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June 6, 2014 at 7:07 AM

2 remain hospitalized after Thursday’s shooting at SPU

A memorial on the SPU campus. (Photo by Jack Broom / The Seattle Times)

A memorial on the SPU campus. (Photo by Jack Broom / The Seattle Times)

UPDATE, 3:12 p.m.: The 19-year-old woman has been upgraded from critical to serious condition, according to Harborview Medical Center. She is now breathing on her own and conscious. The 24-year-old man remains in satisfactory condition.

ORIGINAL POST: Two people remain in a Seattle hospital after Thursday’s shooting at Seattle Pacific University.

Harborview Medical Center says a 20-year-old woman remains in critical but stable condition in the intensive care unit. She underwent a five-hour surgery. A 24-year-old man is in satisfactory condition.

A 19-year-old man died Thursday after arriving at the hospital.

A gunman opened fire at Otto Miller Hall on Thursday afternoon, but was subdued by John Meis, a 22-year-old SPU student, while he reloaded his gun. Meis had minor injuries from fighting with the suspect, and was treated Thursday and released.

A sign today on the Seattle Pacific University. (Jack Broom / The Seattle Times)

A sign today on the Seattle Pacific University. (Jack Broom / The Seattle Times)

Seattle Pacific University President Daniel Martin this morning said the top priority today is caring for those most directly impacted by the shooting, but attention then will be given to a review of the school’s safety measures.

“We’ll review the policies and procedures that we have in place, reviewing any gaps that we may have had yesterday in our response,” he said. Martin said drills are held through the school year on how to circulate text messages in an emergency to trigger an evacuation or lockdown.

Martin said he was heartened by the actions of the student monitor who stopped the gunman.

Martin said that among the students he has talked to, “I’m hearing a lot of hurt, a lot of sorrow, a lot of compassion and caring for their classmates, but also a thankfulness, and a grounding in our faith that provides us support and sustenance.”

A prayer service was held at noon Friday at the First Free Methodist Church alongside campus. Classes have been canceled.

Laying a bouquet of flowers against the base of a tree outside Otto Miller Hall, where the incident occurred, a university staffer said the damage done by the shooter will not heal quickly.

“I’m still pretty much in shock,” said Jenn Carreto, 30, who works in the college’s financial service office.

“We’re a tight-knit community here, and this has pierced our sense of security and safety. … No explanation will change that,” she said. She said the best thing those connected with the school can do now is to express care and concern for each other, “and, in time, maybe we’ll get some comfort from that.”

In the middle of the bouquets, a card signed simply by Diane, of Tacoma, said, “We love you. We care.”

Nearby, yellow police crime-scene tape continued to seal off entrances to the building.

SPU sophomore Jordan DeLaney, 20, makes notes in her journal. "I'm here to pay my respects," DeLaney said.

SPU sophomore Jordyn DeLaney, 20, makes notes in her journal. “I’m here to pay my respects,” DeLaney said. (Photo by Jack Broom / The Seattle Times)

Across the street from the memorial, sophomore Jordyn DeLaney, 20, sat making notes in her journal.

“I’m here to pay my respects,” said DeLaney, who arrived about 6:30 a.m.

“I’ve never questioned my safety once on this campus,” she said, adding that she expects to continue feeling that way, and is drawing strength from knowing it was an SPU student who stopped the gunman.

“A real evil presence passed through here yesterday, but I believe there is hope,” she said. Her thoughts go out to the parents of the student who died.

Several students interviewed on campus this morning said they are shaken now, but believe their sense of safety will return as time passes.

Among them was Annalise Alphenaar, 19, a freshman who came here from Michigan because she wanted to attend a Christian school strong in liberal arts and with a fashion program.

“I’m going to be paranoid for a while, but it doesn’t make me think, oh, I’ve got to go back to Michigan. Something like this could happen anywhere,” she said.

Political-science professor Ruth Ediger, who has been on the SPU faculty for 12 years, said the university has been holding lockdown drills for about four years.

“You do the drills and they can be kind of a pain, and you hope you’ll never need it,” she said. “But in this case what we do in the drills is exactly what we needed.”

She was in a teleconference in the school library — in a windowless conference room she figures is one of the safest places on campus — when word of the lockdown came as a text message to a school staffer helping to facilitate the conference. Soon, about 30 students were brought into the room for safety. About an hour and a half passed before they could leave, she said.

SPU junior Jon Heddles, 20, who stopped by the growing memorial this morning, said he’s comforted by the outpouring of concern and affection circulating in texts, messages and gatherings since the shooting.

“We are drawing closer together than we have ever been before,” he said.

Another student, Jaime Fazio, said, “I’m still in shock. Trying to comprehend it is really hard.”

She said students are seeking comfort and consolation in prayer. “We’re relying on God,” she said. “He is our hope and he is going to get us through this.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Comments | More in General news, The Blotter | Topics: memorial, SPU shooting

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