John Meis, a student of Seattle Pacific University, heroically intervened in last week’s shooting at his campus.
Witnesses of the shooting claim that John Meis pepper sprayed and tackled the gunman, Aaron Ybarra, to the ground when he was reloading his shotgun after shooting another student named Paul Lee. Unfortunately two men and one women were injured, and Paul Lee did not survive after being rushed to the hospital.
The Seattle Police Department recounted John Meis’ actions during the shooting by releasing a statement. The shooter fired several rounds from his shotgun, when Meis heard the gunshots, he noticed an opportunity to intervene. After Meis sprayed and tackled him to the ground, several bystanders came to help Meis as the bystanders removed the knife and shotgun from the shooter. Thomas Fowler and Sarah Williams were both injured during the shooting and received treatment at the Harbourview Medical Center, but both have since been released.
After the shooting John Meis released a written statement including comments about his experience during the shooting, the aftereffects of the shooting, and his appreciation of the work done by the responders. He says he is praying for the victims and their families. Despite his heroism he finds it hard to accept himself as a hero but instead credits “God’s Grace” for his actions. He stated that he viewed Aaron Ybarra not as a “faceless monster” but as a “very sad and troubled young man.”
John Meis says his views on public servants have changed, and he now truly sees the value of the responders who secured the scene and the medical team that treated the victims. Meis commented, “After being in this situation myself, it is even harder to imagine what it would be like to have a job where one’s life is willingly put on the line every day.”
John Meis received an overwhelmingly positive response from not only his local community but also the online community. He received unsolicited donations with a total of over $50,000 to cover his wedding and honeymoon plans for him and his fiancé Kaylie Sparks. However Meis suggested that all donations be sent to a fund that was set up for the victims of the Seattle Pacific University shooting, and that everyone continue to pray for the victims of the shooting.