Heroic students helped stop gunman at Seattle university

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Heroic students helped stop gunman at Seattle university
Shooting suspect Aaron Ybarra, left, is led in chains to a court hearing at a King County Jail courtroom Friday, June 6, 2014, in Seattle. Ybarra was arrested in the killing of a 19-year-old student and wounding of two other young people Thursday at Seattle Pacific University. Police say Jon Meis and other students subdued Ybarra until officers arrived and handcuffed him moments later. Meis, the 22-year-old building monitor, pepper-sprayed and tackled the gunman Thursday in Seattle Pacific University's Otto Miller Hall, likely preventing further carnage, according to police and university officials. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Defense attorney Ramona Brandes, left, leans across to speak with shooting suspect Aaron Ybarra at a hearing in a King County Jail courtroom Friday, June 6, 2014, in Seattle. Ybarra was arrested in the killing of a 19-year-old student and wounding of two other young people Thursday at Seattle Pacific University. Police say another student pepper-sprayed and tackled him. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
SEATTLE, WA - JUNE 05: Seattle Police and first responders work the crime scene after a shooting at Seattle Pacific University on June 5, 2014 in Seattle, Washington. A gunman is in custody after four people were shot on campus resulting in one death. (Photo by Mat Hayward/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - JUNE 05: Seattle Police officers secure the crime scene after a shooting at Seattle Pacific University on June 5, 2014 in Seattle, Washington. A gunman is in custody after four people were shot on campus resulting in one death. (Photo by Mat Hayward/Getty Images)
Students from Seattle Pacific University gather outside in a spontaneous prayer circle after a church service was full, following a shooting on the campus of the university Thursday, June 5, 2014, in Seattle. A lone gunman armed with a shotgun opened fire in a building on the campus, killing one person before he was subdued by a student as he tried to reload, police said. Police say the student building monitor at the university disarmed the gunman and several other students held him until police arrived at the Otto Miller building. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Students and faculty pray together following a shooting on the campus of Seattle Pacific University Thursday, June 5, 2014, in Seattle. Seattle police now say there are four victims in a shooting and say one suspect is in custody. Police say one man and one woman have life-threatening injuries while another man and another woman are reported in stable condition.(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Detectives wait outside a home believed to be tied to Aaron R. Ybarra, who was arrested Thursday, June 5, 2014 following a shooting at Seattle Pacific University in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Seattle Police officers walk past a home believed to be tied to Aaron R. Ybarra, who was arrested Thursday, June 5, 2014 following a shooting at Seattle Pacific University in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
A police officer stands near the scene of a shooting on the campus of Seattle Pacific University Thursday, June 5, 2014, in Seattle. A lone gunman armed with a shotgun opened fire in Otto Miller Hall, hidden behind the vehicle at left, on the campus, killing one person before he was subdued by a student as he tried to reload, police said. Police say the student building monitor at Seattle Pacific University disarmed the gunman and several other students held him until police arrived at the Otto Miller building. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Television videographers and other media wait for a briefing at the scene of a shooting Thursday, June 5, 2014, at Seattle Pacific University in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
A Seattle Police SWAT team officer strings police tape at the scene of a shooting Thursday, June 5, 2014, at Seattle Pacific University in Seattle. A lone gunman armed with a shotgun opened fire in a building at the small university, killing one person before he was subdued by a student as he tried to reload, police said. Police say the student building monitor disarmed the gunman and several other students held him until police arrived at the Otto Miller building. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Young people are escorted past police following a shooting on the campus of Seattle Pacific University on Thursday, June 5, 2014, in Seattle. A lone gunman armed with a shotgun opened fire in a building at the small university, killing one person before he was subdued by a student as he tried to reload, police said. Police say the student building monitor disarmed the gunman and several other students held him until police arrived at the Otto Miller building. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Seattle Police SWAT officers run toward a campus building following a shooting at Seattle Pacific University on Thursday, June 5, 2014, in Seattle. A lone gunman armed with a shotgun opened fire Thursday in a building at the small Seattle university, killing one person before he was subdued by a student as he tried to reload, police said. Police say the student building monitor disarmed the gunman and several other students held him until police arrived at the Otto Miller building. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Students and faculty pray together following a shooting on the campus of Seattle Pacific University Thursday, June 5, 2014, in Seattle. Seattle police say there are four victims in a shooting and say one suspect is in custody. Police say one man and one woman have life-threatening injuries while another man and another woman are reported in stable condition.(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
A Seattle Police SWAT team officer walks with his gun and a roll of police tape at the scene of a shooting Thursday, June 5, 2014 at Seattle Pacific University in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Seattle Police SWAT officers stand near a campus building following a shooting at Seattle Pacific University on Thursday, June 5, 2014, in Seattle. A lone gunman armed with a shotgun opened fire in a building at the small university, killing one person before he was subdued by a student as he tried to reload, police said. Police say the student building monitor disarmed the gunman and several other students held him until police arrived at the Otto Miller building. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Brianna Clarke, left, cries as she talks on her phone while Erin Rutledge, right, an athletic trainer at Seattle Pacific University, is hugged by a colleague, at the scene of a shooting Thursday, June 5, 2014 at Seattle Pacific University in Seattle. About 4,270 students attend the private Christian university, located in a residential neighborhood about 10 minutes from downtown Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Map locates Seattle, where a gunman opened fire on the campus of Seattle Pacific University.; 1c x 2 1/2 inches; 46.5 mm x 63 mm;
A Seattle Police SWAT team officer strings police tape at the scene of a shooting Thursday, June 5, 2014 at Seattle Pacific University in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Brianna Clarke, a student at Seattle Pacific University, cries as she talks on her phone at the scene of a shooting Thursday, June 5, 2014 at Seattle Pacific University in Seattle. About 4,270 students attend the private Christian university, located in a residential neighborhood about 10 minutes from downtown Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Medical workers stow an used backboard at the scene of a shooting Thursday, June 5, 2014 at Seattle Pacific University in Seattle. About 4,270 students attend the private Christian university, located in a residential neighborhood about 10 minutes from downtown Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
A Seattle Police SWAT team officer walks with his gun and a roll of police tape at the scene of a shooting Thursday, June 5, 2014 at Seattle Pacific University in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Students help each other as they walk away from the scene of a shooting Thursday, June 5, 2014, at Seattle Pacific University in Seattle. Police say a university student on Thursday disarmed a lone gunman who entered a building and shot four people. A hospital spokeswoman says one man has died and three other people are injured, one critically. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Medical and police officers walk at the scene of a shooting Thursday, June 5, 2014, at Seattle Pacific University in Seattle. Police say a university student on Thursday disarmed a lone gunman who entered a building and shot four people. A hospital spokeswoman says one man has died and three other people are injured, one critically. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Students and faculty pray together following a shooting on the campus of Seattle Pacific University Thursday, June 5, 2014, in Seattle. Seattle police said there are four victims in a shooting and have one suspect in custody. Police say one man and one woman have life-threatening injuries while another man and another woman are reported in stable condition.(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
City officials, including Mayor Ed Murray, third from right, and interim police chief Harry Bailey, second from right, walk at the scene of a shooting Thursday, June 5, 2014 at Seattle Pacific University in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
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By MANUEL VALDES and PHUONG LE

