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Seattle Pacific University Student Attributes Heroism to God’s Design

Aleteia - published on 06/09/14 - updated on 06/08/17

Jon Meis declines interviews, asks people to have compassion on shooter.

The Seattle Pacific University student hero who prevented a campus shooting there from becoming far worse has acknowledged divine intervention in the tragedy.

Jon Meis, 22, a building monitor at the Christian university, seized on the moment when the shooter was reloading and subdued him with pepper spray and force. He has declined interviews, but he issued a statement Monday in which he said he was “thrown into a life and death situation” June 5, “and through God’s grace I was able to stop the attacker and walk away unharmed.”

Aaron Ybarra, 26, allegedly killed a 19-year-old man was and wounded two other young people in the incident.

Beginning his June 9 statement “to my brothers and sisters at Seattle Pacific University, and my brothers and sisters in Christ throughout the nation and the world,” Meis said he is praying “above all things for strength for the victims and their families.”

Meis, an engineering student, is planning to get married June 21, and since his act of heroism became national news, people have been buying items off his wedding registry, according to Seattle’s But he is asking that any donations that may come his way be redirected to Seattle Pacific for the families of those affected.

“While my experience left me in physical shock, I know that many people are dealing with much greater grief than I have experienced, and in honesty I probably would not be able to handle myself right now if I had personally known the victims,” Meis wrote.

He also called for a compassionate attitude toward the alleged gunman.

“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. “While I cannot at this time find it within me to forgive his crime, I truly desire that he will find the grace of God and the forgiveness of our community.”

Practicing Mercy
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