At SPU prayer vigil, student says of shooting: ‘I want to know why’

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SPUVIGILSEATTLE — Students and staff at Seattle Pacific University gathered at the First Free United Methodist Church on campus Friday at noon for a prayer vigil to begin processing the tragedy that took place the day before.

“It’s hard to think about and process. I prayed a lot last night. It’s something I want to understand and I don’t think you ever will,” said Bri Gavanaugh.

The SPU family, along with Mayor Ed Murray, came together in the heart of the campus to pray.

“When something like this occurs in our midst, it reminds us that we live in a world that is broken and there are no easy answers,” said Bob Zurinksy, assistant director of University Ministries.

Students want to know why the accused shooter — 26-year-old Aaron Ybarra — would want to harm innocent students at this Christian school.

“My heart breaks for him and his family that it came to that. I do have all those questions of why. I want to know why,” said Kendra Ross.

At the vigil, there were also words about the shooter.

“Deal with his troubled soul. Love him in spite of his hatred and bring him not only to justice but to repentance and to spiritual wholeness,” said one theology professor.

SPU had grief counselors and ministers on hand at the Student Union and Upper Gwynn buildings, as well as the Art Center. Staff members aren’t sure if classes will resume Monday.


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