by: Joanna Small Updated:
SEATTLE - For the first time since Thursday's shooting we are hearing from the family of the student who was dubbed a hero. People inside Otto Miller Hall said they saw Jon Meis use pepper spray and take down suspected gunman Aaron Ybarra.
"On behalf of our family and as a brother to Jon, I just want to say that we're honored by the love and encouragement this community has given by reaching out to our family,” Chad Meis told a sanctuary full of people at First Free Methodist Church Sunday morning.
Chad Meis thanked the community that's been thanking his brother since students and staff witnessed Jon Meis' heroic act inside Otto Miller Hall. Chad Meis credited God for people like Jon Meis, who he said give us reason to rejoice.
"Being in a place of faith, being in a place where we know Lord Jesus Christ has laid down his life for us in the way that my brother and other students were willing to put themselves in harm's way for the safety of this community, we know we have hope and we have joy,” he said.
Chad Meis wanted only to address First Free Methodist church-- the church where he was recently married and where Jon Meis stood up as his best man. He wasn't ready to talk with us about his brother, but the pastor was after the service.
"Oh I certainly am convinced he saved more lives by his courage stepping up when the moment presented itself,” Reverend Blake Wood said.
Just a few years ago Chad Meis sat in the same chair his brother was sitting in Thursday. He too was a desk monitor at Otto Miller Hall. Sunday morning he told his congregation that makes what happened there-- if you can imagine-- even more personal.
Chad Meis asked his congregation for prayers for the family of 19-year-old Paul Lee, who was killed in the shooting, and for Sarah Williams and Thomas Fowler, who were injured.