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The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

July 11, 2014 at 1:53 PM

Police release 911 recordings from SPU shooting

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Seattle police this morning released a series of 911 calls recorded when a gunman stormed the Seattle Pacific University campus last month and shot three people, killing one.

The calls, which were released after The Seattle Times and other media filed public disclosure requests, are only a portion of the emergency calls recorded during the chaotic afternoon when authorities say Aaron Rey Ybarra opened fire on Otto Miller Hall. The other 911 calls, campus surveillance video taken during the shootings and Ybarra’s personal journal are also being sought by the media, but the disclosure is being contested in court by attorneys for Ybarra, the victims and Seattle Pacific University.

In the 11 emergency recordings released this morning, callers offer dispatchers accounts of the shootings, details about the gunman’s appearance and even one gasping caller describing being struck by gunfire.

“I think I got hit with birdshot or something in the neck,” the man says.  “I ran, away. I didn’t see if he took off or not.”

The man said he believed the gunman arrived in a white truck.

The man said he was hiding out in an engineering shop in the hall with four other people. He said someone was tending to his wounds by trying to remove the birdshot.  A person in the background can be heard telling the man he’s been shot in the face, neck and chest. At one point, the unidentified person tells the wounded man: “looks like it’s still inside you, dude.”

The wounded man told a dispatcher he saw someone else shot “directly, I believe in the chest area.”

“Apparently there were two other people hit.”

During the nearly nine-minute call the man told the dispatcher that campus security had arrived; he was ordered to stay on the phone until meeting up with Seattle police.

“They’re here,” he said about police. “They have the suspect in custody.”

Police redacted the full names and phone numbers of the callers. The man struck referred to himself as “Tom.”

Another caller described the gunman as being about 5-foot-9 and about 140 pounds.

“He had a plaid shirt on over a white shirt on,” one male caller said.

A female caller with a panicked voice told a dispatcher: “I’m at Seattle Pacific University. There’s a man with a gun and he’s shot a child in the head.”

In the days after the shooting, Seattle police released other 911 recordings from the shooting.

Ybarra, 26, of Mountlake Terrace, has pleaded not guilty to one count of premeditated first-degree murder, three counts of attempted first-degree murder and one count of second-degree assault. All of the charges carry firearms allegations that could increase the sentences.

Ybarra is accused of walking into Otto Miller Hall on June 5 and shooting the three students with a shotgun before he was tackled by 22-year-old student Jon Meis while he paused to reload. In addition to the shotgun, police say, Ybarra was armed with a hunting knife and carried more than 50 rounds of ammunition.

Killed was student Paul Lee, 19, of Portland. Wounded were Sarah Williams, 19, of Phoenix; and Thomas Fowler Jr., 24, of Seattle.



Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: school shooting, Seattle Pacific University, Seattle Police Department


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