Seattle Hillel evacuated after employee threat

The University of Washington Hillel was evacuated after a fired employee allegedly threatened to cause an explosion in the building.

Police shut down streets in Seattle’s University District on Feb. 10 after receiving a call from employees about the threat. No one was injured.

Police believe the suspect was a custodian who had just been given notice of his termination, and who then threatened to blow up the Jewish student building.

Rabbi Oren Hayon, the Hillel’s executive director, would not identify the suspect, but he said there was a “credible” threat.

According to the Seattle Police Department, an employee followed the custodian to the building’s basement at approximately 1:45 p.m. after he suspected there might be a threat, saw the custodian begin to mix ammonia and bleach together, then evacuated the building.

According to the Seattle police, the SWAT team found the suspect in Hillel’s basement and arrested him at 3 p.m.

Police did not initially release the suspect’s name. He was taken to a hospital for treatment of chemical inhalation and was under observation for mental health issues. The suspect apparently has a history of threatening suicide. — jta