Angela McQueen: Hero teacher takes down student gunman and saves lives

Before tragedy could strike, this 40-year-old teacher did the unthinkable. Angela McQueen, a shy math teacher, tackled the shooter while he fired at students eating their lunch. Let's give her a round of applause!


The number of shootings in the schools around U.S. is staggering. Most of them result in innocent students and teachers being either hurt or left dead, and that’s beyond sad.

The shootings cast dark shadow over the educational institutions which should otherwise be safe shelters for the students. So, instead of being at peace while their children are at school, many parents worry for their safety. These incidents are usually easy to carry because of the fact that buying a gun in the country is pretty easy. And as the wider public asks for stricter gun control laws to be passed, the debate is still going on.

Among the possible victims and people involved in the shootings, there is always someone who is brave enough to fight against the shooter. It’s because of these people that the death toll of shootings is lower than it could’ve been.

In a recent accident that took place at Mattoon High School in Illinois, such courageous person who made sure students won’t get hurt is teacher Angela McQueen. She has been working as a P.E teacher at the school for 17 years and is regarded as a shy person and an awesome educator.

When she recalls that day, Angela says that the only thing that crossed her mind after she spotted the teen lifting the gun was, “You’re not going to do this to my kids.”

As the boy started firing shots, Angela didn’t hesitate even a bit before she tried to disarm him.

“I sprang into action because I looked over and I saw a student pull a gun out and he was aiming it at students to his right,” Angela said in a video released by the Illinois Education Association.

“I immediately lunged at the gun and I got the gun up in the air as quick as I could, as fast as I could because I didn’t want him to hit the students.”

Angela held down the shooter who was still trying to use the gun and fired a couple of shots into the ceiling. Once the sound of a shot was heard, another teacher rushed towards the cafeteria, and soon after, it was full of police officers who disarmed the teen.

Bridget Shanahan, spokeswoman for the Illinois Education Association said that one 16-year-old student was shot during the incident, but he recovered and was soon released from the hospital.

The shooter whose name wasn’t revealed because he’s a minor was charged with one count of aggravated battery with a firearm.

Angela’s quick thinking helped in preventing greater tragedy from taking place that September 20, 2017.

“Had the teacher not responded as quickly as she had, I think the situation would have been a lot different,” Mattoon police Chief Jeff Branson said.

Once the shooter was in the hands of the police, Angela made sure everyone was fine.

“She was walking around and making sure everything was OK. And I went up and gave her a hug and thanked her because she could have — that could have been a lot worse and she made it to where it wasn’t,” student Anna Morton told CBS.

What Angela did that day made her a hero. Her big heart and bravery got her the award for outstanding service.

“We are forever grateful to Angela for her courageous actions that saved the lives of our kids. She was a ray of light in our darkest hour,” Superintendent Larry Lilly said in the release.