CHICAGO (CBS) — The Mattoon High School teacher who stopped a student gunman a few months ago was honored Thursday at the school for her heroic efforts.
Angela McQueen was on cafeteria duty on Sept. 20 when a male student started shooting, prompting her to spring into action.
“In that moment you don’t really think, you just react,” McQueen said.
The 40-year-old math and gym teacher was able to subdue the gunman after he had shot one student. McQueen told her union what was going though her mind that day. The Illinois Education Association (IEA) released the interview on its Facebook page.
“To me it’s almost like the mama bear instinct. I mean I don’t have kids of my own right now, but it’s the instinct of, ‘You’re not going to do this to my kids,’” McQueen said. “These are still my kids — even though I don’t know every single kid in there. You’re not going to do this to my kids. You’re not going to do this at my school.”
State and local police were among those to honor McQueen for her quick thinking.
The injured student was initially hospitalized but has since been released and is now back at school.
The student shooter has been charged with one count of aggravated battery with a firearm.