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Hero NM Teacher Hailed as 'Amazing Man'

With a sawed-off shotgun pointed straight at him, a New Mexico social studies teacher calmly talked a 12-year-old student into putting down his weapon.
With a sawed-off shotgun pointed straight at him, a New Mexico social studies teacher calmly talked a 12-year-old student into putting down his weapon — and stopped the country’s latest school shooting from being something much worse.

Two students were shot, an 11-year-old boy hit in the face and a 13-year-old girl hit in the shoulder. The teacher, John Masterson, was being praised as a hero for ending the crisis Tuesday before others were shot.

“He is an amazing man,” said Gov. Susana Martinez, who met with the teacher. “He stood there and allowed the gun to be pointed right at him so there would be no more young kids hurt.”

The suspected shooter, whose name has not been released, was in police custody early Wednesday. State police said the boy came to Berrendo Middle School on Tuesday morning with a 20-gauge, sawed-off shotgun hidden in a bag.

Authorities said he opened fire just after 8 a.m. in the gym, where about 500 students had gathered before class.

“I just saw blood everywhere,” Essance Sosa, 12, told The Associated Press. “Everyone started screaming and running.”

The two victims taken to a local hospital, then flown by helicopter to a better-equipped facility in Lubbock, Texas. The boy was taken to surgery twice and was listed in critical condition. The girl was stable.

The boy’s name was not released. The girl was identified by the governor as Kendal Sanders.

“I am asking that all New Mexicans keep these children in your prayers,” Martinez told reporters.

According to an account given by the governor, Masterson, the teacher, was facing away from the shooter, and the shooter away from him, when the first shot was fired. The teacher thought it was a firecracker, she said.

The teacher wheeled around and saw the young man fire more shots before pointing the gun at Masterson, she said. The teacher talked to him and urged him to put the gun down.

The shooter put the gun down and raised his hands, and the teacher put him up against a wall, the governor said. Just then, an off-duty police officer arrived — he was dropping his own son off at the school — and they contained the student.

Read more: http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2014/01/15/22311259-teacher-who-saved-students-in-nm-school-shooting-praised-as-amazing-man
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