SEATTLE — Court documents say the 26-year-old Mountlake Terrace, Wash., man accused of fatally shooting a student and wounding two others at Seattle Pacific University on Thursday admitted the killing to detectives and told them he had planned a mass shooting with the hope of killing as many people as possible before killing himself.
The suspect, Aaron Ybarra, appeared in King County Court Friday where bail was denied and he was ordered to appear again next Tuesday.
Treated for depression, mental health issues
Police say Ybarra, a former Edmonds Community College student, was voluntarily hospitalized between 2010 and 2011 after hearing voices telling him to hurt people. According to court documents he said he “heard the voice of Eric Harris [Columbine shooting] telling him to hurt people; stating it scared him, he was afraid…”
Documents filed in December 2013 said Ybarra had a year of treatment and was taking medication for anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
The incident that landed him in treatment happened on July 5, 2012. According to court papers, Ybarra went to a pub and had four shots of whiskey and two beers to “recover from shaking.” He then drove to another pub in Mountlake Terrace where he drank more beers. Documents state he felt buzzed but OK to drive, so he took a friend to Issaquah and had another beer and more whiskey — before driving home to Mountlake Terrace.
He then apparently slept two hours before driving to a gas station to get more beer, according to the documents. Police stopped Ybarra after he hit a curb early on July 6th, and he tested between .189 and .19 blood-alcohol content.
In October 2012, Ybarra’s therapist requested he be involuntarily committed, documents say, but was “denied due to not being an imminent threat.”
Encounters with police
The Mountlake Terrace Police Department says Ybarra has a record of mental evaluation referrals.
In October 2010, officers worried an apparently drunk Ybarra might hurt himself, according to Mountlake Terrace police.
Two years later, police reportedly found Ybarra drunk again — this time lying in a street — and took him in for a mental health evaluation. At that time police said Ybarra said he wanted to SWAT team to get him and make him famous. He also allegedly told police no one cared about him and that he wanted to die.
Officials also said Edmonds police arrested Ybarra in 2012 for investigation of drunk driving.
Police sources said Ybarra confessed to the shooting after he was taken into custody and said he expected to die Thursday.
Report: Suspect offers apology
Ybarra’s attorney, Ramona Brandes, said he wants to apologize for the “suffering he has caused.”
Ybarra is reportedly on suicide watch inside the King County jail.
‘He was really calm and nice’
One of Ybarra’s former co-workers, Annie Nguyen, told Q13 FOX News she was shocked to hear he was suspected of the shooting.
“So we worked with each other for about two, three months,” she said. “He was an amazing friend. Good worker. He was really calm and nice. If you know him, you would not think he would do it – he’s just not that type (pause) that would do something like that.”
Nguyen said Ybarra liked to go to a shooting range and had invited her along at one time. She also said he was very sociable and liked to go out with people from work to local bars.
Ybarra was booked into the King County Jail late Thursday night for investigation of murder.
Police said he was not a student at the school and they have found no connection between him and the school.
Seattle Police said Friday that Ybarra had obtained the shotgun used in the killing legally some time ago.