Mattoon teacher among 18 named Carnegie Heroes Monday

Local News

PITTSBURGH (WTWO/WAWV) — A Mattoon high school teacher who saved students and staff from a school shooter in 2017 was named a Carnegie Heroes for “acts of extraordinary heroism.”

Monday, the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission recognized Angela Lynn McQueen and 17 other civilians for risking their lives while trying to save others from perilous, life-threatening situations.

In that moment you don’t really think, you just react, to me it’s almost like the mama bear instinct.”

Angela Lynn McQueen

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On Sept. 20, 2017, students were at lunch in a high school cafeteria when a 14-year-old boy showed several students the .40 caliber, semiautomatic pistol he had brought to school.

One student informed McQueen, and as she approached, the boy began to fire the gun toward other students.

McQueen lunged for the gun and forced the boy’s hand upward toward the ceiling as he continued to fire. McQueen kept the gun pointed to the ceiling until the it was emptied, and then she disarmed him as a school resource officer arrived to handcuff him.

RELATED: Teacher who helped stop school shooting speaks out

One student was hit with a bullet and recovered. McQueen suffered minor hearing loss in both ears and post-traumatic stress disorder. The remaining students and staff escaped the cafeteria unharmed.

The Carnegie Medal is given throughout the U.S. and Canada to those who risk their lives to an extraordinary degree while saving or attempting to save the lives of others.

Others recognized Monday included Van L. Anderson, of Tennessee who pulled a 3-yearold girl from the wreckage of a violent accident in which acid was pouring from a tanker into the pickup truck where she was located, and Stephen Anthony Eberle and James R. Carroll, both of Connecticut who restrained and disarmed a woman who was stabbing and choking a police officer.

With this second announcement of 2019 recipients, a total of 10,099 Carnegie Medals have been awarded since the Pittsburgh-based Fund’s inception in 1904.

Commission Chair Mark Laskow said each of the awardees or their survivors will also receive a financial grant.

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