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Springfield Hails Heroic Student

Kipland Kinkel's shooting spree in the cafeteria of Thurston High School was ended by one of his victims who is being hailed as a hero.

Jacob Ryker, 17, remains in critical condition at Sacred Heart Hospital in Eugene, Ore. He was wounded Thursday after being shot in the chest by Kinkel, who began firing in the school cafeteria. The bullet passed through Ryker's chest and upper lung. He fell under a table in the cafeteria, but, in spite of his wound, struggled to get up again and try to stop the shooting.

Yesterday was Jake's 17th birthday. The 6'4" senior was a weightlifter and Eagle Scout later told his story to his mother, Linda Ryker, who detailed the chain of events to CBS News Correspondent John Blackstone.

Linda Ryker, Jake's mother
(CBS)
"Jake yanked his foot loose from the table and he said he knew at that point he had to tackle the guy because he was going to continue to kill people. Jake said his plan was to put his hand over the barrel of the gun and stop it from shooting".

"He heard if you put enough pressure against it, it would not go off. And that's how he got his hand shot, and he just kept grabbing with his hand until he could get the gun," she said.

After Jake tackled the shooter, half a dozen other boys jumped in to pin him down, including Jake's younger brother Josh. Josh was surprised by Kinkel's reaction.

"After we tackled him and held him down, he turned up to us with a serious look in his eyes and said, 'Just shoot me. Shoot me now,'" Josh Ryker said.

Josh said he didn't feel like a hero, and his brother didn't want to be called a hero either. "We just did what we thought was right," Josh said.

Linda Ryker said Jake was making a good recovery.

"He said, 'Mom, I'd do it again,'" she said. "He said, 'I knew it was a gun, and I knew people were shot and I wasn't going to let him shoot any more."

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Jake's mother said her son felt confident enough to tackle the gunman because he is familiar with the handling of guns.

Ben Estes, one of Jake's friends, witnessed the shooting. The 18-year-old student saw what happened from outside the cafeteria, through large glass bay windows. Estes said Kinkel fired "randomly for a long period of time and then appeared to run out of ammo."

"At that point, Jake tacklehim, and took him down," Estes said.

"During the shooting, I didn't think it was a real gun. I think most of the students did not believe it was a real gun. It wasn't until the point Jake tackled the gunman and the gunman fired again a much larger gun and it made a large report that really students started getting scared. That's when people started running."

Estes said he planned to return to school Friday, to help support other students who are stunned by the tragedy, and thankful that Ryker's bravery helped stop it from going any further.