- 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.”

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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