Seattle Pacific University (SPU) is a private, evangelical Christian university on a 40-acre campus on the northern slope of Queen Anne Hill. The manicured, wooded campus is located on either side of West Nickerson Street and borders the Lake Washington Ship Canal.
The school was founded by Free Methodist pioneers in 1891, and today has an enrollment of about 4,000 students, most of whom are undergraduates.
Its students and faculty are known for embracing humanitarian causes and social activism that’s rooted in Christian teachings.
Women make up about 67 percent of SPU’s enrollment, and in 2013, about 43 percent of its incoming freshmen were from out of state.
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The university is known for its business program, health sciences and engineering, and its classes are small, usually averaging 22 students. A year of tuition and fees is about $34,000.
The university has its own safety and security staff, spokeswoman Tracy Norlen said. The security officers are not armed. The school has an emergency and crisis-management plan and uses email and text messages to alert students if there is an emergency on campus.
The shooting took place in Otto Miller Hall, a two-story building that is primarily made up of classrooms.
Violent crime is rare in the SPU area, according to a Seattle Times analysis. Over the past four years, Seattle Police recorded only 14 violent crimes — a little more than three incidents a year.
Over that time period, police counted seven threats, six assaults and one robbery. Of the 252 incidents in the area, about 90 percent were property crimes such as car prowls, auto thefts and bike thefts, police records show.
Friday was to be the last day of classes for the academic year, but they were canceled, and finals were to start Tuesday.