"I noticed that he was working a bolt action rifle and realized that I had time to get him before he could chamber another round," said Benke.
He ran and tackled the suspect.
"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.
Suspect Bruco Eastwood, 32, is being held on $1 million bond on two counts of attempted murder, reports CBS News correspondent Barry Petersen.
A history of mental illness, says his father, is no excuse. "I don't care who you are," said War Eagle Eastwood. "You shouldn't go out there and take how you feel inside of you out on anybody else."
Benke feels that all he did wasn't enough. "I felt like I wasn't fast enough and he got, as far as I know, a second round off."
But it was enough for 13-year-old Reagan Weber, one of two students wounded in the attack who says Benke's action saved lives.
"I think he's a hero," said Weber. "He obviously probably saved a lot more students."
Teachers here and around the country have more security training because of what happened at a school three miles here, an incident Americans remember by one name: Columbine.
Asked why he reacted so quickly, Benke says the answer comes from a vow he made to his students during one of those post-Columbine safety drills about ever facing the real thing.
"I said I hope I am capable to do something about it, and so what was going through my mind was that I promised," says Benke.