MILWAUKEE – Linda Ager was out to lunch with a friend Monday when she received a phone call from her husband, Brett Hart, a special education teacher at Waukesha South High School in Wisconsin.
“He didn’t say much,” Ager told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, part of the USA TODAY Network. “He just said there had been an incident at school and that there were rumors that he had been hurt, and that he was OK.”
A city police officer inside the high school had shot a 17-year-old student who pulled a gun in a classroom and refused to drop it, according to police.
The student was taken into custody and was the only person injured in the incident, police said.
Ager said the incident took place in her husband’s classroom.
“There was an altercation between students, and he stepped in between the students,” Ager said.
Hart restrained the student who had a gun, while other students left the room, Ager said.
That’s when a student notified a school resource officer, she said.
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‘Whatever it took’
Ager said her husband continued to restrain the armed student until the officer arrived.
“I think that my husband would have done whatever it took to keep that student from harming other people,” Ager said.
The school resource officer secured the classroom while getting other students to safety, Waukesha Police Chief Russell Jack said at a news conference Monday.
Other Waukesha police officers and Waukesha County sheriff’s deputies came to the scene and began “dialogue with the suspect in an attempt to de-escalate the situation,” Jack said.
“The suspect would not remove his hands from his pockets and continued to ignore officers’ commands,” Jack said. “The suspect removed his handgun from his waistband and pointed it at the officers. An officer was forced to discharge his firearm, striking the suspect.”
Officers provided lifesaving medical attention to the student, Jack said, as “remaining students were evacuated from the classroom and the school was put on lockdown.”
Hart did not immediately respond to an interview request. Ager said her husband has been instructed by investigators not to talk about the incident at this time.
Hart has been a special education teacher in the school district for more than 22 years, and is the rights and responsibilities director for the Education Association of Waukesha, according to his LinkedIn profile.
“We are grateful to the Waukehsa South Community,” Waukesha police Capt. Dan Baumann said during in a news conference Tuesday. “It is exactly why we train. It is exactly why we continue to do what we do in training and preparation for unfortunate events like this…But to that teacher, thank you. The entire community, the parents, the kids, the students, the staff, everybody involved handled themselves as professional as they were able to yesterday.”
Ager and Hart have been married for 29 years and have five children. Ager described her husband as calm, level-headed and able to keep his composure during emergencies.
“He’s the kind of person you want to have in a situation like that,” she said.
Contributing: Christopher Kuhagen and Bill Glauber, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Follow Hannah Kirby on Twitter at @HannahHopeKirby.
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