A high school teacher stopped a student shooter at a high school in Illinois last week. According to witnesses, math and P.E. teacher Angela McQueen grabbed the shooter’s arm and subdued him after he opened fire in Mattoon High School’s cafeteria.
Mattoon police chief Jeff Branson said the school recently trained for active shooters. According to Branson’s assessment, the school was taught to use confrontation as a “strategy of last resort.” But if that strategy is employed, it should be used to interfere with the shooter’s ability to aim their weapon, and that’s exactly what teacher McQueen appeared to do.
It all started on September 20. An unidentified 16-year-old gunman opened fire in the school’s cafeteria just after 11:30am that day. A 16-year-old student was injured but treated and released after sustaining shots to the hand and chest. The shooter, who was a student at the school, is in custody.
The shooter fired several shots before the teacher grabbed the shooter’s arm, causing his later shots to be directed toward the ceiling. He fired five to six more shots that went into the ceiling.
McQueen was a high school basketball star who followed her parents into teaching. She’s been at Mattoon High School for 17 years. We thank Ms McQueen for reacting so quickly and quite likely saving lives. We also thank the school who allowed the shooter response training to take place. The teacher didn’t have a gun, but still was able to take the training she had received and respond in an appropriate manner. That’s what it’s all about.