A man accused of opening fire in a Colorado school near the site of the 1999 Columbine massacre appeared in court, Wednesday, facing two counts of attempted murder.
Bruco Strongeagle Eastwood, a 32-year-old convicted felon, allegedly shot and wounded two Deep Creek Middle School students in Littleton, Colo. -- the same community rocked by the Columbine High School shooting more than 10 years ago.
Police said if it weren't for heroic math teacher David Benke, Tuesday's shooting could have been much worse. After the gunman shot two students, Benke tackled him to the ground.
"He was trying to rack another round. He couldn't get another round in before I got to him, so I grabbed him," said Benke, a 6-foot 5-inch former college basketball player.
It was just after 3 p.m. and students were leaving class when the gunman starting firing his high-powered hunting rifle.
"Everybody just ran," one student recalled. "Just like ran for their lives."
With the help of a bus driver, Benke held Eastwood down until police arrived. The wounded seventh-grade girl and eighth-grade boy are both expected to recover.
"That's the thing that really bothers me. The second shot that he got off hit a former student of mine," Benke added. "I really like that kid. I really love that kid."
Police said Eastwood attended the school in the 1990s, but a motive is still unclear.
"It just makes me really upset and I'm just really mad that somebody has the gaul to come over here and do such an appalling thing in front of all these students," parent Larry Sniff said. "It's disgusting."
The school also experienced violence in 1982, when a 14-year-old student shot and killed a classmate. The teen was tried as an adult and sentenced to 12 years in prison.