload by a quick-thinking hall monitor. Other students soon joined in to prevent further mayhem. 

It seems clear that Aaron R Ybarra, 26, now in custody,  intended more harm, with additional rounds and a knife found on him. What is not at all clear is why. Police said he was not a student at the university.

According to AP:

Four people, including the young man who died, were taken to Harborview Medical Center. A critically wounded 20-year-old woman was in intensive care late Thursday after five hours in surgery, hospital spokeswoman Susan Gregg said. A 24-year-old man was hospitalized in satisfactory condition. A Seattle fire department official said the man suffered "pellet type wounds" to his neck and chest.

A 22-year-old man was treated and released, Gregg said. Police said he suffered minor injuries during the struggle with the suspect.

The shooting at Seattle Pacific University comes less than a month after Elliot Rodger killed six at University of California, Santa Barbara, then himself. But the alleged shooter in Seattle seems to have a very different profile from Rodger.

Friends and family of Ybarra told The Seattle Times they were stunned.  Zack McKinley described himself as one of Ybarra's closest friends and said he was "super happy and friendly". He also said Zbarra had just started a job bagging groceries, and was pleased about it, and had a "good group of friends."

The scene at the building where the shootings happened, just one week before the end of school, was horrific.

Per the AP:

Student Chris Howard was at Otto Miller Hall when the shooting happened. He said he saw the wounded woman on the floor being tended to by a classmate. Her chest was bloodied. Her phone was covered in blood, but she asked her helpers to look through her phone for her mother, aunt and best friend.

"She was panicking," Howard said. "She said 'I think I'm going to die.'"

Soon after, police arrived. By then the suspect had been subdued. Howard ran outside and back through the lobby where he saw the man pinned on the floor.

"The suspect was calm. Not speaking. Not moving. Not struggling. Just there," Howard said.

The private Christian university has about 4,270 undergraduate and graduate students, and a leafy 40-acre campus in a residential neighborhood. 

Other college rampages besides that of Elliot Rodger:

  • Seven people killed at Oikos University in Oakland, California in 2012 by a  43-year-old former student.
  • Five people killed and 18 injured by a gunman in a Northern Illinois University lecture hall in 2008.
  • 32 people killed at Virgina Tech in Virginia in Blacksburg in 2007.

Noting previous mass shootings in Seattle, Mayor Ed Murray told AP: "Once again the epidemic of gun violence has come to Seattle."


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