Nightly News   |  February 24, 2010

Suspected school shooter was former student

The suspect in the school shooting that shocked the Littleton, Colorado community Tuesday is being held on $1 million bond while police continue their investigation. NBC's Miguel Almaguer reports.

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>>> for the faculty and students of deer creek middle school , colorado, yesterday, must have seemed like a replay of a nightmare. the school is in littleton, three miles from columbine high school , scene of one of the worse mass shootings ever in this country. tonight residents are thanking a teacher for saving lives when another shooter opened fire on a school full of kids. our story from nbc's miguel almaguer.

>> reporter: an erie calm amidst the tangle of yellow police tape and backpacks dumped in a hurry. a lone gunman pulled a high-powered rifle and suddenly opened fire.

>> i was scared because i knew i could die at this moment.

>> reporter: a horrific scene, the images all too similar to what happened three miles away at columbine high school in 1999 , when 12 were killed. at deer creek , two students were shot in seconds, but quick action by a team of faculty members avoided tragedy. math teacher david benke was the first to tackle the suspect. others grabbed the rifle and tied the gunman's legs down until deputies arrived.

>> the next thing i know, i'm on the ground, i've got my legs wrapped around his legs, i've got my arms wrapped around him.

>> reporter: the eighth graders who were shot are recovering. matt teo is still hospitalized, but megan weber was treated for arm injuries and released. the suspect is being held on a $1 million bond while police continue their investigation.

>> it's a junior high and a grown man. it doesn't make sense. why?

>> reporter: investigators still don't have a motive but say the suspect attended this school years ago. on tuesday, shortly before the shooting, he was seen here on campus. he could face two counts of attempted murder. as for the man who stopped the gun fire --

>> we did what we were supposed to do, which was basically to try to protect them.

>> reporter: he says he's just a teacher, but tonight an entire community is calling him a hero. miguel almaguer, littleton, colorado.

>>> when we continue here on