Two women are being lauded for their heroism during a deadly shooting in a Lafayette, Louisiana, movie theater Thursday night.
Jena Meaux and Allister Viator Martin are both teachers at Jeanerette High School in the city of Jeanerette, according to The Guardian. The women were attending the movie together and were wounded in the incident. Their actions saved lives, said Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R).
Jindal, who arrived at the theater around 9:30 p.m. -- about two hours after police were first called to the scene -- told local news station KATC that one of the women jumped in front of her friend to block her head from an oncoming bullet. The second woman was then able to reach the theater’s fire alarm and alert people outside of the theater that an emergency was occurring. A witness in a neighboring theater initially thought the gunshots were just part of a movie but realized something was amiss when he heard the alarm go off, he told CNN.
“Out of tonight’s tragedy, you are beginning to hear stories of heroism and self-sacrifice,” Jindal said. “Couple of teachers at a movie together, one of the teachers literally jumped on top of the other – may have saved her life. Literally took a bullet that could have hit the second teacher in the head. The second teacher was injured, was shot but not life-threatening. She is one of those being discharged tonight. Despite being injured, the second teacher was able to pull the fire alarm and help to save other lives.”
It’s unclear which teacher was which.
Cammie Maturin, president of the Iberia Association of Educators -- the local parish chapter of the Louisiana Association of Educators -- knew both women and was not at all surprised by their actions, she told The Washington Post.
“They did exactly who they are as people; saving each other, saving a whole lot of other people,” Maturin said. The pair were close friends and loved by their students, she added, saying they were in good spirits at the hospital Thursday night.
Two women, 21-year-old Mayci Beaux and 33-year-old Jillian Johnson, were killed when John Russel Houser, 59, opened fire at the Grand 16 Theatre, police said. Nine others were injured.
The shooting happened about 20 minutes into the 7 p.m. showing of the comedy “Trainwreck.” Houser died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.