SEATTLE -- Lawyers representing Seattle Pacific University and as many as 30 students or others connected to the June 5 campus shooting filed a lawsuit Wednesday asking the judge to block the release of surveillance video of the crime scene captured by the school’s security cameras.
The unnamed parties are all either victims or witnesses of the shooting.
The civil suit is in addition to the motion brought by suspect Aaron Ybarra's lawyer, asking that a judge in the criminal case prevent release of the video and other records. Ybarra is charged with murder and attempted murder in the shootings.
Several Seattle news media organizations, including KING TV, requested the security camera video, the 9-1-1 calls and Ybarra's personal journal. Members of the news media routinely file requests for information about high-profile criminal cases and other important stories.
In the lawsuit, the victims and witnesses and the university argue releasing the video would have a "catastrophic impact on their lives," by causing them to relive the events of that day. They add it would only bring notoriety and attention to Ybarra.
The university also claims releasing the video will reveal confidential information about their security system and compromise campus safety and security. SPU has asked for a temporary restraining order against the King County Prosecutor's Office and the Seattle Police Department, who currently have copies of the video.
Both the King County Prosecutor's Office and Seattle Police Department indicated they believed they were required to release the records under our state's public records laws.
An immediate hearing on the request for a temporary restraining order is set for Thursday afternoon at the King County Courthouse. A hearing on the request by Ybarra's lawyer in the criminal case is set for next Monday.