The middle school is only three miles from Columbine.
David Benke is a hero after tackling a school shooter yesterday at Deer Creek Middle School after he shot two students. The math teacher said he had always thought about what he'd do if a school shooting broke out. "If something happens and there's something that I can do about it, I want to try and do something about it," Benke said at a news conference. "I said, 'I hope that I'm capable of doing something about it.'"
Benke, a father of 7-year-old twins and a 13-year-old girl, is being hailed as a national hero -- and he saved who knows how many lives. Bravo!
The school shooter, 32-year-old unemployed ranch hand and former Deer Creek student Bruco Strong Eagle Eastwood, is now in police custody. According to his father, Eastwood had become erratic in recent weeks, yelling at imaginary friends and complaining that eating macaroni and cheese made too much noise.
In an interview with the Associated Press, Eastwood's father described his son's strange behavior. He said his son talk to himself a lot, but he recently began yelling. He also complained the the refrigerator was too loud and that certain foods made too much noise. "He has problems," father War Eagle Eastwood said, "but I never thought he'd go to the extent to
hurt somebody. You can say you're sorry, but you can't replace the fear and hurt he's put in
innocent people. He's put a hole inside of me."
Police say Eastwood went to the school earlier in the day, told school officials he was a former student and then began chatting with teachers. He then, according to law enforcement, walked outside, grabbed a hunting rifle that he had stolen from his father and started shooting. The school said their assigned security guard was not at the school at the time, but it is not known where the office was. When asked what security procedures were in place at the school, Jefferson County Schools Superintendent Cindy Stevenson said only that there is a
sign-in sheet that requires visitors to state their name and the purpose of their visit.
One of the wounded students was treated and released from a local hospital. The other was "doing well" according to his mother and should go home soon.