For 39 years, Brier resident Laurel Tindal has led practices for the Seattle Pacific University gymnastics team, but Thursday afternoon’s practice was like no other.
Tindal received a test message during the practice notifying her that the school was under lockdown due to a shooting at the private university in Seattle. “We have an alert system here on campus through our phones,” Tindal explained, “so we were made aware of the situation right away.”
Tindall and her team remained in the school gymnasium inside Royal Brougham Pavilion until the lockdown was lifted about two hours later. No one in the gym was injured in the shooting incident.
At about 3:10 p.m. a gunman entered SPU’s Otto Miller Hall, located directly across the street from the school’s athletic complex on 3rd Avenue West, and began shooting a shotgun. One male victim of the shooting died upon arrival at Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center; three others are listed as injured. The shooting suspect was tackled while attempting to reload the weapon, then taken into custody by Seattle police.
About ten members of the SPU gymnastics team were practicing at the time of the shooting, Tindall said. Though directly across the street from Otto Miller Hall, Tindall did not hear any sounds of gunfire from where she was inside the athletic complex.
Tindall’s daughter, Kai, is a senior at SPU and was inside Royal Brougham Pavilion earlier in the day, but left campus before the shooting occurred.
Seattle Pacific University is a private four-year university affiliated with the Free Methodist Church with student enrollment of about 4,000. The 43-acre campus is located on the north side of Queen Anne Hill along the ship canal between the Fremont and Ballard bridges.