Friday, June 6, 2014

Seattle Pacific University Shooting

Jon Meis, a student working as a building monitor, pepper-sprayed the shooter as he stopped to reload, then put him in a chokehold and took him to the ground, according to police and a friend who spoke with Meis after the shooting. Then other students and faculty members rushed to hold the shooter down until police arrived.
A weapon and courage is more useful than courage alone.   Initial reports are that the suspect had no connection to the victims or the university.  Reports from friends and family give no reason to suspect mental illness:
McKinley said Ybarra had gotten a new job a few weeks ago, bagging groceries and cleaning up the store. After struggling with a minor reading disability, he was happy to have the job and tried to work as many hours as he could.
Ybarra didn’t do drugs and he didn’t drink, McKinley said. When they went out to celebrate his new job, Ybarra ordered a Dr Pepper, McKinley said.
Ybarra spent his time writing screenplays and novels, mostly adventure stories. Ybarra could get emotionally low, but McKinley said he had a good group of friends and never saw him depressed.
“I’m really good at deciphering if someone’s got bad news or in trouble. I’m blown away by this,’’ he said. “He called me yesterday and asked if I wanted to go fishing.”
I suspect that we will learn more about Ybarra's mental state in the next few days.

UPDATE: June 6, 2014 Seattle Times reports:
Ybarra’s obsession included an interest in the 1999 Columbine High School shootings in Colorado, the source said. In that massacre, two teens killed 12 students and a teacher and wounded 23 others before killing themselves.
Ybarra chose Seattle Pacific University for no particular reason to carry out his own plan to commit a mass shooting, the source said. Ybarra was not a student at the school, police said.
In general, there was “no rhyme or reason” to his actions, the source said....
Ybarra, of Mountlake Terrace, was picked up by police twice in the past four years because he was drunk and making suicidal comments, authorities said today.
Sounds like mental illness, doesn't it?


  1. Ive read reports before stating that
    we actually have fewer "mass shootings" nowadays then we used to. Im really beginning to question that. I understand that we have news stations reporting 24 hours a day, the internet and all other sorts of electronic media to overwhelm us everyday with info, so it seems that way, but i can't believe we had more shootings like this 40 or 50 years ago. I would think that theyre comparing more what I would categorize as drug or organized crime compared to college or or public mass shooting. Maybe i need to reread reports or they need to bring out some new ones. If we do have more mass shootings today, then everything antigunners say today about increased gun restrictions is complete bunk. Not that I didn't believe their ranting and ravings before, but it just reinforces it.

  2. There is a definitional problem. Public random mass murders used to be almost unknown. The FBI's Active Shooters report shows that they have increased from 2000 to 2012. (From extremely rare to rare.)

    Domestic violence mass murders are much more common, and have been a problem since Colonial times.

  3. I figured something along those lines, but it can be pretty hard to decipher all the information available, or to even know which information is accurate and unbiased. Even in all this, these shootings are just a fraction of American deaths, not that it makes it any better. Do you or someone else have any papers or books that specifically cover any early Colonial or American mass murders. I;ve never really seen any specific writings on that subject. I know you have a paper on early gun laws and dueling, i havent got to read it yet, but I don't know if that covers mass murders in the sense I;m thinking of. Maybe i just haven't looked hard enough

  4. The public random mass murders are about 1/4 of 1% of U.S. murders. I think the piece of mass murder and deinstitutionalization that appeared in the Federalist Society's publication a couple years back mentions some of these mass murders. There's more in my upcoming Connecticut Law Review paper, "Mental Illness and the Second Amendment."

    1. Awesome ill be sure to read that and your book/paper on dueling. Appreciate your work and effort