HERO TEACHER STOPS CRAZED COLORADO SCHOOL SHOOTER

Published on: February 24, 2010
HERO TEACHER STOPS CRAZED COLORADO SCHOOL SHOOTER

Just miles from Columbine High School, scene of the nation's deadliest school shootings, a heroic teacher tackled a man preparing to load a rifle to shoot students at a Littleton, Colo. Middle school.

Math teacher David Benke, 32, and other teachers were monitoring the parking lot when the alert educator heard what e thought was a firecracker and rushed toward the noise.

"At first when I was walking over there, it was kind of what a teacher does," Benke said, told media, still shaken hours after the shooting. "`Hey kid, what are you doing,' you know that kind of thing.

"Unfortunately he got another round off before I could grab him. He had a bolt action rifle .... He figured out that he wasn't going to be able to get another round chambered before I got to him so he dropped the gun and then we were kind of struggling around trying to get him subdued."

The former college basket ball star, 6' 5" and another teacher quickly subdued the shooter, pinning him to the ground.

"I basically have my arms and legs wrapped around him, (the other teacher) has his forearm around his front and we were basically trying to get the guy to quit struggling."

The shooter was identified as Bruco Strongeagle Eastwood, 33,  who has an arrest record dating back to 1996, according to the Colorado Bureau of Identification.

The two students who were wounded are doing OK after surgery.

Despite being hailed as a hero by the Jefferson County Sheriff's office, Benke was still upset.

"You know, it bugs me that he got another round off," he said.