School shooting victim's family donates money, hoping to prevent more shootings
The brother of Seattle Pacific University shooting victim Paul Lee says his family is donating the money raised in the days after the tragedy to a new nonprofit he and friends created: The Paul Lee Foundation.
Albert Lee and close family friends, including Kristen Bae, say the foundation will help fund mental health research and services. They're partnering with Seattle Pacific University in the hopes of preventing future shootings and helping students who may be struggling.
There have been three school shootings along the West Coast in less than a month. They happened at University of California Santa Barbara, Seattle Pacific University and Reynolds High School in Troutdale.
"It's like tragedy after tragedy," said Bae. "The only thing that helps me with the grief is knowing I'm doing something right now that can help change that for the future."
They plan to fund research by Dr. Amy Mezulis at SPU. Mezulis specializes in adolescent depression.
"She has a two-part strategy," Bae said. "She approaches depression from the research angle and practical support angle, so we're hoping to help her fund both of those."
Mezulis said she can't say there is a direct link to her work and preventing future shootings, but she's honored to potentially work with the foundation and do what she can to help.
"(It can provide) a better understanding of how to get the appropriate kinds of services for people in need," said Mezulis. "It informs earlier identification, and it informs better prevention efforts."
Bae says the foundation is also to continue the passion Lee had for psychology.
"He wanted to help others," Bae said. "That's just the kind of guy he was."