Hero Teacher Reportedly Tackles Gunman at Illinois High School
NORMAL, Ill. (TheBlaze/AP) – An otherwise normal morning turned into a nightmare scenario in Normal, Ill., Friday as a gunman opened fire at a high school. It is the latest in a series of shootings across the United States.
A teacher tackled a 14-year-old student and detained him just after the teen fired a gunshot into the ceiling of a packed Illinois high school classroom Friday, police and witnesses said. No one was injured.
The boy was taken into custody and questioned by police while Normal Community High School’s more than 1,800 students were evacuated to a nearby church where parents could pick them up, Normal police chief Rick Bleichner said.
Investigators weren’t sure how the handgun was brought to school or why, and as far as they knew no one in particular was targeted, Bleichner said.
A student who was in the classroom said the gunman walked to the front of the room and pulled the gun, a hatchet, a canteen he said was full of kerosene and a bottle of what he said were painkillers out of a backpack.
“I heard the teacher say ‘Please, no!’ So I looked up and he had pulled out a weapon and pistol, and said, ‘Now it’s time for you guys to listen to me,’” Sean Kennedy, who also is 14, told WGLT radio in Bloomington.
Both Bleichner and Kennedy said a few students managed to slip out of the room, and Kennedy said that led the shooter to fire the first shot into the ceiling. The shooter told at least one student he wouldn’t hurt them, Kennedy said, and after lining the remaining students up against a wall complained that no one was willing to listen to him about unspecified problems. The shooter then set the gun down and turned away from it.
“My teacher, he stood up and ran, grabbed the gun and then (the shooter) jumped on top of the teacher’s back,” Kennedy said, adding that a second shot was discharged during the struggle.
Officers who entered the classroom just after 8 a.m. after receiving a number of 911 calls found the teacher, whose name was not released, had the student under control, Bleichner said.
“How he obtained that weapon, we’re still investigating that,” the police chief said.
Parents were told about the incident through the school’s electronic alert system and told later in the morning to pick up their children at the church, a process that took several hours because the school required parents to show photo identification and sign each child out of school, McLean County Unit District No. 5 Superintendent Gary Niehaus said. Those who couldn’t be picked up were being bused home late in the afternoon.
Classes in the school district’s other five schools went on Friday afternoon, but the Normal Community campus remained closed as a crime scene, according to the school district’s website. Students were allowed to retrieve cars still parked at the school but were expected to be able to gather belongings inside later. A football game scheduled for Friday night was moved to Saturday.
Classes at Normal Community are expected to resume Monday, Niehaus said, and potential changes such as the addition of metal detectors already were being discussed. He also said he hoped everyone from students and teachers to parents would help prevent any repeat of Friday.
“I want every parent to check a book bag when they go in, I want every student to be curious about what’s in someone else’s book bag and I want my teachers and staff to feel that they have my backing if they feel the need to search (a backpack),” he said
- Shock Video Surfaces: Meat Cleaver-Wielding Man Shouts ‘You People Will Never Be Safe!’ Moments After Gruesome London Attack 491 Comments
- Why Were DHS Agents Seemingly Monitoring Multiple Tea Party IRS Protests Across the Country on Tuesday? 476 Comments
- Confusion Erupts in IRS Hearing After Lois Lerner Tries to Plead the 5th — Watch It All Unfold 466 Comments
- The Tense Exchange Between Rep. Trey Gowdy and the Former IRS Head You’ve Been Waiting for…and It Doesn’t Disappoint 374 Comments
- Anti-Gay Bias or Fair Punishment? New Details Emerge About High School Student’s Lesbian Relationship With a Minor 307 Comments
- ‘We…Aren’t Going to Take S**t From Homophobes’: Mysterious Pro-Firearm Ads Use Gays, Seemingly Topless Lesbians to Rail Against Gun Control 141 Comments
- Pope Francis’ Sermon Sparks Debate: ‘Even the Atheists’ Have Been Redeemed ‘With the Blood of Christ’ 246 Comments
- Beck Issues Challenge to People of Faith in Wake of Okla. Tornado: ‘What Have You Done?’ Read More
- ‘Islamic Jihad, Islamic Jihad!: Michelle Malkin Rips Progressives, Clashes With Lib Radio Host Over Islamic Terrorism and the London Machete Attack 110 Comments
- Ariz. Lawmaker Surprises Colleagues, Comes Out as an Atheist While Delivering Daily Prayer 111 Comments
- Trey Gowdy at It Again — This Time with a Jack Bauer Reference! Read More
- Emails Released: Congress Was Asking for Updates on IG’s IRS Audit Before 2012 Election Read More
- Weekly Unemployment Benefits Tumble Read More
- Why Is This German Company Recruiting Tech Staff With Autism? Read More
- House Votes to Speed up Keystone Pipeline: Here’s Everyone Who Voted for and Against It Read More
- The Incredible Role Facebook Played in the Aftermath of Devastating Okla. Tornado Read More
- Tech Company Demonstrates Remote Disabling of a ‘Smart Gun’ 121 Comments
- Meet the Blind Man Nicknamed ‘Midnight Gunslinger’ Who Has 80% Shot Accuracy Read More
- How a $4.5 Million Network of 181 Sirens Helped Save Lives in Oklahoma Twister Read More
- See the Record-Setting Python a Man Caught With His Bare Hands (and Guess How Much It Weighed) Read More
- Does CNN want to keep Piers Morgan around?
- Permit requirements shut down another kid’s lemonade stand — but it’s not what you think
- Video: Introducing ‘ConservoTax,’ the first tax software made for Republicans
- Watch the other hand: Immigration reform advances under cover of scandals
- Bill O’Reilly counts calories, orders salad at fried-food restaurant
- Obama defends drone strikes but says no cure-all
- Sweden's riots raise questions about inequality
- Military calls UK attack victim a model soldier
- Wyden: FracFocus 'constructive' tool on drilling
- Storm took town's youngest as it swept through
- Obama: Policy in leaks investigations under review
- Israel to discuss military draft reform proposal
- NASA head views progress on asteroid lasso mission