‘Heroes’ helped stop gunman at Seattle university

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Seattle Pacific University students are lead out of the crime scene area after a shooting occurred on the university’s campus Thursday, June 5, 2014, in Seattle. The university posted online Thursday that “the campus is in lockdown due to a shooting near Otto Miller Hall.” (AP Photo/The Seattle Times, Dean Rutz) SEATTLE OUT; USA TODAY OUT; MAGS OUT; TELEVISION OUT; NO SALES; MANDATORY CREDIT TO BOTH THE SEATTLE TIMES AND THE PHOTOGRAPHER

Seattle Pacific University students are lead out of the crime scene area after a shooting occurred on the university’s campus Thursday, June 5, 2014, in Seattle. The university posted online Thursday that “the campus is in lockdown due to a shooting near Otto Miller Hall.” (AP Photo/The Seattle Times, Dean Rutz) SEATTLE OUT; USA TODAY OUT; MAGS OUT; TELEVISION OUT; NO SALES; MANDATORY CREDIT TO BOTH THE SEATTLE TIMES AND THE PHOTOGRAPHER

Following the lift of a lockdown in the wake of a school shooting, Seattle Pacific University students pray together Thursday, June 5, 2014, on the campus of Seattle Pacific University in Seattle, Wash. A gunman fatally wounded one young man and seriously injured a 20-year-old woman before being disarmed by a student worker at the small college. Three men and one woman were injured in the shooting, which started at 3:25 p.m. on SPU’s Queen Anne neighborhood campus. One of the victims, a man in his 20s, died after being rushed to a hospital. (AP Photo/seattlepi.com, Jordan Stead)

Brianna Clarke, a student at Seattle Pacific University, cries as she talks on her phone at the scene of a shooting Thursday, June 5, 2014 at Seattle Pacific University in Seattle. About 4,270 students attend the private Christian university, located in a residential neighborhood about 10 minutes from downtown Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Dan Martin, left, President of Seattle Pacific University, speaks at a prayer service at the First Free Methodist Church Thursday, June 5, 2014 at Seattle Pacific University in Seattle, where a shooting took place Thursday afternoon.(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Students from Seattle Pacific University gather outside in a spontaneous prayer circle after a church service was full, following a shooting on the campus of the university Thursday, June 5, 2014, in Seattle. A lone gunman armed with a shotgun opened fire in a building on the campus, killing one person before he was subdued by a student as he tried to reload, police said. Police say the student building monitor at the university disarmed the gunman and several other students held him until police arrived at the Otto Miller building. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

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SEATTLE (AP) — When a lone gunman armed with a shotgun at a small Seattle university stopped firing at students to reload, another student pepper-sprayed him and subdued him with the help of others and prevented more deaths, police said.

“There are a number of heroes in this,” Assistant Police Chief Paul McDonagh said. “The people around him (the gunman) stepped up.”

A 19-year-old man was fatally shot and two other young people were wounded after the gunman entered the foyer at Otto Miller Hall on the Seattle Pacific University campus and started shooting Thursday afternoon. When he paused to reload, a student building monitor disarmed him. The gunman had additional rounds and a knife, McDonagh said.

“But for the great response by the people of Seattle Pacific, this incident might have been much more tragic,” he said.

The man in custody was not a student at the school, McDonagh told a news conference.

Four people, including the young man who died, were rushed to Harborview Medical Center. A critically wounded 20-year-old woman was in intensive care late Thursday night after about five hours in surgery, hospital spokeswoman Susan Gregg said. A 24-year-old man was hospitalized in satisfactory condition. A Seattle Fire Department official said the man suffered “pellet type wounds” to his neck and chest.

A 22-year-old man was treated and released, Gregg said. Police said he suffered minor injuries during the struggle with the suspect.

None of the victims was immediately identified.

Aaron R. Ybarra, 26, was booked into the King County Jail late Thursday for investigation of homicide, according to police and the jail roster.

Also late Thursday, police who said they were serving a warrant entered a house that was believed tied to Ybarra. A phone message left at that house in the north Seattle suburb of Mountlake Terrace was not immediately returned.

Messages left with friends and relatives of Ybarra via social media were not immediately returned.

Student Chris Howard was at Otto Miller Hall when the shooting happened. He said he saw the wounded young woman on the floor being tended to by a classmate. Her chest was bloodied. Her phone was covered in blood, but she asked her helpers to look through her phone for her mother, aunt and best friend.

“She was panicking,” Howard said. “She said ‘I think I’m going to die.’”

Soon after, police arrived. By then the suspect had been subdued. Howard ran outside and back through the lobby where he saw the man pinned on the floor.

“The suspect was calm. Not speaking. Not moving. Not struggling. Just there,” Howard said.

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.

“It appears the suspect acted alone,” McDonagh said.

He said he did not know the gunman’s motive or intended target. Detectives are “working as quickly as we can to figure it out,” McDonagh said.

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.

Both the young man who died and the young woman suffered gunshot wounds to the body, Seattle Fire Assistant Chief Jay Hagen told the news conference.

On Thursday evening, people packed the First Free Methodist Church

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