When shots were fired early Wednesday morning at Mattoon High School students scrambled to take cover.
While others ran away from the blasts a teacher and a school resource officer raced toward the sounds coming from the cafeteria to investigate.
Inside the large room, Angela McQueen, who teaches geometry and algebra, spotted a male student firing what appeared to be a shotgun.
One student was shot in the chest and the hand, but, thanks to the quick-thinking of McQueen, no others were injured in the gunfire.
The teacher leapt into action and took down the student as pupils and fellow staff members fled.
According to Larry Lilly, supt. for Mattoon Community Unit School District 2, the school's resource officer then stepped in and disarmed the student.
"Lives were saved by a quick response of a teacher here," Mattoon Police Chief Jeff Branson told press at a news conference later that day.
The injured student was found in the school's parking lot and rushed to the hospital; reports say that he is recovering from his injuries.
"I don't think she even gave it a thought because when she saw the gun, I am sure it was like 'Oh my goodness, we are not going to have another Sandy Hook," her mother told CNN. "She just reacted instinctively."
Reports say that McQueen responded to the incident by raising the student's arm as he held the gun and then tackled him to the ground.
Since they are underage, the shooter and the victim have not been named.
"If that teacher had not responded as quickly as they had, I think the situation would have been a lot different," said Police Chief Jeff Branson.