The quick thinking of a high school teacher prevented what could have been another mass shooting at Mattoon High School in Mattoon, Illinois.
According to Mattoon Schools Superintendent Larry Lilly, a gun-wielding male student opened fire inside the central Illinois high school's cafeteria, injuring at least two fellow students. The sound of numerous gunshots sent students running out of the hall, however, before the shooter could hurt anyone else, a teacher named Angie McQueen tackled him, grappling with him until the Mattoon Police Department's on-site school resource officer arrived on the scene and disarmed the student.
The rest of the students were evacuated to a nearby elementary school.
“She’s been trained obviously, but in these scenarios, you just don’t know what’s going to happen until it happens,” Mattoon Police Chief Jeff Branson said during a press conference, referring to McQueen. “Had the teacher not responded as quickly as she had I think the situation would have been a lot different.”
The police claimed the unidentified shooter was alone.
“We feel like we’ve got the only shooter and participant in custody,” the officer continued. “We’re pretty confident it was one individual.”
Fortunately, both of the injured students are in stable condition.
“Officers located another student in the parking lot of the school and attention was given to him by the school nurse and later transported to Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center by medical personnel,” Branson added. “I was advised on scene by the nurse that he was in stable condition, and had received what appeared to be, for sure, one gunshot, potentially two gunshot wounds.”
Lilly also met the other student and assured he was doing better.
The authorities have not released the name and age of the suspect. It is also unclear if he had a motive.
The recent spike in the number of high school shootings across the country is extremely alarming.
Just recently, a 15-year-old student named Caleb Sharpe allegedly opened fire on his classmates at his high school near Spokane, Washington. The rampage killed one student and injured three others.
Sharpe was allegedly obsessed with guns, shooting and school shooting videos.
Had McQueen not heroically interfered during the shooting at the Mattoon High School, the gunman could have injured more students, or worse.