A lone gunman armed with a shotgun on Thursday opened fire inside a building at a small Seattle university, killing one person before he was subdued by a student as he tried to reload, police said.
Police say the student building monitor at Seattle Pacific University disarmed the gunman and several other students held him until police arrived.
A man in his 20s died and a critically injured 20-year-old woman was taken to surgery, Harborview Medical Centre spokeswoman Susan Gregg said.
A 24-year-old man and a 22-year-old man were in satisfactory condition. None of the victims was immediately identified.
About 4 270 students attend the private Christian university, which was founded in 1891 by the Free Methodist Church of North America. Its 16-hectare campus is in a residential neighbourhood about 10 minutes from downtown Seattle.
Jillian Smith was taking a math test when a lockdown was ordered.
She heard police yelling and banging on doors in the hallway. The professor locked the classroom door, and the 20 or so students sat on the ground, lining up at the front of the classroom.
“We were pretty much freaking out,” said Smith, 20. “People were texting family and friends, making sure everyone was okay.”
Smith said they sat in the classroom for about 45 minutes, before police came and escorted them out of the building. On the way, they passed the lobby where she saw bullet casings and what appeared to be blood on the lobby carpet and splatter on the wall.
“Seeing blood made it real,” Smith said. “I didn't think something like this would happen at our school,” she added.
The incident follows a spate of recent shootings on or near college campuses.
Last month, according to police, Elliot Rodger killed six people and injured seven before turning his gun on himself in a rampage in Isla Vista, California, near two universities.
Seven people were killed and three injured when a 43-year-old former student opened fire at a tiny Christian school, Oikos University, in Oakland, California, in 2012.
A gunman killed five people and injured 18 when he opened fire in a Northern Illinois University lecture hall in 2008.
In 2007, 32 people were fatally shot in a dorm and classroom at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia before the gunman, Seung-Hui Cho, killed himself. - Sapa-AP