Hero of Seattle campus attack: Shooter looked sad

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Hero of Seattle campus attack: Shooter looked sad
Shooting suspect Aaron Ybarra, left, is led in chains to a court hearing at a King County Jail courtroom Friday, June 6, 2014, in Seattle. Ybarra was arrested in the killing of a 19-year-old student and wounding of two other young people Thursday at Seattle Pacific University. Police say Jon Meis and other students subdued Ybarra until officers arrived and handcuffed him moments later. Meis, the 22-year-old building monitor, pepper-sprayed and tackled the gunman Thursday in Seattle Pacific University's Otto Miller Hall, likely preventing further carnage, according to police and university officials. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Defense attorney Ramona Brandes, left, leans across to speak with shooting suspect Aaron Ybarra at a hearing in a King County Jail courtroom Friday, June 6, 2014, in Seattle. Ybarra was arrested in the killing of a 19-year-old student and wounding of two other young people Thursday at Seattle Pacific University. Police say another student pepper-sprayed and tackled him. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
SEATTLE, WA - JUNE 05: Seattle Police and first responders work the crime scene after a shooting at Seattle Pacific University on June 5, 2014 in Seattle, Washington. A gunman is in custody after four people were shot on campus resulting in one death. (Photo by Mat Hayward/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - JUNE 05: Seattle Police officers secure the crime scene after a shooting at Seattle Pacific University on June 5, 2014 in Seattle, Washington. A gunman is in custody after four people were shot on campus resulting in one death. (Photo by Mat Hayward/Getty Images)
Students from Seattle Pacific University gather outside in a spontaneous prayer circle after a church service was full, following a shooting on the campus of the university Thursday, June 5, 2014, in Seattle. A lone gunman armed with a shotgun opened fire in a building on the campus, killing one person before he was subdued by a student as he tried to reload, police said. Police say the student building monitor at the university disarmed the gunman and several other students held him until police arrived at the Otto Miller building. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Students and faculty pray together following a shooting on the campus of Seattle Pacific University Thursday, June 5, 2014, in Seattle. Seattle police now say there are four victims in a shooting and say one suspect is in custody. Police say one man and one woman have life-threatening injuries while another man and another woman are reported in stable condition.(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Detectives wait outside a home believed to be tied to Aaron R. Ybarra, who was arrested Thursday, June 5, 2014 following a shooting at Seattle Pacific University in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Seattle Police officers walk past a home believed to be tied to Aaron R. Ybarra, who was arrested Thursday, June 5, 2014 following a shooting at Seattle Pacific University in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
A police officer stands near the scene of a shooting on the campus of Seattle Pacific University Thursday, June 5, 2014, in Seattle. A lone gunman armed with a shotgun opened fire in Otto Miller Hall, hidden behind the vehicle at left, on the campus, killing one person before he was subdued by a student as he tried to reload, police said. Police say the student building monitor at Seattle Pacific University disarmed the gunman and several other students held him until police arrived at the Otto Miller building. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Television videographers and other media wait for a briefing at the scene of a shooting Thursday, June 5, 2014, at Seattle Pacific University in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
A Seattle Police SWAT team officer strings police tape at the scene of a shooting Thursday, June 5, 2014, at Seattle Pacific University in Seattle. A lone gunman armed with a shotgun opened fire in a building at the small university, killing one person before he was subdued by a student as he tried to reload, police said. Police say the student building monitor disarmed the gunman and several other students held him until police arrived at the Otto Miller building. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Young people are escorted past police following a shooting on the campus of Seattle Pacific University on Thursday, June 5, 2014, in Seattle. A lone gunman armed with a shotgun opened fire in a building at the small university, killing one person before he was subdued by a student as he tried to reload, police said. Police say the student building monitor disarmed the gunman and several other students held him until police arrived at the Otto Miller building. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Seattle Police SWAT officers run toward a campus building following a shooting at Seattle Pacific University on Thursday, June 5, 2014, in Seattle. A lone gunman armed with a shotgun opened fire Thursday in a building at the small Seattle university, killing one person before he was subdued by a student as he tried to reload, police said. Police say the student building monitor disarmed the gunman and several other students held him until police arrived at the Otto Miller building. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Students and faculty pray together following a shooting on the campus of Seattle Pacific University Thursday, June 5, 2014, in Seattle. Seattle police say there are four victims in a shooting and say one suspect is in custody. Police say one man and one woman have life-threatening injuries while another man and another woman are reported in stable condition.(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
A Seattle Police SWAT team officer walks with his gun and a roll of police tape at the scene of a shooting Thursday, June 5, 2014 at Seattle Pacific University in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Seattle Police SWAT officers stand near a campus building following a shooting at Seattle Pacific University on Thursday, June 5, 2014, in Seattle. A lone gunman armed with a shotgun opened fire in a building at the small university, killing one person before he was subdued by a student as he tried to reload, police said. Police say the student building monitor disarmed the gunman and several other students held him until police arrived at the Otto Miller building. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Brianna Clarke, left, cries as she talks on her phone while Erin Rutledge, right, an athletic trainer at Seattle Pacific University, is hugged by a colleague, at the scene of a shooting Thursday, June 5, 2014 at Seattle Pacific University in Seattle. About 4,270 students attend the private Christian university, located in a residential neighborhood about 10 minutes from downtown Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Map locates Seattle, where a gunman opened fire on the campus of Seattle Pacific University.; 1c x 2 1/2 inches; 46.5 mm x 63 mm;
A Seattle Police SWAT team officer strings police tape at the scene of a shooting Thursday, June 5, 2014 at Seattle Pacific University in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Brianna Clarke, a student at Seattle Pacific University, cries as she talks on her phone at the scene of a shooting Thursday, June 5, 2014 at Seattle Pacific University in Seattle. About 4,270 students attend the private Christian university, located in a residential neighborhood about 10 minutes from downtown Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Medical workers stow an used backboard at the scene of a shooting Thursday, June 5, 2014 at Seattle Pacific University in Seattle. About 4,270 students attend the private Christian university, located in a residential neighborhood about 10 minutes from downtown Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
A Seattle Police SWAT team officer walks with his gun and a roll of police tape at the scene of a shooting Thursday, June 5, 2014 at Seattle Pacific University in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Students help each other as they walk away from the scene of a shooting Thursday, June 5, 2014, at Seattle Pacific University in Seattle. Police say a university student on Thursday disarmed a lone gunman who entered a building and shot four people. A hospital spokeswoman says one man has died and three other people are injured, one critically. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Medical and police officers walk at the scene of a shooting Thursday, June 5, 2014, at Seattle Pacific University in Seattle. Police say a university student on Thursday disarmed a lone gunman who entered a building and shot four people. A hospital spokeswoman says one man has died and three other people are injured, one critically. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Students and faculty pray together following a shooting on the campus of Seattle Pacific University Thursday, June 5, 2014, in Seattle. Seattle police said there are four victims in a shooting and have one suspect in custody. Police say one man and one woman have life-threatening injuries while another man and another woman are reported in stable condition.(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
City officials, including Mayor Ed Murray, third from right, and interim police chief Harry Bailey, second from right, walk at the scene of a shooting Thursday, June 5, 2014 at Seattle Pacific University in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION


