Family of Shooting Victim Paul Lee Sets Up Foundation In His Honor


A week after 19-year-old Paul Lee was killed by a lone gunman on the Seattle Pacific University campus, members of his grieving family spoke to The Oregonian about wanting to honor their beloved’s memory by helping others struggling with mental illness. The gunman, Aaron Ybarra, who faces murder and assault charges, has a history of mental health issues and had stopped taking his medications before the Seattle campus shooting, authorities said.

“Paul would have wanted to help the type of person that ended up ending his life,” Albert Lee, Paul’s older brother, told the newspaper.

Earlier this week, Albert and his family registered The Paul Lee Foundation with the Secretary of State’s Office in Oregon, where they live, said the article. The nonprofit’s mission is raise awareness and support for people with mental illness. The public can make donations to the foundation through any Wells Fargo bank, the family said.

The Lees said that Paul was a kind-hearted person who often helped friends with their problems and that he was going to major in psychology at Seattle Pacific University. The Oregonian reported that Lee regularly volunteered for the Portland Rescue Mission and used to prepare food for the women in the residential recovery program Shepherd’s Door. The article also said that the college student had a way of connecting with people through dancing, as he did with children in Cambodia while on a family trip helping a Christian missionary.

paul lee-framed 2

Paul, along with Albert, often helped out at their parents’ Portland restaurant, Hot Pot ‘N Sushi, according to dad Peter Lee. The father remembered fondly how Paul, the second child of three (the family also has a 12-year-old daughter, Alicia), had a habit of trying to calm the elder Lee when he seemed stressed. “Appa, appa, appa. Don’t worry,” he would tell Peter Lee, according to The Oregonian.

“I smile when I think about that,” said the father.

Albert also said that he and his family are very grateful for the outpouring of support from friends and strangers during their time of grief. 

A memorial service for Paul Lee will be held June 15 in Beaverton. 

Photos via The Oregonian (Benjamin Brink). Top photo: Peter and Albert Lee, father and brother to Seattle shooting victim Paul Lee. Middle photo: A portrait of Paul Lee.