On Thursday afternoon, a lone gunman armed with a shotgun and clad in a black hooded sweater, skater sneakers, and jeans opened fire on Seattle’s Pacific University campus killing one 19-year-old man and wounding two others. The gunman was not a student at the University.
When the gunman, identified as 26-year-old Aaron R. Ybarra, stopped to reload and continue his carnage, a student at the campus, 22-year-old Jon Meis, who was acting as a student building monitor at the time, saw his chance and pepper-sprayed him and with the help of others, tackled him to the ground. Meis’s heroic actions may have saved countless others as the gunman had extra ammunition and seemed intent on continuing his shooting spree.
Students scrambled for cover and the school went into lockdown as a result of the violence. Police took Ybarra into custody and booked him into King County Jail where he was questioned. A search warrant was issued for his home as well. No motive was given for the shootings, but it was found that Ybarra intended to kill as many people as he could before turning his shotgun on himself.
According to authorities, Ybarra does not have a violent criminal past, although he does have a DUI and driving without vehicle insurance.
There was no forewarning that the gunman intended to carry out his attack. Ybarra had recently gotten a new job bagging groceries and cleaning a store, and is described by his friends as having an upbeat personality.
© 2014, ↑ Alaska Native News
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