Defense Attorney Issues Statement About Suspected SPU Shooter’s Disturbing Journal

Earlier this week the redacted journal of suspected SPU shooter Aaron Ybarra was released as a court document in his ongoing trail. As has been heavily reported, the journal’s final entry came June 5, the day of the shooting that took the life of SPU student Paul Lee and injured Sarah Williams and Thomas Fowler.

Ybarra’s spiral notebook (which is embedded below), is filled with all sorts of troubling proclamations and details, including the indication that Washington State University was his “main target,” while Central, Eastern and Seattle Pacific constituted his “plan B’s.”

Aaron Ybarra Journal Redacted

“Washington State is the main target,” Ybarra writes. “I have plan B’s Central, Eastern and Seattle Pacific. I was focusing on Central but not prepared for that either. Didn’t think about Eastern because I’m only prepared to be local. I picked Seattle Pacific because I’m less familiar with it and I can see that University of Washington and Seattle University represent Seattle more. I didn’t want to have to attack my own city.”

On June 5, Ybarra writes: “This is it! I can’t believe I’m finally doing this!” He mentioned thinking a lot about the Virginia Tech and the Columbine shootings and later wrote that “I just want people to die! and I’m gonna die with them.”

In response to the release of Ybarra’s journal, his public defense attorney, Ramona Brandes, issued a statement attempting to put the journal in context. According to Brandes, Ybarra’s writings - which defense attorneys attempted to block the release of - came at a time when her client “had not been taking his prescribed medication ... and was no longer undergoing treatment for his diagnosed mental illness.”

“Once Mr. Ybarra was no longer medicated, his mental instability progressed unabated, which is sadly evident in the journal entries,” the statement concludes.

Brandes’ full statement is below:

The entries in Mr. Ybarra’s journal are a glimpse into the mind of a man who was not mentally well at the time of the writings. By June 2014, Mr. Ybarra had not been taking his prescribed medication for some time and was no longer undergoing treatment for his diagnosed mental illness. Previously, Mr. Ybarra had sought treatment and had been medicated for his mental illness, but there is documentation in the records that Mr. Ybarra ceased treatment and could no longer afford his medication when he lost his medical insurance. Once Mr. Ybarra was no longer medicated, his mental instability progressed unabated, which is sadly evident in the journal entries.

Ybarra has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him: one count of first-degree murder, three counts of attempted first-degree murder and one count of second-degree assault.

 
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