A lone gunman armed with a shotgun opened fire Thursday in a building at Seattle Pacific University, wounding multiple people before a student subdued him with pepper spray as he tried to reload, police said.
The 26-year-old gunman, Aaron Ybarra, was obsessed with the Columbine High School shootings and had even traveled to the Colorado site where two student gunmen killed 15 and injured another 21 fellow students in April 1999, police sources told Seattle TV station KIRO.
Ybarra was not a student at SPU where the shootings happened about 3:25 p.m. Thursday. In a statement Thursday night, police said they had "not found any connection between the suspect, Seattle Pacific University or any of the victims."
Police say a student building monitor at SPU disarmed the gunman and several other students jumped on top of him and pinned him down until police arrived at the Otto Miller building.
Fellow students identified that student as Jon Meis, though police have not confirmed Meis’ name. An assistant chief said Thursay night there were several people who helped stop the shooter.
That confusion with a student trying to disarm the gunman was what led to an early police alert about a second shooter, a source told KIRO.
A 19-year-old man died at the hospital and a woman in her 20s was taken to surgery in critical condition, Harborview Medical Center spokeswoman Susan Gregg said. Friends identified her as Sarah Williams, an SPU student.
A 24-year-old man and a 22-year-old man were in satisfactory condition. They were not immediately identified.
- Four people shot, one dead, after Seattle Pacific University shooting
- Lone gunman had visited Columbine High School and wanted to shoot up a school, police said.
- Suspect, Aaron Ybarra, 26, was not a student at the university.
- Second young man tried to take gun away from shooter.
- School is about 10 min. from downtown Seattle with about 4,000 students.
- This is the first Seattle school shooting since April 2007.