Local News

Freeman High School janitor hailed as hero for stopping shooter

ROCKFORD, Wash. - Ordinary people faced extraordinary circumstances in the Freeman High School shooting. That's why the school's janitor is being called a hero, thanks to his quick action to restrain the student gunman.

Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich said a lot of what is unfolding isn't going to make sense, because you can't make sense of the senseless. But when we are talking courage and community, this is something that hopefully will.

Joe Bowen, who according to his Facebook has worked at Freeman for two years now, risked being shot or worse to confront the shooter, get him on the ground, and then hold him until the school resource officer was able to detain him.

This all happened within minutes of the first shots.

Bowen is being called a rare person for stepping in and confronting the danger.

But as the community mourns, Sheriff Knezovich has a message for Spokane parents.

“When your kids come home tonight, give them a kiss and a hug, because they came home...there will be one young man that won't ever.”

Sam Strahan, the young man who died, is also being called a hero for attempting to stop the shooter.

A meeting held for the school district Thursday night allowed parents to come and share lingering concerns, and thoughts on what happened.

Counseling services will continue to be available Thursday and Friday at least.