Dramatic video from the Seattle Pacific University shooting in 2014 has just been released, showing one heroic student who rushed to disarm the gunman and potentially save dozens of lives.
The video was released this week by the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office after a number of media outlets had petitioned for its release, the Huffington Post noted. The agency had tried to keep the video from being released, but this week a judge ordered that it be made public.
The video shows 26-year-old gunman Aaron R. Ybarra shoot a female student with a shotgun, then pause to re-load. In that moment, student Jon Meis rushed at the gunman and pepper-sprayed him in the face before tackling him to the ground and taking away the shotgun. Meis put Ybarra in a headlock and kept him there until others could come to help.
Meis was later honored in the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation’s 2015 Citizen Honors Program for his heroic actions. Many more could have been killed in the attack — Ybarra, who has been diagnosed with a number of mental illnesses, later told investigators that he was inspired by the Columbine school shooting and had planned to kill many more people.
There had been many trying to keep the Seattle Pacific University shooting video from being released, including families of the victims. Paul Lee, 19, was killed in the attack and students Thomas Fowler, Jr., and Sarah Williams were injured.
This week the university issued its own statement decrying the video’s release.
“We, along with others, have pursued legal action to stop the videos’ release in order to protect individual privacy and prevent the emotional distress these images will have on our community,” the university said. “Seattle Pacific University remains strong and resilient as a result of God’s faithfulness to us. Our foremost concern continues to be the welfare and safety of not only our students, faculty, and staff, but of the victims and witnesses of the tragedy.”
The Seattle Pacific University shooting video was released just as another story of heroism has emerged in the wake of this weekend’s tragic attack in Orlando. As gunman Omar Mateen was gunning down patrons in Pulse nightclub in an attack that killed 49, a bouncer named Irman Yousuf may have saved dozens more lives through his quick thinking and bravery.
A former Marine, the 24-year-old Yousuf was inside the club when Mateen opened fire. The shooting trapped a large group of people in the back of the club, with Yousuf among them.
“The initial one was three or four (shots),” Yousuf said, via CBS News. “That was a shock. Three of four shots go off and you could tell it was a high caliber. Everyone froze. I’m here in the back and I saw people start pouring into the back hallway, and they just sardine pack everyone.”
But even as the other patrons froze in fear, Yousuf’s Marine Corps training kicked in and he remained calm. Knowing the layout of the nightclub, he was able to run to a door and throw it open, helping usher dozens of people to safety and saving their lives.
Video of the Seattle Pacific University shooting can be seen below, but be warned that it contains images of graphic violence that may be upsetting to some viewers.
The Seattle Pacific University shooting video could re-surface again in a few months. Ybarra has been charged with one count of premeditated first-degree murder, two counts of attempted first-degree murder, and one count of second-degree assault and is set to go on trial in September. His lawyer said he will plead insanity.
[Image via video screenshot/New York Daily News]