SEATTLE — Acting on a court order, the King County Prosecutor’s Office on Tuesday released surveillance video of the 2014 shooting at Seattle Pacific University in which a gunman killed one person and injured two others.
In light of the Orlando shootings and other recent attacks, there is value in recognizing what student Jon Meis did that day when he bravely tackled the gunman and stopped anyone else on campus from getting hurt.
We don’t know if Meis acted on instinct that day or if he had some training. But there is no doubt he saved lives.
The gunman had already shot one student when student safety monitor Meis comes around the corner with pepper spray. As the gunman goes to reload his shotgun, Meis sprays him in the face, takes him to the floor and wrestles away his shotgun. He runs away with the weapon.
Police say at that point, the gunman, identified as Aaron Ybarra, fumbles with a hunting knife. A few moments later, Meis returns, jumps on the gunman and holds him until help arrives.
Safety expert and former SWAT team member Jesus Villahermosa says fighting back often provides the best chance of survival.
Meis was recognized by the school for his heroism. Ybarra’s trial is set to begin in September for first-degree murder and other charges.
The lawyer for the 28-year-old Ybarra is planning to use an insanity defense.