Huffpost Crime

'Hellbent' Seattle Pacific University Shooter Aaron Ybarra Obsessed With Columbine: Cops

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Aaron Ybarra poses for a photo posted to Facebook on Jan. 7, 2010.
Aaron Ybarra poses for a photo posted to Facebook on Jan. 7, 2010.

The lone gunman suspected of opening fire and killing a student at Seattle Pacific University was outgoing and friendly in his everyday life -- but secretly, he was "hellbent" on shooting up a school, police say.

Aaron Ybarra, 26, of Mountlake Terrace, allegedly walked through a campus hall on Thursday firing a shotgun. In addition to one fatality, another three people were injured before he was pepper sprayed and tackled by a heroic student. Police didn't immediately reveal a motive, but did tell KIRO-TV that Ybarra visited the Colorado site of the Columbine shootings

He wasn't a student at the school -- he just wanted to commit murder, police said.

"He was hellbent on killing a lot of people today," a law enforcement source told the Seattle Times.

His Facebook page paints another, much happier picture. He regularly gushes over fishing trips or new jobs. He describes himself as a "mellow guy." A post thanking his friends for wishing him a happy birthday was met with an outpouring of well-wishing and love.

Ybarra has prior arrests on his record, but not for any violent crimes. He's been collared in the past for driving drunk and operating a vehicle without insurance.

"I’m really good at deciphering if someone’s got bad news or in trouble. I’m blown away by this," friend Zack McKinley told the Seattle Times. "He called me yesterday and asked if I wanted to go fishing."

From the Times:

Ybarra didn’t do drugs and he didn’t drink, McKinley said. When they went out to celebrate his new job, Ybarra ordered a Dr. Pepper, McKinley said.

Ybarra spent his time writing screenplays and novels, mostly adventure stories. Ybarra could get emotionally low, but McKinley said he had a good group of friends and never saw him depressed.

A co-worker at the gym where he once worked called him an "amazing friend" and a "good worker."

"If you know him, you would not think he would do it -- he’s just not that type that would do something like that," Annie Nguyen told Fox News.

A 19-year-old man died at the hospital Thursday and a woman in her 20s was taken to surgery in critical condition. Two men in their 20s were listed in satisfactory condition. They weren't immediately identified.

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