Accused SPU shooter’s journal: ‘I just want people to die’

SEATTLE — Aaron Rey Ybarra, the Mountlake Terrace man accused in last week’s deadly shotgun rampage at Seattle Pacific University, told police he stopped taking medication for mental health issues because he “wanted to feel his hate,” according to charging documents filed Tuesday.

King County prosecutors on Tuesday charged Ybarra with first-degree murder, two counts of attempted first-degree murder and assault. They will seek a life sentence for Ybarra, 26.

Ybarra is accused of killing student Paul Lee, 19, and injuring two other people in the attack on Thursday. He allegedly planned to kill many more but was subdued when his shotgun malfunctioned.

“The tranquility of the SPU campus was shattered by what we allege was the defendant’s long-premeditated plan to commit an act of mass violence,” King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg said in a press conference Tuesday.

Satterberg said Ybarra kept a journal during the two weeks before the attack.

In his final entry, Ybarra wrote: “I just want people to die and I’m gonna die with them!”

Ybarra reportedly told detectives that he was inspired by the killers at Columbine High School in Colorado in 1999 and the man who shot and killed 32 people at Virginia Tech in 2007. All three shooters died during their attacks. Ybarra reportedly told detectives that was his plan as well.

“He stated that he just had a hatred for the world in general,” prosecutors wrote in charging papers.

Ybarra allegedly told detectives he scouted the SPU campus in the weeks before the attack, talking with students and a college employee. He visited Otto Miller Hall, where the shooting occurred, and checked for possible escape routes.

He brought 75 rounds with him, taking 50 rounds with him and leaving 25 in his truck.

Ybarra also allegedly considered carrying out attacks at Washington State University and Central Washington University but didn’t have time.

Mountlake Terrace police have encountered Ybarra at least three times in the past few years, records show. In 2010 and 2012, police took Ybarra to a hospital, recommending that he be involuntarily committed because of suicidal behavior. Last August, officers were summoned to his house because another family member allegedly was suicidal.

Ybarra also has a history of driving offenses, including a DUI arrest.

He is a former Edmonds Community College student who previously attended a home-school program in the Edmonds School District, which serves Mountlake Terrace.

In October 2010, Ybarra reportedly was intoxicated when Mountlake Terrace police became concerned he might harm himself. At the time, Ybarra listed his place of employment as the Kenmore Shooting Range.

Ybarra reportedly had called 911 from a location along Cedar Way. He said he was suicidal, wanted to hurt others and “had a rage inside him.” He was allegedly “very intoxicated” and reported having previous suicidal thoughts. He was taken to a local hospital for a mental health evaluation.

In October 2012, police reportedly found Ybarra intoxicated and lying in the middle of the street where he lived, records show. A passerby had called 911.

Ybarra told officers he wanted the “SWAT team to get him and make him famous. (He) said no one cares about him. He said he wants to die,” officers wrote at the time.

Satterberg on Tuesday credited SPU safety monitor Jon Meis for his quick action.

“Jon Meis is an authentic hero,” he said. “He fearlessly confronted a shooter who had fully planned on killing more innocent people.”

Meis showed courage in rushing toward danger instead of running away from it, the prosecutor said.

“In the defendant’s plan to murder innocent students, he did not anticipate the courage of Jon Meis,” Satterberg said. “Mr. Meis, though a reluctant and humble figure in this tragedy, undoubtedly saved many lives.”

If convicted, Ybarra faces 69 to 86 years in prison. Satterberg said prosecutors will seek a life sentence allowed under the law. It is based on an “aggravating factor, rarely used, but designed for this type of outrageous act of public violence,” he said.

Prosecutors asked that Ybarra be held without bail. If bail is set, they are seeking $10 million.

Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446; stevick@heraldnet.com.

More in Local News

Everett district relents on eminent domain moving expenses

Homeowners near Bothell still must be out by April to make way for a planned new high school.

Their grown children died, but state law won’t let them sue

Families are seeking a change in the state’s limiting wrongful-death law.

Officials rule train-pedestrian death an accident

The 37-year-old man was trying to move off the tracks when the train hit him, police say.

Ex-Monroe cop re-arrested after losing sex crime case appeal

He was sentenced to 14 months in prison but was free while trying to get his conviction overturned.

Marysville hit-and-run leaves man with broken bones

The state patrol has asked for help solving an increasing number of hit-and-run cases in the state.

Everett man killed at bar had criminal history, gang ties

A bar employee reportedly shot Matalepuna Malu, 29, whose street name was “June Bug.”

There’s plenty to cheer in overdue capital budget

In Snohomish County, there’s money for a number of projects.

Parking a constant problem at Wallace Falls State Park

There’s a study under way on how to tackle that issue and others.

Front Porch

EVENTS Autoharpist in Everett Folksinger, storyteller and autoharp virtuoso Adam Miller returns… Continue reading

Most Read