Seattle ShooterA young man is in custody Thursday night after allegedly opening fire on a small Christian university just outside downtown Seattle. One person was fatally wounded, one is still in critical condition, and two more were also harmed.

Around 3:30 in the afternoon, an unidentified gunman at Seattle Pacific University entered the foyer at Otto Miller Hall, and started shooting. As he tried to reload his shotgun, another student was able to pepper spray him, and several other students tackled him and held him down until the police arrived.

One 19-year-old male was killed, and a 20-year-old female was taken into surgery. Two more men, aged 22 and 24, were harmed, but police say one was not shot.

I can't even imagine how many more may have been harmed had the students not seized the opportunity to take down the shooter. After he was apprehended, the college remained in lockdown for several hours. It's only a week before the end of the school year, and many students were taking finals when the shooting occurred.

Daniel Martin, president of Seattle Pacific, said, "We're a community that relies on Jesus Christ for strength, and we'll need that at this point in time." On Thursday evening, the First Free Methodist Church on campus was so packed full of people for a service of prayers and song that they spilled onto the lawn near the chapel.

About 4,270 undergraduates attend the school, which has cancelled classes for Friday. One student, Jillian Smith, was taking a math test in the building when the shooter entered. She said she heard police yelling and banging on doors, and the 20 students in her class hunkered down on the ground after the professor locked the door. "We were pretty much freaking out," said the 20-year-old sophomore. "People were texting family and friends, making sure everyone was OK."

Police escorted them out of the building about 45 minutes later, past shell casings and blood spatter. "Seeing blood made it real," Smith said. "I didn't think something like this would happen at our school."

Another student, 22-year-old David Downs, was not on campus at the time, but said, "I'm in utter shock ... it's so unbelievable to me that this could happen on our campus. It's the last thing I would have ever thought could happen here." He continued, "It puts things in perspective ... anything can happen, even on a small Christian campus."

What a senseless tragedy. It's a sad thing to be grateful only one life was lost, but thanks to some brave kids tackling the shooter, who knows how many lives were saved?

Would you be too scared to move if a gunman opened fire near you?

 

Image via CTV Vancouver/Twitter