July 23, 2014 in Region

Man charged in Seattle shooting discusses target

Aaron Ybarra considered shooting students at Washington State University
Associated Press
 

SEATTLE — A journal that prosecutors say was written by the man accused in the fatal June 5 shooting at a small Christian university in Seattle indicates the target was chosen largely because it was close and it wasn’t a school uniquely identified with his city.

In the document released Tuesday evening by King County prosecutors, Aaron Ybarra writes that he thought about shooting students at Washington State University in Pullman but decided he couldn’t get there without raising his parents’ suspicions.

“I picked Seattle Pacific because I’m less familiar with it and can see that (the) University of Washington and Seattle University represent Seattle more. I didn’t want to have to attack my own city,” he wrote on June 2.

A journal entry talks about his love for his family and friends but adds, “Everybody else in the world, I just want to blow their faces out with a 12-gauge shotgun blast.”

The first official entry, dated May 27, begins with the sentence “Sometime by the end of this week or the begaining (sic) of next week, I will express how I really feel about humanity, America and the world it’s self (sic).”

The 26-year-old Ybarra is accused of fatally shooting a 19-year-old student and wounding two others. He has pleaded not guilty to one count of premeditated first-degree murder and other charges.

Defense lawyer Ramona Brandes has said her client has a long history of mental issues but is aware of the trauma caused by the shooting and is sorry. The defense tried to block release of the journal. A judge ruled it was a public record.

Ybarra also writes about frustration with his mental health issues and says treatment did not help.

The journal discusses a visit to Seattle Pacific “to get info and find a good area to attack.”

Ybarra writes about meeting two female students who showed him around campus. He wrote that he would spare them if he encountered them, because of their kindness.

On June 5, the day of the shooting, the journal contains this entry:

“I’m not asking for forgiveness because there won’t be any,” he wrote. “But it is what it is. I’m doing some people a favor by sending them to heaven. But those who are sinners like me, I’ll see you in hell.”

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