Hillel Center threatened by fired worker

by: Gary Horcher Updated:

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SEATTLE - A 28-year-old man who was angry after being fired, is being treated by doctors for chemical exposure, hours after he threatened to blow up the Hillel Jewish Campus Center at the University of Washington, police said.

After being fired earlier in the day, Seattle police told KIRO 7 the man returned, and was somehow able to enter the Hillel building, despite intense security, surveillance, and locked doors. SPD spokesman Mark Jamieson said the man threatened to blow up the building. He headed for a closet, where he gathered cleaning chemicals like bleach and ammonia, and began mixing them, Jamieson said.

Rabbi Oren Heyon, who manages the UW Hillel Center, told KIRO-7 students and staff were quickly evacuated out of the building. He said it was a rehearsed drill to react to threats of violence.

Heyon said the extra security and surveillance was a response to the Jewish Federation shooting in Seattle, in 2006.

After the man mixed chemicals in a bucket in the center’s basement, he tried to commit suicide by inhaling the poisonous gasses, police said. They also believe the man’s actions were not a hate crime.

After SPD shut down the surrounding area, they persuaded the man to crawl outside. Hazmat crews washed the man’s head and body down with a fire hose, before he was taken to Harborview Medical Center.

SPD expects the man will be charged with threatening an explosion.