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Teacher Hailed as Hero for Subduing Student Gunman at Ill. School

A teacher is being hailed as a hero for stopping a student gunman at a central Illinois high school Wednesday. 

Angela McQueen, a 40-year-old math and PE teacher, was identified as the woman who "overwhelmed" the student shooter when he opened fire inside the school's cafeteria, according to NBC affiliate WAND-TV.

Police commended the teacher's actions, saying she may have saved several lives that morning. 

“With the quick response of the teacher, if that teacher did not respond as quickly as they had, I think the situation would have been a lot different," Mattoon police Chief Jeff Branson told the station. 

Mattoon Community Unit School District 2 said just before noon that police responded to an active shooter at Mattoon High School and authorities "have the shooter in custody."

"The suspect fired shots in the school cafeteria, before he was subdued and disarmed," the district wrote on Facebook. 

One student was shot and taken to an area hospital where their condition had stabilized.

Another student was reportedly "trampled" while running out of the school but was OK.

“This is a horrific incident,” Mattoon police Chief Jeff Branson said. “It’s one of those incidents we never think is going to happen—but it happened.”

The district said Superintendent Larry Lilly visited with the student who was shot and said the student is recovering in the hospital.

"With permission from his father, I can share that his son is smiling, in stable condition, in good spirits, and joked about catching some slack on his grades,” Lilly said, in a statement released by the district. “The victim’s father also passes along his prayers for the shooter’s family."

The chief said more than 100 officers from local and state agencies responded to the school after the shooting.

Further details on the gunman weren't immediately released. 

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"We are saddened that this event has happened and we will provide counseling to students in need," the district wrote. "We will continue to work with emergency personnel to determine what happened. We appreciate the quick response of school staff and first-responders. Most importantly, we offer our thoughts and prayers to the injured student and all who are affected by this tragedy."

Mattoon is located about three hours south of Chicago. 

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