Photo by Shane Harms
Officers at SPU after the shooting.

Shooting at Seattle Pacific University: one student killed, three injured

June 5 – Thursday afternoon around 2 p.m., a lone gunman armed with a shotgun opened fire on students at Seattle Pacific University’s Otto Miller Hall (Northeast corner of West Nickerson Street and Third Avenue West), killing one student, and injuring three others, according to Seattle Police.

While the suspect was reloading, SPD reported that a campus student security officer subdued the suspect with pepper spray and then other students jump on top of the suspect to pin him. SPD reported the shooter is in custody.

Seattle emergency medical teams rushed the four wound individuals to Harborview Medical Center (HMC), the only trauma center in Seattle that handles level-one-trauma injuries.

According to a HMC spokes person said one 20 -year-old male died at the hospital; a 22-year-old woman was rushed into surgery; and the other two victims, both males ages 22 and 24, were treated for their injuries.

SPU campus was placed on lock down for 90 minutes after the shooting according to their website. SPD SWAT scoured the area initially looking for a second suspect. It was later confirmed by SPD that there was only one shooter.

"The shooter began to reload his shotgun and a student that is the building monitor inside the hall confronted the shooter, was able to subdue the individual, and once on the ground, other students jumped on top of him and were able to pin the shooter to the ground until police arrived," said Seattle Police Capt. Chris Fowler.

SPD has not released the details of the shooter and whether or not he was a student at SPU.

At 7 p.m. there was a vigil held for the victims and students filled First Free Methodist Church to capacity. As students entered the church campus officials handed out crisis and trauma pamphlets to students. Turned away students were told they could watch the vigil on the church website, but many of them gathered in the grass of Tiffany Loop at the center of campus. They congregated and prayed there into the night.

SPU students
Photo by Shane Harms

“Today should have been a day of celebration at the end of the school year here at Seattle Pacific University, instead it’s a day of tragedy and of loss. Once again the epidemic of gun violence has come to Seattle, the epidemic of gun violence that has haunted this nation. I want to thank the first responders that responded so quickly – the police department, the fire department, the federal agencies -- and I want to thank the students and the staff for responding so quickly. But friends, we have been here before -- Café Racer, the shootings on Capital Hill, the shootings at the Jewish Federation -- this is a tragic moment for Seattle and a tragic moment for America once again. Our prayers and our thoughts are with the families and with the entire community of the Seattle Pacific University Community.

Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle, released this statement following news of a shooting.

“My thoughts and prayers are with the victims, families, students and staff at Seattle Pacific University. Of course we don’t have a lot of information right now, but it is appalling yet another shooting has taken place, and shocking it has happened in our neighborhood.

“I commend the first responders who are at the scene and have taken care of the victims and students, and thank the law enforcement who quickly apprehended the suspect. People come to the city of Seattle and the 36th District for the strong sense of community, and I trust this will get us through such a horrific event.”

Seattle Pacific University is a private Christian college and has an enrollment of around 4,000 students. It is located across the Lake Washington Ship Canal south of Ballard in Queen Anne.

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