SEATTLE (AP) - College student Jon Meis, who has shied away from the spotlight since he ended a Seattle campus shooting by pepper-spraying the gunman last week, said Monday it's hard to accept his status as a hero.

Meis, 22, and his family have declined media requests since the shooting, with relatives going as far as to ask his high school not to grant interviews about him.

But on Monday, Meis issued a written statement through Seattle Pacific University, where the shooting occurred Thursday. He said he's praying for the victims, that the tragedy deepened his respect for the work of first responders, and that the gunman appeared to be a sad, troubled young man, not a monster.

"I know that I am being hailed as a hero, and as many people have suggested I find this hard to accept," he wrote. "I am indeed a quiet and private individual; while I have imagined what it would be like to save a life I never believed I would be put in such a situation. It touches me truly and deeply to read online that parents are telling their children about me and telling them that real heroes do exist."

Meis is a dean's list senior at the small, Christian college in a leafy neighborhood north of downtown Seattle. He was working as a building monitor when the gunman walked into Otto Miller Hall and began firing a shotgun.

A 19-year-old student was killed and two others injured, and authorities say the carnage almost certainly would have continued had Meis not acted by spraying and tackling the shooter while he reloaded.

Meis credited "God's grace" for enabling him to stop the shooter, whom police have identified as Aaron Ybarra, 26, of the north Seattle suburb of Mountlake Terrace.

"When I came face to face with the attacker, God gave me the eyes to see that he was not a faceless monster, but a very sad and troubled young man," Meis wrote.

Meis said he's not ready to forgive him, but added: "I truly desire that he will find the grace of God and the forgiveness of our community."

Ybarra is being held without bail and has been on suicide watch at King County Jail. His lawyer says he's sorry about the shooting and that he has a long history of mental problems.

Ybarra had at least 50 additional shotgun rounds, and after he was arrested he told investigators he planned to kill as many people as possible and himself, police said.

Meis also said he has been overwhelmed by generosity and support. An online campaign has raised about $50,000 for him, and supporters bought items on a wedding registry for Meis and his fiancee.

He requested that any future donations be directed to the victims of the shooting through Seattle Pacific.
Read Full Story

People are Reading