It didn’t take long after yesterday’s shotgun attack by a non-student at Seattle Pacific University for word to get out that the brave actions of students ended the attack before far more people could be injured or killed.
The friends of the first man to go after the armed suspect quickly identified the bashful hero to the world via Twitter.
I’m proud of the selfless actions that my roommate, Jon Meis, showed today taking down the shooter. He is a hero. #prayforSPU #SPUshooting
— Matt Garcia (@MattJamesGarcia) June 6, 2014
Jon Meis, You are my hero! Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (Jn 15:13) #SPUshooting
— Shane Bengry (@ShaneBengry) June 6, 2014
Jon Meis is a hero. I have no words for his courage. I will forever be grateful for him, the SPD and this beautiful community #prayforSPU — Molli Elizabeth (@MolliElizabeth1) June 6, 2014
Meis was a monitor working the front desk in the lobby when the attacker began shooting, and he quickly sprang into action.
Shortly after a gunman stalked SPU’s Otto Miller Hall on Thursday afternoon, fatally shooting one student and wounding two others, Meis made a split-second decision that some now say helped stop further carnage.
As the gunman stopped to reload his weapon in blood-splattered Miller Hall, Meis, 22, a senior engineering student from Renton, saw an opportunity, his roommate said Thursday night.
Meis, who was working at the time as a monitor who sits at a desk in the lobby, near the Hall’s front door, quickly moved in to pepper-spray the gunman, then he tackled him to the ground. Police arriving moments later moved in to handcuff and arrest the suspect, other witnesses said.
Because it doesn’t fit the preferred narrative, there are things about Meis that the media seem to be choosing not to share about him.
Meis first made the news in 2010 for his academic performance, where he earned student of the month honors. It was noted that he helped found the S.KA.R. airsoft team which competes in simulated combat events.
Meis’s Facebook page “Likes” also reveal that Meis supports the National Rifle Association and numerous firearms and gear manufacturers and retailers, including AIM Surplus, GrabAGun.com, Kel-Tec, Kinetic Concealment, Mossberg, Savage, and Remington.
In short, Mr. Meis seems to be the kind of person who clings to his guns and his religion… and yet oddly enough, hardly seems bitter.
As a culture, perhaps we should do much more to celebrate the everyday heroism of people like Mr. Meis, than the acts of narcissistic cowards who seek fame through slaughter.
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Update: Jon and Kaylie Sparks (pictured ab0ve) are to be married June 21. Strangers bought out their gift registry in a matter of hours, and someone else started a gufundme campaign that has raised more than $38,000 for their honeymoon and future.
Sometimes the courageous do get the recognition they deserve.