Seattle Pacific University shooting suspect to go for insanity defense




Quick Facts:

  • Aaron Ybarra charged with another count of attempted murder
  • Entered not guilty plea
  • Accused of killing 1, injuring three others
  • Held in King County Jail without bail


The attorney for the suspect in the Seattle Pacific University shootings that killed one person and injured three others said she will pursue the insanity plea as his defense for the attack. 

Aaron Ybarra had been charged with one count of first-degree murder, two counts of attempted murder and one count of assault, but during his arraignment Monday, he was charged with another count of attempted murder. Prosecutors said Ybarra admitted to pointing a gun at another student, and that corroborated what the student told police.

He appeared in King County Court wearing a white King County Jail jacket that said ultra-security inmate on it.

KIRO 7 reporter Rob Munoz was in the courtroom.  After the hearing, Ybarra’s brother passed him a note that read:

“My heart goes out to the victims’ families and all those suffering.   I have always had a lot of love for my older brother and still do. As much as it hurts, I have no control over this situation – God has the wheel from here."

It was signed “Brother of Aaron Ybarra.”

Ybarra has a history of mental illness and had been involuntarily committed on two occasions because he was suicidal.

A journal found in his truck after the SPU shootings on June 5 showed his admiration for other men who carried out school shootings, according to King County prosecutor Dan Satterberg.

Satterberg said Ybarra had stopped taking his mental health medications six months before the shooting because "he wanted to feel the hate," according to Ybarra’s journal.

Despite his mental health issues, Satterberg said he was confident that Ybarra would be held criminally responsible.

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