A stranger Thursday morning, Jon Meis is now a highly recognizable face in Puget Sound. Known as the hero who subdued the SPU shooting suspect, Meis has avoided media attention.
He is a young man about to be a groom, and that’s drawn strangers who want to say “thanks”.
“If he’s getting married, I bet they’re registered somewhere,” Jeff Pace said.
Jeff Pace found the wedding registry for Meis and his future bride. He bought them a gift and sent a note.
“Saying, ‘Thank you for what you did,’” Pace remembered.
He shared the act on his Facebook page, and within minutes, his friends decided to buy a present for Meis too.
By the time Jessamyn McIntyre tried, the registry was full.
“It was spent,” she said. “There was nothing left to buy.”
McIntyre started working on the couple’s honeymoon, starting a GoFundMe account with a goal of $5,000.
“The first donation I got was for $5,” she said. “Everybody seems to want to do something for this man.”
Once again, complete strangers donated and left messages for Meis.
“Thank you young man,” a donor wrote. “I hope you have a blessed life.”
For Jeff Pace, a set of coffee mugs is the least he can do.
“I know he probably didn’t think about it at the time, and probably doesn’t want to be called a hero, but it’s alright to accept that role,” Pace said.
Within seven hours, the GoFundMe account McIntyre set up had already passed its goal with more than $5,600 raised, much of it small donations made by a big group of strangers.
Then again, Meis feels a lot less like a stranger, and more like a man we all wish we knew.
“He did what all of us would want ourselves to do,” McIntyre said. “Hopefully that means even more than the money that is coming in.”
McIntyre doesn't know Meis, so she's not sure he'll accept the money. If not, she plans to give the fund to the victims and their families.
For more information on how to donate, visit http://www.gofundme.com/9zzc58?preview=1