(UPDATED 4:32 PM with charges, and charging documents’ mention of suspect seeking a possible SSCC student)
11:25 AM: The South Seattle Community College (WSB sponsor) community has received a memo from president Gary Oertli saying the man arrested in North Seattle last week with incendiary devices and maps to local colleges including SSCC has no known ties to the school, and that there is NO “active threat” to the campus. Here’s the memo sent by Oertli on Monday, forwarded to WSB today by a reader:
As some of you might have heard, there is a developing news story that broke late last week with a connection to our campus. Authorities have confirmed that there is not an active threat to our campus.
At this early stage, the connection to our campus is unclear, but here is what we do know:
Ø Police arrested Justin (Miles Jasper) on July 3, and found maps to several colleges, including South Seattle Community College. Our records confirm that he is not nor has he been a student at South.
Ø Jasper appeared in court on July 5 for a probable cause hearing. During the hearing, his bail was set at two million dollars and he remains in custody.
The Seattle Police Department and the F.B.I. have been in contact with campus security. As this story continues to develop, we will continue to keep you posted.
In the meantime, this is an excellent reminder to re-visit our Emergency Action plan on our website … It is also important to update your contact information, if you have not signed up already, on Campus Alerts for immediate updates on campus emergencies or unplanned closures. The link is provided here.
Campus safety is paramount to our community. At this time, there is no action required and our campus will continue to operate normally. We are working hard to continue to keep our campus a safe place for our students, faculty, and staff.
We contacted college communications director Kevin Maloney for comment today and he says that coincidentally, SSCC has a delegation at emergency training offsite today – planned long before this happened: “Myself and 12 others from South, including President Oertli, are attending a three-day class taught by FEMA to continue our emergency planning education. While we have planned on attending this course for months, the incident of last week stresses the importance of this course and previous training.”
Meantime, the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office says there’ll be a decision by this afternoon on whether to file charges against Jasper, who is jailed in lieu of $2 million bail. We’ll update this story when that announcement is made, and will watch developments to see if there is any additional information of West Seattle relevance.
4:36 PM UPDATE: Jasper is now charged with four felonies – two counts of possessing a stolen firearm, one count of possessing a stolen vehicle, one of possessing an incendiary device. The charging documents provided by the KCPAO do briefly mention that when police first found him in North Seattle in a truck stolen from an acquaintance in Montana, Jasper told them he was in Seattle “searching for an old friend who he thought was in the welding program at South Seattle Community College.” The “old friend” is not named, and no other part of the charging documents reference SSCC or anything else related to West Seattle.