John Masterson says life can change in a second
The Roswell teacher being hailed a hero for stopping a school shooter last week sat down with News 13 to talk about coming face-to-face with a gunman. The Berrendo Middle School teacher says he feared for his life, but acted on instinct. “The next thing you know, boom and boom, boom. In a fraction of a second, you go from everything is great to a tragedy,” said Berrendo Middle School teacher John Masterson. A second. That’s how long eighth grade teacher John Masterson says it took for his life and the lives of hundreds of students to change. “You go from kind of a little panic to fear,” said Masterson. “You’re shaking, your adrenaline is pumping and all you’re thinking about, ‘my God this can’t be happening, this really isn’t happening.’ “ Masterson is now called a hero for what he did in that moment of panic. Seventh grader Mason Campbell, 12, allegedly shot into the bleachers in a crowded gym, hitting two students. That’s when Masterson stepped in and got him to drop the gun. “I just yelled, ‘Put it down, put it down’ and he did,” said Masterson. He says what he did inside the school gym was instinct. He says he was doing his job, but that didn’t stop him from fearing for his life and many others. KRQE News 13 asked Masterson if he thought he was going to die. He said yes. “It’s the dark side of human nature, but you just got to keep going,” said Masterson. “You’ve got to keep doing your job.” Masterson’s wife, Leah Masterson, says that’s just the type of guy her husband is. “The kind of man he is, he would never let kids get hurt. He would never let anybody get hurt if he could stop whatever it was,” she said. Masterson says he’s not a hero, just a guy who did the right thing. Police say by the time Masterson got to Campbell, he was out of bullets. Masterson says the real hero in all of this is teacher Kim Featherstone, a woman who comforted the two wounded students until paramedics arrived. Kendal Sanders was hit in the shoulder and after two surgeries is out of the hospital. The other victim, Nathaniel Tavarez, suffered more serious injuries.