With a gunman on campus, student Jon Meis made a split-second decision that likely saved lives http://t.co/xgZbTLC0x5 pic.twitter.com/luYRrkXWy9
— The Seattle Times (@seattletimes) June 6, 2014
Yesterday, Seattle became the latest city to experience yet another sudden, mass shooting in a public area:
This time, it was a lecture hall at Seattle Pacific University. "A man with a shotgun had walked into Otto Miller Hall and opened fire, before being confronted and pinned to the ground... A 20 year old man has been declared dead at Harborview Medical Center... A 20 year old woman remains in critical condition."
The student who stopped him is in that photo above: "Jon Meis, a 22-year-old engineering student, [is] the hero. He is known to be quiet, gentle and outdoorsy... Meis was armed, too, with a can of pepper spray, which he used to subdue the suspect as he was trying to reload the shotgun. He then put him in a choke hold and took him to the ground..."
Seattle Times reports the suspect is Aaron Ybarra, 26, of Mountlake Terrace: "He was booked into the King County Jail for investigation of murder, police said. The bail hearing for Ybarra is scheduled at 1:30 today." According to KIRO, anonymous police sources told them the suspect was "obsessed with the Columbine High School shootings and had even traveled to the Colorado site where two student gunmen killed 15 and injured another 21 fellow students in April 1999."
"This is the world we have built. And we should start really coming to terms with that," Anna wrote on Slog earlier this morning. "We've made it, and it seems like we're sticking with it. We're paying a price, which is sending generations out into a world where school—at any level, elementary through college—is not safe. The mall is not safe. The streets are not safe. Maybe this time is a 'not one more' moment."
Meanwhile, there was just a shooting in Canada: "The Canadian town of Moncton, New Brunswick, slipped out of a tense fear and into mourning overnight with the arrest of a man suspected of killing three police officers and wounding two others. 'I'm done,' suspect Justin Bourque yelled as he gave up, a nearby resident who watched the 24-year-old's arrest through a window told CNN partner CBC. He was unarmed, although police did find weapons nearby."
For its small population, the area has a surprisingly high number of multiple-death police shootings: "There have been two other multiple-police deaths in New Brunswick. One of those was in Moncton in 1974, when two local police officers were kidnapped and subsequently killed after making a traffic stop."
Just as in the Cafe Racer shootings and the Jewish Federation shootings, the (suspected) Moncton shooter underwent a noticeable personality change: "One year ago... Bourque left his family’s tidy, quiet home with a trampoline in the yard and found new digs in a rundown trailer park, where marijuana and video games occupied his spare time. 'It was almost like a complete 180 for him' said Trever Finck a friend and former Walmart coworker. 'There was a pretty stark difference.'" I wonder what we'll learn about the SPU shooter and his background.
Blaming easy access to guns is an absolutely reasonable line of inquiry: But it's also critical to ask why all these young men—who seem so similar—are snapping in this sadly-now-predictable but horrifyingly fatal way. It's like a mental-health ebola that gets very bloody and very sad very fast—and we should be doing some psychological epidemiology to figure out what's going on.
Meanwhile, a second suspect has been identified in Leschi double slaying: "Witnesses called 911 to report multiple shots fired and when officers arrived a minute later, they found 23-year-old Dwone Anderson-Young and 27-year-old Ahmed Said lying dead in the street. Officers said Anderson-Young and Said were innocent victims... The 30-year-old Brown is believed to be homeless and typically hangs around the South King County area, police said. They consider him armed and dangerous."
Hundreds of immigrant youth—some fleeing "deteriorating conditions" in Central America—held at Texas military base: "'Listen God,' one of the signs exhorted in Spanish, 'and let this torment end soon.' The dorms are not air-conditioned because, an official said, Central American youth are not accustomed to it. The facility uses fans and on Thursday, staff were still assembling more for use. The boy was issued the same supplies as his brethren: two bed sheets, two towels, a pillow and cot cover. Like the rest, the boy would be granted two 10-minute phone calls per week."
D-day is 70 years old: Octogenarian veterans are parachuting back into the field to relive a charged moment, and movie stars—including Benedict Cumberbatch—are going to read 1944 news bulletins on the BBC.
"Shocking" rates of suicide among American special-forces troops: " ...for all their well-known resilience, an emerging body of research suggests that Special Operations forces have experienced, often in silence, significant traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder. Both conditions have been linked in research to depression and, sometimes, suicidal behavior. Absent other data, suicide has emerged as the clearest indicator of the problem."
The Putin delusion: He's giving interviews denying that Russian forces have anything to do with the chaos in Ukraine, denies that Crimea was essentially annexed, and says Ukraine's best bet for protecting its sovereignty is to not joint NATO, a "rigid integration alliance [that] amounts to a partial loss of sovereignty." Putin also said, of Hillary Clinton's criticism of Russia in Ukraine: "When people push boundaries too far, it's not because they are strong but because they are weak. But maybe weakness is not the worst quality for a woman." Christ, what a clown. And yet, a clown with a lot of weaponry who gets to act with impunity—the worst kind.
North Korea has detained another American "tourist": That's three being held currently. Which is really just an excuse to ask...
Did you know a strong majority of South Koreans view North Korea as a cooperative partner and not a deadly enemy? That's what some polling is showing anyway: "Around 77 percent of respondents said they supported her efforts to pursue trust-building measures with North Korea. Around 70 percent of those surveyed also said that they agreed with her recent assessment that reunification would be a bonanza for South Korea." Compare that to: "84 percent of Americans had an unfavorable view of North Korea, compared to just 11 percent who viewed it favorably." Sound like Americans have a bigger problem with North Korea than the South Koreans do. Which might mean we're doing our diplomacy wrong.
Maybe we should all go back to bed: "Neuroscientists believe that memory involves the modification of synapses, which connect brain cells, and numerous studies published over the past decade have shown that sleep enhances the consolidation of newly formed memories in people. But exactly how these observations were related was unclear. To find out, Wenbiao Gan of the Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine at New York University Medical School and his colleagues trained 15 mice to run backwards or forwards on a rotating rod. They allowed some of them to fall asleep afterwards for 7 hours, while the rest were kept awake. They found that learning a new task led to the formation of new dendritic spines – tiny structures that project from the end of nerve cells and help pass electric signals from one neuron to another – but only in the mice left to sleep."