Aaron R. Ybarra, the man police say opened fire with a shotgun yesterday at Seattle Pacific University, killing one and wounding two, was reportedly obsessed with school shootings, in particular the one at Columbine High School.
KIRO in Seattle reports that Ybarra even visited the Colorado school, where two high school students killed 15 and wounded 21 in April 1999. Ybarra also "liked" a Facebook page dedicated to "guns and snipers," according to the Seattle Times.
Zack McKinley, who told the Seattle Times that he was close friends with Ybarra, said he was shocked by the Ybarra's alleged involvement.
"I'm blown away by this,'' he said, adding that Ybarra had just gotten a new job a few weeks ago. "He called me yesterday and asked if I wanted to go fishing."
The shooting took place during the second-to-last day of classes at Seattle Pacific University. According to police, Ybarra walked into Otto Miller Hall just after 3 pm local time and opened fire on three students. One, a 19-year-old man, later died at Harborview Medical Center, where another victim, a 20-year-old woman, remains in critical condition. A third victim, a 24-year-old male, sustained "pellet type wounds" to his neck and chest and is in satisfactory condition at the hospital.
Ybarra was reloading his shotgun when a student security guard, identified by fellow students as Jon Meis, tackled him.
"The shooter began to reload his shotgun and the student building monitor inside the hall confronted the shooter and was able to subdue the individual," Capt. Chris Fowler said at a press confernce. "Once on the ground, other students jumped on top of them and they were able to pin the shooter to the ground until police arrived."
Students and police said the situation could have been worse if not for the response of Meis and others.
"This story is not about an evil act but about the people that actually lived through this scenario and assisted each other when things were pretty tragic," said Seattle police Assistant Chief Paul McDonagh, according to CNN.
[Image via AP]