UPDATED: Seattle U student arrested for alleged school shooting threats

School remained open during investigation

UPDATED: Seattle U student arrested for alleged school shooting threats

UPDATED: Seattle U student arrested for alleged school shooting threats

A Seattle University student who allegedly talked about shooting up the campus is facing charges of felony harassment and threats to bomb or injure property.

The university sent a public safety text around 1:38 p.m. on Friday, May 18.

“A student of concern was reported to the University,” it read. “DPS (Department of Public Safety) is investigating. There is no active threat. The University is operating normally.”

This is about the time that Seattle Police Officer Roxanne Zech was dispatched to Seattle U’s Bannon Building for a report of threats made about shooting students and teachers, according to a superform.

The report came several hours after news broke that a student at Santa Fe High School in Texas had shot and killed several students and teachers; the final count was 10 dead and 13 wounded.

A Seattle University student had reported to his professor that same morning that 21-year-old Bryson Morgan had talked about how it “would be easy to kill everyone” during a May 12 field trip, according to the police report. The student reported Morgan made similar statements on the morning of May 18.

While in class, the student said Morgan complained about having to watch “communist bullshit videos” in his Spanish class earlier that day, and later said, “I could kill everyone.”

Morgan allegedly told the student he could use a .308 and other types of guns to kill people, according to the police report, and then reportedly described how he would do it, adding, “I wouldn’t kill you.”

The student contacted his professor, and the “classroom self-evacuated due to Morgan’s statements,” according to the police report.

Campus security searched the building while Zech spoke with Seattle U security director Craig Birklid, but no one matching Morgan’s description was found, according to Zech’s report.

“During the investigation, Birklid told officers that Morgan was experiencing recent mental health issues, but no history was located through police data to verify that information,” according to the report.

Officers were able to eventually contact Morgan, who reported to the East Precinct building in Capitol Hill that night.

“Morgan told officers that he was joking about shooting up the school and this was a big misunderstanding because everyone knew he was joking,” the report states. “Morgan refused to provide a statement and requested a lawyer.”

Morgan was booked for felony harassment, and bond was set at $20,000 bond on Saturday, May 19. He was formally charged in King County Superior Court on Wednesday, May 23. He is set for arraignment on June 6.

He is not allowed to have contact with the reporting student or to return to the Seattle University campus, should he be released.

Seattle University issued a community safety advisory around 8 p.m. May 18, with some additional information regarding the “concerning comments,” explaining that the earlier alert to the campus community was “out of an abundance of caution and in response to inaccurate information that started to circulate by word of mouth...”

The advisory also noted that the student had been arrested for felony harassment, but details of the alleged concerning comments were not provided.

“There is no active threat to the campus,” the advisory concludes. “The university is operating normally. If there are any new developments or facts that come to light relating to the safety and security of the campus community, we will share them at the earliest possible time.”

Morgan’s mother said he has depression, ADHD, dyslexia and Asperger Syndrome, and that he’d recently stopped taking his medication and moved out of her home and into an apartment near campus, according to a probable cause affidavit by Seattle Police Detective Michelle Gallegos.

The affidavit states Morgan bought a long rifle two years ago, but his mother said they took it away from him. It is reportedly in his father’s possession.

“She stated he does have a tendency to rant when annoyed and she stated he sometimes does not understand the impact his words have on other(sic),” according to the probable cause affidavit.