SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Nation/World

June 7, 2014

Seattle student pepper-sprayed, tackled gunman

SEATTLE — The man blasting away with a shotgun paused to reload, and Jon Meis saw his chance.

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.

Meis and other students subdued the gunman until officers arrived and handcuffed him moments later.

Police said the shooter, who killed a 19-year-old man and wounded two other young people, had 50 additional shotgun shells and a hunting knife.

He told authorities after his arrest that he wanted to kill as many people as possible before taking his own life, Seattle police wrote in a statement filed in court yesterday.

Friends credited Meis with saving lives.

“I’m proud of the selfless actions that my roommate, Jon Meis, showed today taking down the shooter,” fellow student Matt Garcia wrote on Twitter. “He is a hero.”

The suspect, 26-year-old Aaron R. Ybarra, has a long history of mental health problems for which he had been treated and medicated, said his attorney, public defender Ramona Brandes. He is on suicide watch at the jail.

“He is cognizant of the suffering of the victims and their families and the entire Seattle Pacific community,” Brandes said. “He is sorry.”

Meis, a dean’s list electrical engineering student, was emotionally anguished but not injured in the shooting, Harborview Medical Center spokeswoman Susan Gregg said yesterday. He was treated there and released.

Roman Kukhotskiy, 22, was in the building when the violence broke out. He said Meis is getting married this summer and has accepted a job with Boeing, where he has interned in previous years.

“I was amazed that he was willing to risk all that for us,” Kukhotskiy said. “If Jon didn’t stop him, what’s to say? I could have been the next victim.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Nation/World

Local News
  • 140730_SN_DLE_DEMOLITION5 Demolition of Salem Harbor Station begins

    SALEM -- It all begins with B5. Or ends, depending on how you look at it. Demolition began at Salem Harbor Station Wednesday afternoon, with crews first setting upon one of the power plant's 11 steel tanks. The work was supposed to begin Monday, but

    July 31, 2014 7 Photos

  • Market Basket seeks replacement workers through job fair next week

    Market Basket began advertising a job fair for store managers and assistant managers in a direct shot at the current managers who signed petitions Monday threatening to resign if former CEO Arthur T. Demoulas is not rehired. The ad, which will appear

    July 31, 2014 2 Stories

  • Mary Manning Recovering Salem principal says thanks

    SALEM -- Just about a month before she was set to retire after 25 years as the principal of Collins Middle School, Mary Manning entered the hospital with a life-threatening condition. She hasn't been home since. A month later, in June, friends and co

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

  • Former school janitor Robert Scribner sentenced for assaults in truck

    SALEM -- A now-former Marblehead school janitor was ordered to serve a year in jail Wednesday after pleading guilty to charges that he assaulted and threatened to kill his estranged girlfriend after trapping her in his pickup truck in May. Robert Scr

    July 31, 2014

  • Danvers selectmen to pick town manager screening committee DANVERS -- It's a who's who of Danvers. So far, 19 residents, including human resources professionals, former selectmen, and present members of boards and committees, have submitted letters of interest to serve on a screening committee that will pick

    July 31, 2014