Lone gunman kills 1, injures 5, police say


By Maria L. La Ganga, Paresh Dave and Ryan Parker

By Maria L. La Ganga, Paresh Dave and Ryan Parker

Los Angeles Times

SEATTLE (MCT) — A man in his 20s died and at least three others were hospitalized after a young man opened fire with a shotgun inside a Seattle Pacific University engineering building Thursday afternoon.

A suspect, believed to be the lone gunman, was in custody after a student official and others used pepper spray and physical force to pin him down as he reloaded the shotgun, according to Seattle Police Capt. Chris Fowler.

Harborview Medical Center said four victims had been brought to the hospital, including the man who died shortly after arrival.

A 20-year-old woman was in critical condition and undergoing surgery early Thursday evening. A 24-year-old man and a 22-year-old man suffered minor injuries were in satisfactory condition.

"Today should have been a day of celebration," Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said to a crowd of reporters at the university, whose last day of classes was to be Friday. "Instead, it's a day of tragedy and loss. Once again, the epidemic of gun loss has come to Seattle — the epidemic that has been threatening this nation."

Many students reported that the gunshots — heard throughout the building — sounded like a science experiment, maybe a helium balloon popping.

But when a student in Room 136 in Otto Miller Hall went into the hallway to check, she quickly came back and offered a terse statement, "I think someone got shot," according to Blake Oliveira, who was inside the classroom.

Oliveira, a 21-year-old studying computer science, said that he immediately sent a text message to a friend who works in the school's security department.

"Someone got shot," the message sent at 3:35 p.m. read.

"At first, I was kind of afraid, then I decided I wanted to help my classmates, so I grabbed a pipe and waited next to the door," Oliveira said. He removed his sandals in case he need to run.

He heard someone yelling at someone to calm down. Then within three minutes, he heard school security arrive and radio that they had a victim. Police eventually escorted out Oliveira's physics class, passing by pools of blood, including one Oliveira accidentally stepped in.

Brianna Clarke, 21, said the shooting cut right into her finals studying at the private, Christian university. It's located on a 40-acre campus along the ship canal in the Queen Anne area of Seattle.

Clarke described a loud gunshot, but said she couldn't hear what direction it was coming from inside Otto Miller Hall. Clarke said that she saw a friend running from the back of the building to the front and that several of the victims appeared to be seniors at the university, which has about 4,000 students.

"It's hard not to know people here. There are only 4,000 people on campus," she said. "For this to happen on a Christian campus a week before graduation, there's no good time but this is really hard. This is somewhere I was 9 to 5 everyday."

Officials have not identified any of the victims.

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