Vigor teacher: “I knew I had to react”

MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) – A Vigor Army Junior R.O.T.C. teacher is telling Fox10 News how he knocked away a gun from a 14-year-old student.

Prichard Police said the teen pulled the trigger twice while pointing the gun at another student Wednesday morning.

Fortunately, officials said, the gun jammed.

“FIRED ONCE, THEN HE FIRED AGAIN”

The teacher, Walter Henry said, “I just knew that I had to react. I knew that I had to do something.”

Henry said he noticed something was wrong Wednesday morning while walking down a hallway between classes.

He said, “I saw two students that looked like they were going to get into an altercation, so, I stepped in front of them, and asked that they go to class. One of the students stepped back, and he put his hand to his pocket, and the kid asked him, ‘What do you have in your pocket,’ and he pulled out a weapon and he fired once, and then he fired again. And I stepped behind him and I took him down to the floor.”

But, Prichard Police said the gun didn’t fire.

Henry said, “We found out later that the weapon was loaded and, really, it was by the grace of God that the weapon did not fire.”

STUDENT’S REACTION

Henry said the weapon fell out of the student’s hand.

When asked if the student said anything, Henry said, “He was very unapologetic. He just felt like he was justified in having the weapon and, really, it was no big deal.”

Prichard Police said the student was arrested and taken to Strickland Youth Center.

They said the gun was a .22 caliber revolver.

Henry said the student told him how he got the gun.

The teacher said, “He said that he found the weapon.”

NO SPECIAL PRECAUTIONS

Mobile County School Officials said, in spite of Wednesday’s incident, no special security precautions were put in place Thursday morning at Vigor High School.

Nancy Pierce with Mobile County Public Schools said, “As far as today, everything is back to normal. Really, everything was back to normal yesterday after they got out of lockdown.”

As for Henry, today was just another class day.

He said, “I really don’t consider myself a hero. I had to think about the whole situation, and I felt it was more important I do something rather than risk other kids getting hurt.”

RESOURCE OFFICERS

According to officials, there are 12 human resource officers for public high schools in Mobile County.

However, the resource officer at Vigor was not on campus during Wednesday’s incident.

School officials say he was scheduled to be off this week.

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