Seattle Shooting Victim Remembered as Helpful 'Uncle Paul'

The student killed at Seattle Pacific University during last week's shooting was remembered this week as a supportive student and friend, who classmates even called "Uncle Paul."

Paul Lee, 19, was killed when 26-year-old Aaron Ybarra stormed on to the campus of Seattle Pacific University with a shotgun and opened fire. Three other people were injured in the incident, one critically.

Seattle Hero Called Quiet Man

Learn More About the Seattle Pacific University Shooting

Hero Teaching Assistant Stops Gunman at Seattle Pacific University

In the days after the shooting, friends and classmates from the university flocked to the site of the shooting and laid flowers in honor of Lee.

Rachel Allen, a sophomore at the school, told ABC News affiliate KOMO-TV in Seattle that she first met Lee at the beginning of the school year.

"I just remember thinking he was a really fun, bubbly guy. He liked to have a good time. Someone fun to hang out with," Allen told KOMO-TV.

Lee graduated from high school in Portland, Ore., in 2013 and those in his hometown were shocked when they realized Lee was a victim of the shooting.

Brian Bangerter, who taught Lee for three years when he attended Westview High School, said that after the news about Lee's death broke, students started to arrive in his classroom in tears.

"Paul was a ray of light in my class for three years, it was impossible to be around him and not feel happy," Bangerter told ABC News. "His laugh and smile were both contagious and everyone who knew him felt close to him. He will always be remembered for his infectious positive attitude. I know I will never forget him."

Bangerter, a Japanese teacher, said students took to calling Lee, "Uncle Paul" because he was always open to helping them or supporting them.

"He was someone who was very wise and very encouraging," said Bangerter, who said he heard that Lee had wanted to become a counselor after school. "He deserves a spotlight on him because he reached out to so many people. ... He probably would have done the same for this shooter if he had a chance to meet him."

Bangerter said the teenager had been a passionate fan of break dancing and would often spend lunch and time after school practicing his moves with friends.

On Facebook the person Lee listed as his brother, Albert Lee, wrote about the family's grief and his late brother.

"At a time when we feel a level of loss, grief, and pain we couldn't have ever imagined, we are so overwhelmed by all of the thoughts and prayers from the community," Albert Lee wrote. "At this moment all we can ask is to continue to remember Paul and all that he has left behind for us ... Paul, you handsome shekki, we miss you and love you more than you know. Keep dancin' in heaven."

The university issued a statement Saturday, saying in part: "He is described by professors as always positive, and with a great wit. His sense of humor was contagious; he was outgoing and well loved by others. Paul was also known for his deep faith."

Related Topics:
news abc news national
(Copyright ©2014 ABC News Internet Ventures.)

Load Comments