- Associated Press - Sunday, July 14, 2019

A friend of the man who authorities say died after throwing explosive devices at an immigration jail in Tacoma says that she thinks he wanted to provoke a fatal conflict, the Seattle Times reports.

Deb Bartley, who tells the Times she has been a friend of Willem Van Spronsen’s for about 20 years, described him as an anarchist and anti-fascist, and believes his attack on the detention center intending to provoke a fatal conflict.

“He was ready to end it,” Bartley told the Times. “I think this was a suicide. But then he was able to kind of do it in a way that spoke to his political beliefs. I know he went down there knowing he was going to die.”


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She says that she and other friends of Van Spronsen got letters in the mail “just saying goodbye.” He also wrote what she referred to as a manifesto, which she declined to discuss in detail, the Times reports.

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