Louisiana shooting: Teacher who shielded friend from gunman hailed as hero by state's governor

'If she hadn't done that ... that bullet, she believed it would have hit her in the head'

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The Independent US

A school teacher who shielded her friend during a mass shooting at a Louisiana has been hailed as a hero by the state’s governor Bobby Jindal.

Two people were shot dead and a seven more were injured when a gunman, described as a 58-year-old white male, began firing into the crowd at the Grand 16 Theater cinema in the city of Lafayette. He later turned the gun on himself.

At a press conference after he visited the victims in hospital  Governor Jindal praised the unnamed teacher saying she “literally jumped over her and actually saved her life”, according to ABC News.

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He said: "If she hadn't done that ... that bullet, she believed it would have hit her in the head."

He added that even though both women were shot, one of them “the presence of mind” to pull the fire alarm and “help save other lives”.

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Governor Bobby Jindal praised the actions of the teacher who saved her friend's life

Police described the shooter as a “lone white male” and said they knew who the gunman was but are not immediately releasing his name.

They said they had later identified his car and evacuated the area after a bomb sniffing dog found something suspicious inside. Police said they were going to set off an explosion in the car and an Associated Press reporter on the scene heard a number of “short bursts similar to firecrackers” coming from the area.

Around 100 people were in the theatre at the time of the shooting and one witness said the man had turned up at the showing of the movie “Trainwreck” and silently opened fire.

"We heard a loud pop we thought was a firecracker," Katie Domingue told The Louisiana Advertiser.

"He wasn't saying anything. I didn't hear anybody screaming either." 

Governor Jindal called this latest shooting “an awful night for Louisiana” and said all anyone could do now was “pray”.

Additional reporting by AP