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Originally published June 13, 2014 at 7:56 PM | Page modified June 13, 2014 at 10:36 PM

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SPU shooting victim Sarah Williams leaves hospital

Sarah Williams, the 19-year-old Seattle Pacific University student critically wounded in the campus shooting last week, was discharged from Harborview Medical Center on Friday.


Seattle Times staff reporter

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The 19-year-old Seattle Pacific University student critically wounded in the campus shooting last week was discharged from Harborview Medical Center on Friday afternoon.

Sarah Williams was coming down a flight of stairs in Otto Miller Hall on the SPU campus on June 5 when she was wounded by a shotgun blast from the shooter, later identified as Aaron Ybarra. Ybarra, 26, has been charged with one count of premeditated first-degree murder, two counts of attempted first-degree murder and one count of second-degree assault.

According to charging documents, Ybarra drove to SPU around 3:30 p.m., armed with a double-barreled shotgun, 50 rounds of ammunition and a large hunting knife. He encountered a group of students outside Otto Miller Hall and fatally shot Paul Lee, 19, a SPU student from Portland. The pellets caused minor injuries to another student, Thomas Fowler Jr., who was released from the hospital the next day.

Ybarra then turned the gun on a female student, but the lower barrel of the shotgun malfunctioned. He reloaded the top barrel and entered the hall, where he pointed his gun at a male student who was studying. For unknown reasons, Ybarra decided not to shoot him.

He then turned the gun on Williams.

“Without warning, he shot her from a few feet away,” according to the charging documents.

While Ybarra was reloading, Jon Meis, a student-safety monitor, rushed from his office, sprayed pepper spray into Ybarra’s eyes and disarmed him.

Williams was critically injured and taken to Harborview Medical Center, where she underwent a five-hour surgery. She was transferred out of the intensive-care unit last weekend, according to hospital spokeswoman Susan Gregg.

Online-donation pages set up on GoFundMe.com for Williams’ medical and other expenses have generated more than $13,000.

Williams, of Phoenix, issued a statement on Tuesday thanking the community for its support.

Her statement:

“I would like to thank everybody for the incredible outpouring of prayers and support that have been sent to my family and me since the events of last week. I know there is a lot of concern for my health and well being, so I’d like to take this opportunity to let everybody know that I am healing and getting stronger. The doctors and hospital staff at Harborview Medical Center have been fantastic and they are taking excellent care of my family and me.

“While every day brings improvement, I have a long way to go for full recovery. During that time, I truly do wish that everyone please respect my privacy and that of my family. We are interested in only one thing: being together and getting through this.

“My family and I send our love and prayers to the other victims and to Paul Lee’s family. Also, my heartfelt gratitude goes out to everyone here in Seattle, from the staff and my fellow students at Seattle Pacific University, to my roommates and friends, the police, to everyone here at Harborview and to the friends back home in Phoenix who are doing everything they can do to help me and my family. It means a great deal for me to know that there are so many wonderful people in this world who care, and I cannot thank you enough.”

Paige Cornwell: 206-464-2530 or pcornwell@seattletimes.com



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