SEATTLE — Police arrested a former employee of the Jewish Hillel Center near the University of Washington after he allegedly threatened to blow up the building.
At about 1:45 p.m., employees at the Hillel Center at NE 47th and 17th Avenue NE contacted police and said an employee who had been terminated had threatened to mix toxic chemicals to cause an explosion in the building, and had headed for a supply closet. Employees evacuated the building, contacted police and informed police the suspect may also be armed with a knife.
An Seattle Police Department SWAT team found the suspect in the building’s basement and arrested him shortly before 3 p.m. He had been overcome by fumes of some sort, police said, and he was taken to a hospital for treatment.
Police later said the 28-year-old suspect sustained injuries in an apparent suicide attempt after he inhaled a mixture of chemicals that were inside a bucket. After treatment of his injuries, police said, he will undergo a mental health evaluation.
Police closed off traffic along 16th Avenue NE and 17th Ave NE along NE 50th Street. and are working to determine whether the man may have mixed chemicals found in the building to create a toxic gas. Streets in the area were expected to be closed until at least 4 p.m. as police investigate the incident and search the building.