SEATTLE (Reuters) - A man accused of killing a Seattle Pacific University student and wounding two others in a shooting last week had recently visited the college and was intent on killing students and himself, according to entries in his journal released by prosecutors on Tuesday.
Aaron Ybarra, 26, has been charged with premeditated murder and attempted murder in Thursday’s shootings, according to documents released by prosecutors. He has been held without bail since the incident.
Ybarra had long planned an act of mass violence, keeping a journal over the two weeks leading up to the shootings where he wrote about his admiration for killers in high profile school shootings at Columbine High School and Virginia Tech, King County prosecutor Daniel Satterberg said. Ybarra wrote that he visited the Seattle Pacific campus a few weeks before the shootings and was escorted around by friendly students, Satterberg said. The journal, found in Ybarra’s truck, showed that he planned to die himself that day. “I just want people to die, and I‘m gonna die with them!” Ybarra wrote, according to Satterberg.
Ybarra did not know any of the victims or express any specific motive, he just had “a hatred for the world in general,” according to details from the Seattle Police Department’s questioning of Ybarra.
He planned to kill many more students and brought 75 rounds of ammunition for his shotgun and a long hunting knife to kill himself, Ybarra told police investigators. He could only fit 50 rounds into his pockets, leaving the rest in his truck.
Ybarra told police he had been diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder and transient psychosis, and had been prescribed Prozac and Risperdal but stopped taking medication six months ago because he “wanted to feel his hate.”
His attorney said last week that “significant and longstanding mental health issues” were a factor in the shooting spree.
If convicted, Ybarra faces a sentence of 69 to 86 years. Satterberg said he would seek a life sentence because of the broader damage the shooting caused to the community.
He has been charged with premeditated murder for killing student Paul Lee, who was shot in the back of the head from close range with a double-barreled shotgun.
Ybarra is set to be arraigned on June 23, Satterberg said.
Reporting by Bill Rigby; Editing by Cynthia Johnston, Andrew Hay and Jim Loney