Jon Meis, a student working as a building monitor, pepper-sprayed the shooter as he stopped to reload, then put him in a chokehold and took him to the ground, according to police and a friend who spoke with Meis after the shooting. Then other students and faculty members rushed to hold the shooter down until police arrived.A weapon and courage is more useful than courage alone. Initial reports are that the suspect had no connection to the victims or the university. Reports from friends and family give no reason to suspect mental illness:
McKinley said Ybarra had gotten a new job a few weeks ago, bagging groceries and cleaning up the store. After struggling with a minor reading disability, he was happy to have the job and tried to work as many hours as he could.
Ybarra didn’t do drugs and he didn’t drink, McKinley said. When they went out to celebrate his new job, Ybarra ordered a Dr Pepper, McKinley said.
Ybarra spent his time writing screenplays and novels, mostly adventure stories. Ybarra could get emotionally low, but McKinley said he had a good group of friends and never saw him depressed.
“I’m really good at deciphering if someone’s got bad news or in trouble. I’m blown away by this,’’ he said. “He called me yesterday and asked if I wanted to go fishing.”I suspect that we will learn more about Ybarra's mental state in the next few days.
UPDATE: June 6, 2014 Seattle Times reports:
Ybarra’s obsession included an interest in the 1999 Columbine High School shootings in Colorado, the source said. In that massacre, two teens killed 12 students and a teacher and wounded 23 others before killing themselves.
Ybarra chose Seattle Pacific University for no particular reason to carry out his own plan to commit a mass shooting, the source said. Ybarra was not a student at the school, police said.
In general, there was “no rhyme or reason” to his actions, the source said....
Ybarra, of Mountlake Terrace, was picked up by police twice in the past four years because he was drunk and making suicidal comments, authorities said today.Sounds like mental illness, doesn't it?