The scourge of campus shootings came to Queen Anne on June 5, 2014 when 26-year-old Aaron Ybarra opened fire in Otto Miller Hall. Ybarra wounded three students — one of whom, 19-year-old Paul Lee, died. Ybarra was subdued with pepper spray as he tried to reload his gun by 22-year-old SPU student Jon Meis, who restrained him until the arrival of Seattle Police. Meis was treated at the hospital and later released, along with another victim, Thomas Fowler, 24, who suffered pellet wounds to his chest and neck. The third victim, Sarah Williams, 19, was hospitalized after suffering wounds to her abdomen.
The tragic event at Seattle Pacific University astounded Queen Anne residents. The Christian university maintains a generally quiet and peaceful place in the community’s mind. The school’s low profile hides the fact that it is one of Seattle’s oldest institutions of higher learning — established in 1891. SPU is typical of so many seminaries associated with a church and established for the elementary education of congregation children. In fact, Nils Peterson, a member of the Free Methodist Church with which the university is still associated, donated the land for the school as a place for his children. Today Peterson’s farm, which originally tumbled down the northern side of Queen Anne, is mostly intact and now known as Mount Pleasant Cemetery. …Continue reading “Shooting at SPU, Ross and the Streetcar Barn”