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Hero coach who chased gunman from school rails against school shootings

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(CBS News) — The hero football coach who chased a teen gunman out of a school is calling for more to be done to prevent school shootings. Frank Hall, whose heroics at Chardon High School in Ohio could have prevented more deaths.

Two years ago this week in Chardon, Hall confronted a teen gunman who had opened fire on the students he was monitoring in the cafeteria. Six students were shot and three eventually died, but he chased the young gunman out of the building before he could shoot anyone else. Such incidents are happening all too often says Hall.

“I remember when Columbine happened. Everybody in the world knew what Columbine was” Hall told CBS News’ Scott Pelley. “I can’t sit here and tell you every school that’s had a school shooting now. We need to find ways to secure our schools better. We need to make a stand right now that our schools need to be the most important thing we have in this country, not Wall Street, not Capitol Hill, our schools,” he tells Pelley. Watch an excerpt.

Hall takes Pelley through the entire incident that day in 2012, in which he escaped being shot by throwing himself behind a soda machine. He says he then comforted the wounded kids as best he could before three of them died: Daniel Parmertor, Demetrius Hewlin and Russell King. But he says he doesn’t want to be known as a hero; he just wishes it never happened. “Sometimes I get mad about it…you know Scott, I wish you weren’t here. I wish I was never on TV. I’d give anything for this not to be happening right now,” says Hall.

Pelley speaks with another teacher in the school that day, Tim Armelli, and he talks to two of the wounded students. Nick Walczak tells Pelley the bullet that hit him paralyzed him. He saw Hall running after the shooter, “He said as he’s running by me, he said, ‘Hang tight. I’ll be back.’”

Nate Mueller was luckier, though he came within an inch of losing his life when a bullet hit his ear. He remains grateful to Coach Hall. “And for him to be a teacher and to put himself in harm’s way to chase him out of the building, for kids that were just students in his cafeteria is amazing,” he says.

The judge in the trial of the teen gunman wondered whether he had done his deed to make a name for himself; “60 Minutes” decided not to use his name or picture in this story.

4 comments

  • linda tillman

    Just saw this 60 minutes segment on Frank Hall and was so moved by this hero’s humility and courage I felt compelled to leave this message – Frank, you are a true leader. I wish there were people of your character in our government. GOD bless you sir.

  • Terrence Wagner

    Upon viewing the segment regarding Mr. Frank Hall I too was moved by Mr. Hall’s humility and courage. I am a Canadian, and, a retired Teacher/coach and. I understand Mr. Hall’s dedication to his students. I was also a football player, and then a coach. Like Mr. Hall, I too coached in neighbourhoods (Canadian spelling) that needed someone who could look beyond a student’s social background and see that the student needed a Teacher to be there to help them find their way, regardless. If Mr. Hall ever needs a volunteer assistant football coach, just look me up. I would be extremely honoured to stand beside you, Mr. Hall.

    You are a wonderful person !!!!!!!

    Sincerely,

    Terrence Wagner, retired teacher

  • May Hall Phillips

    What a wonderful thing you did. My father was a football player, a doctor and also named Frank Leroy Hall, from Mass.

  • k. lambert

    what struck me even more was coach’s call for strong public schools. with the constant campaign to dissemble public education, i found this to be a refreshing take on why public education is needed. public ed helped build this country, without it we are crumbling. and while not the entire piece of the puzzle, supporting the community strength via public schools is essential.

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