(SEATTLE) — The man who subdued the gunman during the shooting at Seattle Pacific University last week released a statement Monday saying his life has changed.
“On Thursday, my life changed. I was thrown into a life and death situation, and through God’s grace I was able to stop the attacker and walk away unharmed,” Jon Meis, 22, said.
Meis, a teaching assistant at the university who was doubling as a security desk monitor on the day of the shooting, attacked the gunman with pepper spray as he tried to reload his shotgun. With the help of other students, Meis then wrestled the suspect, Aaron Ybarra, to the ground until police arrived.
The suspect had already shot three people, killing one, police said.
“As I try to return to a normal life in the aftermath of this horrible event, I pray above all things for strength for the victims and their families. 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 it myself right now if I had personally known the victims,” Meis said.
While he has been hailed a hero for his actions, Meis finds the title “hard to accept.”
“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,” he said.
Meis has requested privacy and asked that people “continue to pray for everyone in the Seattle Pacific community.”
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