SEATTLE (AP) — A student at a Seattle university is shown pepper spraying a gunman then taking him to the ground during a 2014 shooting in video released this week by authorities.
The King County Prosecutor’s Office on Tuesday released footage of the June 5, 2014, incident that left one student dead to satisfy a public records request. In the video, Aaron Ybarra, then 27, is seen entering a building at Seattle Pacific University holding a shotgun. He shoots and injures a student before Jon Meis runs into the lobby and confronts him, dragging him to the ground and taking the shotgun.
Police say Ybarra killed one male student outside the building.
Ybarra’s defense attorney has not disputed accounts of the shooting but says Ybarra suffers from mental illness. Ybarra has pleaded not guilty to murder and other charges and his trial is scheduled for September.
The video shows Ybarra entering a lobby that appeared to be occupied by one student who initially didn’t see him. He points the gun in the student’s direction, then walks around. Another student descends a staircase, also not immediately seeing the gunman. The gunman fires at her and the other student runs away. The wounded student slowly walks away as Ybarra appears to be reloading.
At this point Meis emerges, hits Ybarra in the face with pepper spray and lunges at him, taking him down in a neck hold then removing the gun. Ybarra rolls around before Meis returns, grabbing him again in a headlock before another man helps subdue Ybarra.
At the time of the shooting, Seattle police praised the actions of Meis, who was a student monitor in the building, saying he “heroically intervened.”
The state Court of Appeals in December upheld a ruling ordering the footage released under Washington’s Public Records Act.
The school said in a statement Tuesday that it was disappointed with the release of the surveillance videos.
“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 school said. “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.”
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