The defense attorney representing the man accused of opening fire on the Seattle Pacific University campus last month, killing one man and injuring a woman and another man, is asking a judge to ban the release of all surveillance videos and 911 recordings related to the event to the media. She is also seeking to bar the release of alleged gunman Aaron Ybarra’s personal journal.
Ramona Brandes emailed a copy of her motion to The Seattle Times this morning. According to her motion, release of the recordings from June 5, sought under the state Public Disclosure Act, would violate Aaron Ybarra’s state and federal constitutional rights. The Seattle Times as well all four local television news stations filed public records requests with The Seattle Police Department. The news stations filed additional requests with the King County Prosecutor’s Office.
In her filing, Brandes wrote that the release of the surveillance videos, 911 calls and journal would “substantially and irreparably damage vital governmental functions.”
Ybarra, 26, has been charged with one count of murder, two counts of attempted first-degree murder and one count of second-degree assault.
On the afternoon of June 5, Ybarra allegedly walked into Otto Miller Hall on the SPU campus and shot the three students before he paused to reload and was tackled by a fourth student, according to charging documents. In addition to the shotgun, police say, he was armed with a hunting knife and carried more than 50 rounds of ammunition.
Killed was student Paul Lee, 19, of Portland, who died at Harborview Medical Center. Wounded were Sarah Williams, 19, of Phoenix; and Thomas Fowler Jr., 24, of Seattle.
During a news conference after Ybarra’s arrest, King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg said Ybarra kept a journal during the two weeks before the shootings. In it, he “expresses admiration for perpetrators of mass violence at Columbine High School and Virginia Tech,” he said. Police found the journal in a pickup he parked near Otto Miller Hall.
Satterberg said the writings in Ybarra’s journal suggest he considered targeting other universities, including Washington State University, Central Washington University and Eastern Washington University, before picking SPU for his attack.