SEATTLE (AP) — A lone gunman armed with a shotgun and knife opened fire Thursday in a building at a small Seattle university, fatally wounding one person before a student subdued him with pepper spray as he tried to reload, police said.
A student building monitor at Seattle Pacific University disarmed the gunman after he entered the foyer at Otto Miller Hall, and several other students jumped on top of him and pinned him down until police officers arrived, police said. A 19-year-old man died at Harborview Medical Center.
Three other people were hospitalized. A critically injured 20-year-old woman was taken to surgery, hospital spokeswoman Susan Gregg said. A 24-year-old man and a 22-year-old man were in satisfactory condition. Gregg says one of those two men was not shot.
None of the victims was immediately identified. At a news conference Thursday night, Assistant Police Chief Paul McDonagh said the suspect in custody was a white male “approximately 26 years of age” who was not a student at the school.
McDonagh said his name would not be released until he’s booked into jail for investigation of murder.The afternoon shooting came a week before the end of the school year, and the situation was particularly tense when police initially reported that they were searching for a second suspect. They later said no one else was involved.
The university locked down its campus for several hours, and it alerted students and staff to stay inside. Some students were taking finals in the same building that the shooter entered.
“We’re a community that relies on Jesus Christ for strength, and we’ll need that at this point in time,” said Daniel Martin, president of Seattle Pacific University.
On Thursday evening, people packed the First Free Methodist Church on campus for a service of prayers and song. So many people crowded into the building that dozens of people gathered on a lawn near the church and formed their own groups as the sun set.
About 4,270 undergraduate and graduate students attend the private Christian university. Its 40-acre campus is in a leafy residential neighborhood about 10 minutes from downtown Seattle. The school canceled classes and other activities Friday.