SEATTLE (AP) -- When a lone gunman armed with a shotgun at a small Seattle university stopped firing at students to reload, another student pepper-sprayed him and subdued him with the help of others and prevented more deaths, police said.

"There are a number of heroes in this," Assistant Police Chief Paul McDonagh said. "The people around (the gunman) stepped up."

A 19-year-old man was fatally shot and two other young people were wounded after the gunman entered the foyer at Otto Miller Hall on the Seattle Pacific University campus and started shooting Thursday afternoon. When he paused to reload, a student building monitor disarmed him. The gunman had additional rounds and a knife, McDonagh said.

"But for the great response by the people of Seattle Pacific, this incident might have been much more tragic," he said.

The man in custody was not a student at the school, McDonagh told a news conference.

Four people, including the young man who died, were taken to Harborview Medical Center. A critically wounded 19-year-old woman remained in intensive care Friday, according to the hospital. A 24-year-old man was in satisfactory condition. A 22-year-old man injured in the struggled with the suspect was treated and released, officials said.

None of the victims was immediately identified.

Aaron R. Ybarra, 26, was booked into the King County Jail late Thursday for investigation of homicide, according to police and the jail roster.

Also late Thursday, police who said they were serving a warrant entered a house believed tied to Ybarra. A phone message left at that house in the north Seattle suburb of Mountlake Terrace was not immediately returned.

Messages left with friends and relatives of Ybarra via social media were not immediately returned.

The Seattle Times reported that the suspect's father, Ambrose Ybarra, said he did not know anything about the shooting.

"We just hope he's safe," he told the newspaper. "It's upsetting to have these accusations thrown around. We're in emergency mode. We are trying to stay calm."

The paper said Zack McKinley described himself as one of Ybarra's closest friends and said he was "super happy and friendly."

McKinley said the attack was puzzling because Ybarra was happy to have just started a job bagging groceries. Ybarra could get emotionally low, but McKinley said he had a good group of friends and never saw him depressed.

Student Chris Howard was at Otto Miller Hall when the shooting happened. He said he saw the wounded woman on the floor. Her phone was covered in blood, but she asked those helping her 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.'"

Howard said he also saw the suspect pinned on the floor.

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

The shooting came a week before the end of the school year.

McDonagh said detectives are working as quickly as they can to figure out the gunman's motive or intended target. He said it appears the suspect acted alone.

The university locked down its campus for several hours. Some students were taking finals in the building that the shooter entered.

On Thursday evening, an overflow crowd packed the First Free Methodist Church on campus for a service of prayers and song. The private Christian university cancelled classes Friday and planned to hold a service of "prayer, lament and worship" at noon.

"We're a community that relies on Jesus Christ for strength, and we'll need that at this point in time," said Daniel Martin, university president.

The school's 40-acre campus is in a leafy residential neighborhood about 10 minutes from downtown Seattle.

Jillian Smith was taking a math test on the second floor of Otto Miller Hall when a lockdown was ordered.

She heard police yelling and banging on doors in the hallway. The professor locked the classroom door the students lined up at the front of the classroom.

"We were pretty much freaking out," said Smith, 20, a sophomore.

Smith said she saw bullet casings and what appeared to be blood on the lobby carpet and wall as she left the building.

"Seeing blood made it real," Smith said. "I didn't think something like this would happen at our school."

The gun violence follows a spate of recent shootings on or near college campuses.

Last month, Elliot Rodger killed six people and injured seven before turning his gun on himself in a rampage in Isla Vista, California, near two universities, according to police.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, noting previous mass shootings in the city, said: "Once again the epidemic of gun violence has come to Seattle."

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