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, and the 20 or so students sat on the ground, lining up at the front of the classroom.
“We were pretty much freaking out,” said Smith, 20, a sophomore. “People were texting family and friends, making sure everyone was OK.”
About 45 minutes later, police came and escorted them out of the building two by two, she said. On the way, they passed the lobby where she saw bullet casings and what appeared to be blood in the lobby carpet and splatter on the wall.
“Seeing blood made it real,” Smith said. “I didn’t think something like this would happen at our school.”
Ashley Springer, 26, was in a classroom with her professor and a few other students when a woman with a bullhorn came into the room and told them to lock the door, pull down the shades and turn out the lights.
Springer, a senior, called Seattle Pacific University “a really close community.”
David Downs, a 22-year-old senior who is graduating next week, said he left campus 30 minutes before the shooting.
“I’m in utter shock,” said Downs, who is a point guard on the university’s basketball team. “It’s so unbelievable to me that this could happen on our campus. It’s the last thing I would have ever thought could happen here.”
“It puts things in perspective,” he said. “Anything can happen, even on a small Christian campus.”
The gun violence follows a spate of recent shootings on or near college campuses. Last month, according to police, Elliot Rodger killed six people and injured seven before turning his gun on himself in a rampage in Isla Vista, California, near two universities.
Seven people were killed and three injured when a 43-year-old former student opened fire at a tiny Christian school, Oikos University, in Oakland, California, in 2012.
A gunman killed five people and injured 18 when he opened fire in a Northern Illinois University lecture hall in 2008. In 2007, 32 people were fatally shot in a dorm and classroom at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, before the gunman killed himself.
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, noting previous mass shootings in the city, said: “Once again the epidemic of gun violence has come to Seattle.”