A man described by police as a disgruntled former employee of the Hillel UW student center in the University District was arrested this afternoon after he threatened to blow up the building, according to Seattle police.
At 1:45 p.m., employees at the Karen Mayers Gamoran Family Center for Jewish Life at 4745 17th Ave. N.E. contacted police and said the former employee had threatened to mix toxic chemicals to cause an explosion, police said.
The man, reportedly a former maintenance worker, then headed for a supply closet, mixed ammonia and bleach together, and inhaled the fumes, according to police.
Employees evacuated the building and informed police the man may also be armed with a knife, according to police. A police SWAT team found the suspect in the building’s basement just before 3 p.m.
Police have closed off traffic along 16th Avenue Northeast and 17th Avenue Northeast along Northeast 50th Street during the investigation.
The man, who reportedly has a history of suicide attempts, was taken to Harborview Medical Center to be evaluated.
Hillel UW employee Dylan Siegal, 20, called the center a welcoming place where everyone got along well.
“I can’t think of anyone who would have done this,” Siegal said.