Wednesday, July 30, 2014         

 Print   Email   Comment | View 17 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

Seattle shooting suspect is sorry, attorney says

By Gene Johnson & Phuong Le

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 12:13 p.m. HST, Jun 06, 2014

SEATTLE >> The attorney for a man suspected of killing one student in a shooting rampage at a small Seattle university said he's sorry for the suffering he has caused.

Public defender Ramona Brandes said Aaron R. Ybarra, 26, has long had mental health problems and is on suicide watch at the jail.

"He is cognizant of the suffering of the victims and their families and the entire Seattle Pacific community," she said. "He is sorry."

The leafy campus of the private, Christian university about 10 minutes north of downtown Seattle was quiet the morning after the shooting, with a service held at midday. People stopped by a makeshift memorial near Otto Miller Hall to pay their respects.

The gunman had just entered the science and engineering building when he opened fire in the foyer. Classes were taking place upstairs.

Ybarra, 26,  was booked into the King County Jail for investigation of homicide. He was scheduled to make an initial appearance in a jail courtroom Friday afternoon.

Ybarra had longstanding mental-health issues and has been treated and medicated in the past, his lawyer said. Brandes added she is seeking his treatment records and did not know his specific diagnosis.

Ybarra was hospitalized for mental health evaluations twice in recent years, said Pete Caw, assistant police chief in Ybarra's hometown, the Seattle suburb of Mountlake Terrace.

Officers encountered Ybarra in 2010 and 2012. Both times, he was severely intoxicated and taken to Swedish Hospital in Edmonds for evaluation, Caw said. In the October 2012 incident, police found Ybarra lying in a roadway.

He was arrested on suspicion of DUI in nearby Edmonds in 2012, said Edmonds police Sgt. Mark Marsh.

"We are so very shocked and sad over yesterday's shootings at SPU," Ybarra's family said in a statement. "We are crushed at the amount of pain caused to so many people. To the victims and their families, our prayers are with you."

Ybarra is not a student at the school, police said.

Late Thursday, investigators searched a house in the north Seattle suburb of Mountlake Terrace believed to be tied to Ybarra.

The victims included a critically wounded 19-year-old woman who remained in intensive care Friday after a five-hour surgery, as well as 24-year-old man in satisfactory condition, Gregg said. Their identities were not released.

Ybarra's friend Zack McKinley described him as "super happy and friendly," The Seattle Times reported.

McKinley said the attack was puzzling because Ybarra was happy to have just started a job bagging groceries. Ybarra could get emotionally low but had a good group of friends, McKinley said.

McDonagh said detectives are working to determine the gunman's motive or intended target.


Associated Press writers Rachel La Corte in Olympia and Manuel Valdes and Donna Gordon Blankinship in Seattle contributed to this report, along with AP news researcher Rhonda Shafner in New York.

 Print   Email   Comment | View 17 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

You must be subscribed to participate in discussions
By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. Because only subscribers are allowed to comment, we have your personal information and are able to contact you. If your comments are inappropriate, you may receive a warning, and if you persist with such comments you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email commentfeedback@staradvertiser.com.
Leave a comment

Please login to leave a comment.
Mahalo wrote:
Their always sorry after they get caught
on June 6,2014 | 12:23PM
krusha wrote:
He's probably just sorry he didn't have a gun with more bullets that didn't have to be reloaded by hand...
on June 6,2014 | 01:35PM
ryan02 wrote:
Whoever allowed this guy to get his hands on a gun should also be held responsible for the murder.
on June 6,2014 | 01:01PM
environmental_lady wrote:
Blame Congress for voting against background checks for gun buyers if he got his gun at a gun show.
on June 6,2014 | 02:31PM
Wage Earner wrote:
How can you have mental health problems, yet be "cognizant of the suffering?"
on June 6,2014 | 01:45PM
dontbelieveinmyths wrote:
This is what happens when the liberal do-gooders want to keep protecting the crazies, I mean mentally ill. From elementary school, they are handled with kid gloves. Can't give them real life or "equal" consequences because.........(I still don't know the answer). We create a culture for the mentally ill that makes them believe they are never wrong.
on June 6,2014 | 02:37PM
hikine wrote:
We make excuses for people who claim they are mentally ill because they are not at full capacity. We feel sorry for them yet we allow them to do what they want! Saying 'sorry' means he is competent and cognizant of what he did which translate to him being sane!
on June 6,2014 | 02:51PM
saywhatyouthink wrote:
Everyone that commits this type of crime claims mental illness. It should make no difference, if you purposely take lives, you should expect to have your taken as well. It's too bad they didn't shoot him with his own gun after taking him down. Save us all some time and money.
on June 6,2014 | 06:51PM
JnS wrote:
Or you could have said...this is what happens when republicans want to allow anyone and everyone to have guns with no background checks...you know, they want to protect everyone's right to bear arms, even the crazies, oh, I mean mentally ill.
on June 6,2014 | 04:04PM
dontbelieveinmyths wrote:
Have you noticed how many stabbings there have been lately? Should control the knives too? Then where does it end. Take care of the person, not the tool.
on June 6,2014 | 05:35PM
environmental_lady wrote:
Too late to be sorry. Can't bring back the dead. He did it deliberately so how can he be "sorry?"
on June 6,2014 | 03:09PM
dontbelieveinmyths wrote:
It works for Catholics. Confess, ask for forgiveness and everything is good.
on June 6,2014 | 05:37PM
saywhatyouthink wrote:
mortal crimes might not be that easy.
on June 6,2014 | 06:52PM
busterb wrote:
Hey he said I'm sorry. It's all ok now. Go along and play nicely.
on June 6,2014 | 03:54PM
primowarrior wrote:
His attorney probably advised him to show remorse, so he did. Or at least she says he did.
on June 6,2014 | 05:42PM
saywhatyouthink wrote:
Take him off suicide watch, maybe he'll do us all a favor.
on June 6,2014 | 06:47PM
sailfish1 wrote:
People who have longstanding mental health issues should be confined to a mental health hospital. This kind of person is a danger to himself and others and should not be allowed out in public
on June 6,2014 | 07:54PM
Breaking News