SEATTLE — Police and other officials are clear:
A hero stepped forward and saved lives during the Seattle Pacific University shooting Thursday afternoon.
The hero who stepped forward and tackled the 26-year-old shooting suspect Aaron Ybarra is being identified as Jon Meis, a student and building monitor at SPU.
Details are sketchy, but the hero’s story can be pieced together from police reports and eye-witness accounts.
According to Seattle police, Ybarra walked into Otto Miller Hall with a shotgun and a handgun, confronted at least three people and opened fire around 3:30 p.m. Thursday. When Ybarra stopped to reload his weapons, 22-year-old Meis, who was sitting at a desk in the lobby, sprayed the suspect with pepper spray he often carries. When the suspect was incapacitated, Meis rushed Ybarra and put him in a chokehold to subdue him.
Other students and faculty members came to Meis’ aid and helped him subdue Ybarra, police said.
Meis was not injured but shaken up in the incident. He was sent to Harborview Medical Center where he was quickly released.
Following the shooting, news of Meis’ actions quickly spread across the shaken campus. The 22-year-old from Redmond who is of deep faith was praised.
His name also quickly spread around social media, as news of a hero grew. Making it more amazing was the revelation that Meis was slated to get married within two weeks, according to marriage website Theknot.com.
Seattle police praised Meis’ efforts, saying unequivocally that he saved lives during a press conference following the shooting.
SPU President Daniel J. Martin, who from a different building on campus watched the episode unfold on security cameras, put it simply.
“He saved lives,” Martin said.
We will have more updates on Meis as more and learned throughout the day.