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Prosecutor: Seattle campus shooter went off meds



By Gene Johnson

SEATTLE (AP) - The gunman who killed one student and wounded two others at a small Seattle college last week had stopped taking his medications because he "wanted to feel the hate," and he detailed his plans in a handwritten journal for two weeks before the attack, a prosecutor said Tuesday.

"I just want people to die, and I'm gonna die with them!" Aaron Ybarra wrote the day of the shooting, King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg said.

Satterberg released new details of the allegations as he filed charges of first-degree murder, attempted murder and assault against Ybarra, 26. Satterberg is seeking a sentence of life in prison.

Authorities say Ybarra has been held on suicide watch without bail at the county jail since a student pepper-sprayed the gunman and ended the rampage Thursday at Seattle Pacific University.

Ybarra's lawyer, Ramona Brandes, has said her client has a long history of mental issues but is aware of the trauma caused by the shooting and is sorry. She did not immediately return a message seeking comment Tuesday.

The journal, recovered by police from Ybarra's truck, parked near the shooting, reflects Ybarra's admiration for the school shooters at Virginia Tech and Columbine High School but does not clearly explain why he targeted the Seattle college, Satterberg said.

Ybarra considered other universities - Washington State, Eastern Washington and Central Washington were mentioned - but apparently dismissed them because they were too far away, the prosecutor said.

Instead, weeks before the shooting, Ybarra took a tour of Seattle Pacific, a private Christian college in a leafy neighborhood north of downtown. He remarked on how friendly and helpful the academic counselor and students were who showed him around, Satterberg said.

During the tour, Ybarra learned the academic year would soon end, solidifying his plans, Satterberg said.

Ybarra shot Paul Lee, 19, in the back of the head with a double-barreled shotgun outside Otto Miller Hall after Lee turned to run away, according to the charging documents. Some of the birdshot pellets struck another student, Thomas Fowler, standing several feet away.

He tried to shoot a woman nearby, but the gun misfired and she escaped, a detective's probable cause statement said.

Ybarra then entered the building, encountering a man seated at a table, the statement said. Ybarra ordered the man not to disrespect him, but did not shoot, the detective wrote - instead turning the gun on student Sarah Williams, who was coming down some stairs.

Williams was severely wounded and remains hospitalized in satisfactory condition. She thanked supporters and first responders Tuesday in a statement emailed to The Associated Press.

"I know there is a lot of concern for my health and well- being, so I'd like to take this opportunity to let everybody know that I am healing and getting stronger," she wrote. "While every day brings improvement, I have a long way to go for full recovery."

Because one of the barrels of the gun had misfired, Ybarra essentially had a single-shot weapon, Satterberg said.

As Ybarra tried to reload, Jon Meis, a student building monitor, rushed out of his office, pepper-sprayed the gunman, grabbed the weapon and hid it in his office, the prosecutor said. Meis came back and helped another student hold the gunman down until police arrived.

Ybarra fired just two shots but carried nearly 50 shells and had 25 more in his truck, because he planned to kill many more people, Satterberg said. He also had a large hunting knife and planned to slit his own throat, the detective's statement said.

"In the defendant's plan to murder innocent students, he did not anticipate the courage of Jon Meis," Satterberg said. "Mr. Meis, though a reluctant and humble figure in this tragedy, undoubtedly saved many lives. He emerges from this awful crime as an example of how we all would hope we would act to confront a killer."

Ybarra gave an hour-long police interview after his arrest, saying he didn't specifically target any of the students but had a "hatred for the world in general," the probable cause statement said. He told detectives he had been diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder and transient psychosis but had stopped taking his medicine about six months earlier because he wanted to feel his hate, it said.

The standard sentencing range for the charges is 69 to 86 years in prison, but Satterberg said he is seeking an exceptional sentence under a rarely used aggravating factor: that the crime had a "destructive and foreseeable impact on persons other than the victim."

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jcbstz June 10 2014 at 9:15 PM

So folks, IF you think this is something, wait until the current generation of kids has grown p. All they know is meds.

Flag Reply +78 rate up
19 replies
American Pension June 10 2014 at 9:19 PM

I am confused? The Shooter said "he wanted people to die," and he planned to die with them. So, exactly why put the killer on "Suicide Watch?" Be understanding, and supportive. Let him fulfill his dream.

Flag Reply +69 rate up
14 replies
Amy June 10 2014 at 9:10 PM

Death penalty should be enforced here. Meds or no meds, he isn't stupid, he knows what he did was wrong. Fry this POS.

Flag Reply +57 rate up
6 replies
barbphen60 June 10 2014 at 9:14 PM

Texas has some i.v. meds that could straighten him right out.

Flag Reply +49 rate up
6 replies
cvanac8550 June 10 2014 at 10:14 PM

didn't have this in the 50's thru 70's....I could imagine myself and others being diagnosed AHDH back in the day when we were going through puberty ..hell half the class would have been on Ritlin..the way they give Psych drugs out like crazy.today ..sure so he stopped his med ..maybe the Meds were making him crazy to begin with. And guess what in the 50's- 70's we didnt have all the so called strict gun control we have now...and alot of our fathers had a rifle in the closet ..my father bought a 303 enfield for 18 bucks in the fifties out of a drum at Models-Devega in Brooklyn NY back in the fifties..now the shooter Oregon ,,probably same issue Psycho drugs....But they are always careful to say that the person stopped the meds...We don't want to upset the Prozac Pushers.......

Flag Reply +32 rate up
8 replies
Tony Joe June 10 2014 at 10:30 PM

So the NRA thinks this guy who is on meds qualifies to own a gun?
Really?

Flag Reply +30 rate up
49 replies
s2ndsight June 10 2014 at 9:11 PM

Why doesn't the author list the medications that this person was taking? Afraid of backlash from a pharmaceutical company? A lot of people, including myself, are aware that a great many anti-psychotic medications prescribe to people today can and will cause them to go COMPLETELY bonkers if they quit taking it or take it irregularly. The warning is on the label... "Increased risk of suicidal ideation." It just so happens that some people decide they want to kill themselves, but take others out with them. Plus, it becomes an opportunity to use that gun for something.

Flag Reply +27 rate up
4 replies
thefosz June 10 2014 at 11:21 PM

What a defense? He stopped taking his medications? What a crock of shxt. Just hang him.

Flag Reply +26 rate up
2 replies
aaldrew thefosz June 11 2014 at 11:01 AM

Yes

Flag Reply +2 rate up
jgesselberty thefosz June 11 2014 at 11:56 AM

If the meds were keeping him sane, and in that sane condition, he made a choice to stop taking them, then he is guilty and should die for his actions.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
debnaert June 11 2014 at 12:22 AM

HOLLYWOOD! Thanks for showing all the crazy people HOW to GET EVEN .... Hollywood the arm pit of this country! VIOLENCE .... that's all they produce anymore!

Flag Reply +23 rate up
4 replies
JTalltrees1 June 10 2014 at 10:08 PM

Hey i don't pay for bullet proof vests for murderers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Flag Reply +19 rate up
4 replies
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