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