'We thought it was fireworks'
Emma Pittman describes how teacher Shannon Wright saved her life
Girl saved by teacher recounts shooting
March 26, 1998
Web posted at: 12:55 p.m. EST (1755 GMT)
JONESBORO, Arkansas (CNN) -- If not for the quick and sure
movements of her sixth-grade English teacher, Emma Pittman's
parents might count their daughter among the five dead or 10
wounded. Instead, teacher Shannon Wright, 32, pushed Emma
aside and took a shot that killed her.
Emma was unharmed, but the shooting rampage cost four girls
and the Westside Middle School teacher their lives. Police
say the killers were one of Wright's former pupils -- a
13-year-old boy -- and an 11-year-old boy who also went to
Shannon Wright with her husband, Mitchell, and their 2-year-old son
In an interview with CNN affiliate KAIT, Emma recalled the
circumstances of the incident from its start, after a fire
alarm went off. "We thought it was fireworks, we thought it
was a play," Emma said of the moments before the grisly scene
unfolded. "And a bunch of people were clapping and laughing
... we thought that they were just playing."
As Emma recounts in this VXtreme streaming
video, she feels now that her teacher was "a hero."