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Thursday, June 5, 2014

In an Update on the Shooting Investigation, Police Speak of Heroism and a Lone Gunman

Posted by on Thu, Jun 5, 2014 at 10:02 PM

An officer at Seattle Pacific University earlier today.
  • Kelly O
  • An officer at Seattle Pacific University earlier today.

Paul McDonagh, an assistant chief at the Seattle Police Department, doesn't want the actions of what he described as a lone gunman to overshadow the way people responded to today's tragedy. At a mid-evening press conference called to offer an update on the shooting investigation, McDonagh said: “The actions of the students and staff on site—those are the things that define Seattle and Seattle Pacific University.”

Though police and local media initially spoke of two suspects, McDonagh told reporters there is now only one person in custody. He's a young man, 26 years old, white, and he carried a shotgun, a knife, and extra rounds into Otto Miller Hall with him this afternoon.

Shortly after 3:20 p.m. police received the first calls for help. Patrol officers were on-scene in four minutes, followed by more officers and agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. The Seattle Fire Department activated its "multiple casualty incident response plan," and a disaster control center was activated at Harborview Medical Center.

“We have been practicing this type of thing for a long time," said Fire Department Deputy Chief Jay Hagen. "Because it seems like, unfortunately, these types of events are becoming more common.”

Medics were at the university campus by 3:30 p.m., Deputy Fire Chief Hagen said, and one minute later "had hands on" the first patient, who was at Harborview 15 minutes later. That patient appears to have been a 20-year-old male who had gunshot wounds to his upper body. Deputy Fire Chief Hagen said medics performed CPR on him at the scene, and all the way to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Another victim, a 20-year-old woman, arrived in what Deputy Fire Chief Hagen described as "very serious condition." She also had a gunshot wound to her upper body, and was headed into surgery last medics saw her. The two other victims are a 20-year-old man with what Deputy Fire Chief Hagen called "pellet-style wounds" and a 22-year-old man with "minor wounds in the abdominal region."

Assistant Police Chief McDonagh said he did not yet know how many rounds had been fired by the shooter, who is being charged with investigation of murder. He also did not yet know where the young man got his weapon, though authorities are working to trace it. "He was not a student at the school," Assistant Chief McDonagh said. "That's all I know."

Then he turned back to the response, noting that Seattle Pacific University had a well-developed plan for responding to an on-campus shooting. He traced the plan back to the tenure of former Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske, who asked all the universities and colleges in the area to work with police to come up with such contingencies.

This planning, Assistant Chief McDonagh believes, is a factor that led to a greater tragedy being averted today. Another major factor: A student described as a "building monitor" who apparently confronted the shooter not long after he entered Otto Miller Hall, using pepper spray and his own body to begin to subdue the young man. Others then jumped in to help.

“If we’re gonna find any good light in this," Assistant Chief McDonagh said, "it’s that the people around him stepped up... Regular citizens stepped up, and they tried to do the right thing, and in this case, I believe they prevented an even more horrible tragedy.”


Comments (9) RSS

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Here's the dude's facebook page linked below. Shocking, young maladjusted male. Looking at his pages, he has an interest in guns obviously, and many 'likes' of highly objectified and sexualized women. Another Elliot Rodgers? Maybe not but certainly fits the pattern of awkward young males with warped sexuality. I know it's way early in the investigation but let's just say his facebook page didn't shock me, seems to be yet another awkward young male lacking empathy.
Posted by hifiandrew on June 5, 2014 at 11:32 PM · Report this
raindrop 3
Imagine being one of his FB friends. What a weird consequence of social media.
Posted by raindrop on June 6, 2014 at 12:32 AM · Report this
@3 If your going to go to FB at least wear a condom.
Posted by Machiavelli was framed on June 6, 2014 at 1:11 AM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 5
"Because it seems like, unfortunately, these types of events are becoming more common.”

Well, actually, no, they aren't. Just because the media goes into a frenzy every time somebody gets shot these days, that doesn't mean it's happening more often. In fact, the statistics are quite clear that violent crime in this country has been dropping steadily for the last 15 years or so.

"Mass murders" remain stable at about 100 per year (where they have hovered for a long time now), but this doesn't qualify as a mass murder.

I'm tired of all the hysteria over what is actually a very small number of deaths.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty on June 6, 2014 at 2:45 AM · Report this
Ziggity 6
I can understand how tiring this must be for you, this small amount of death, this incident that terrifies and gets distorted in the public consciousness because of the seeming randomness and indiscriminate identity and number of victims. But let us worry about that. Go ahead and write off its impact on a community, you poor weary soul - because this is about you!

I just hope one day soon we can protect you from all the hysteria, since you can't protect yourself.
Posted by Ziggity on June 6, 2014 at 6:44 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 7
"...but this doesn't qualify as a mass murder."

Not for the lack of trying. Perpetrator ineptitude or no, it's still a mass shooting.
Posted by Matt from Denver on June 6, 2014 at 7:39 AM · Report this
Hernandez 8
@5 - I am so, so sorry that an innocent person's death and a terrorized community has tired you. Go ahead and keep arguing semantics in support of your "do nothing" approach.
Posted by Hernandez on June 6, 2014 at 7:56 AM · Report this
TCLballardwallymont 9

The FB page has been pulled now, but I had a glance at it last night.

It always shocks me how normal these guys look. I mean, I'm not expecting them to have horns growing from their foreheads, but I can't imagine it would be that hard for a guy who looks like that to find friends or hook up with a woman.

I hope at some point we can get some mental health initiatives going to help people like this who look normal, but are sick and getting worse on the inside.
Posted by TCLballardwallymont on June 6, 2014 at 11:37 AM · Report this
@6 @8 "Being tired" wasn't the point of @5 at all... and the person makes a good point about violent crime being down but reporting on it being up. Humans have been killing other humans for as long as we have been a species. When you track the *numbers* in recent years it is true that it has gone down. But go ahead and attack the person instead of attacking the arguement
Posted by random_guy on June 6, 2014 at 4:59 PM · Report this

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