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Originally published July 22, 2014 at 6:23 PM | Page modified July 23, 2014 at 3:34 PM

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Ybarra chose SPU for shootings because he was unfamiliar with it, journal says

Accused SPU campus shooter Aaron Ybarra didn’t “want to attack my own city,” according to his recently released journal.


Seattle Times staff reporter

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Aaron Ybarra, the accused shooter at Seattle Pacific University, chose the small Christian college because he was unfamiliar with it, according to his journal released Tuesday evening.

“I can see that University of Washington and Seattle University represent Seattle more,” he wrote. “I didn’t want to have to attack my own city.”

Ybarra, 26, wrote about his failure to benefit from therapy, how he wanted revenge on people who humiliated him, and how his actions would hurt his family “but it must be done.”

Two days before the shooting, Ybarra wrote about his love for his family and friends. “Everybody else in the world, I just want to blow their faces out with a 12-gauge shotgun blast!” he wrote.

Police recovered a shotgun, dozens of shells and a hunting knife from Ybarra after a student monitor tackled and subdued him.

Ybarra is accused of shooting and killing SPU student Paul Lee, 19, of Portland, and injuring two others.

“At the time of the entries, Mr. Ybarra was not on his prescribed medication for some time, and was not undergoing treatment for his mental illness,” his defense lawyer, Ramona Brandes, said in an email Wednesday.

“Mr. Ybarra had been treated and medicated for his mental illness in the past, but Mr. Ybarra had to cease treatment and could no longer afford his medication when he lost his medical insurance. Once Mr. Ybarra was no longer medicated his mental instability was unabated, and that is evident in the journal entries.”

In a May 27 entry, Ybarra wrote that his high stress “made me a little crazy and not myself.” He has been diagnosed as having psychosis and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

“If my routines, my belongings and my life were respected I wouldn’t be so goddamn miserable!” he wrote.

Ybarra also noted individuals he wanted to “get my revenge on.” One was a man he described as a “junkie who robbed our house when my brother wasn’t doing to good.” He wrote that he wanted to cut up the man and secretly sell the pieces to grocery stores.

The man was a suspect in the 2011 theft of eight guns from the family’s Mountlake Terrace home, according to a police report.

In a visit to the SPU campus, Ybarra wrote that he was shown around by “a nice black girl” and “a cute white girl.” He wrote that he would spare the two women, if he encountered them, because of their kindness.

On June 5, the day of the shooting, Ybarra’s handwriting appears sloppier.

“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.”

Ybarra’s lawyer tried to block release of the six-page journal, written on a college-ruled spiral notebook, saying it would interfere with Ybarra’s rights to a fair trial. A King County Superior Court judge said the document, sought by local news media, was a public record. Some proper names were redacted for privacy, including that of a student who gave Ybarra a tour of SPU.

Ybarra has pleaded not guilty to one count of premeditated first-degree murder, three counts of attempted first-degree murder and one count of second-degree assault.

Caitlin Cruz: 206-464-2544 or ccruz@seattletimes.com



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