New York Teen Stops School Shooting: Angela McDevitt Shows The Importance Of Speaking Up If Something’s Wrong

A New York teenager is being credit with saving an untold number of lives after her quick thinking is believed to have thwarted a potential school shooting, MSN is reporting.

For almost two decades now, authorities have been repeating the mantra, “If you see something, say something.” The meaning is clear: If you see anything out of the ordinary, anything that makes you think something is amiss, anything that may be a potential warning sign that someone is up to something, tell the authorities.

That’s precisely what 17-year-old Angela McDevitt did when she got a disturbing message from a friend of hers.

McDevitt and Jack Sawyer met a while back in Maine, at a residential treatment facility for teenagers with mental health and behavior disorders. There, amid the rustic lifestyle of daily chores and caring for animals, the two developed a friendship.

“He was just a very kind person when I knew him.”

Like teenagers frequently do after meeting and then going their separate ways, the two kept in touch via social media — in the case, Facebook. And it was through Facebook Messenger that Angela saw a message from her old friend that terrified her to her very core: Jack allegedly messaged his old friend that he was planning on “shooting up” his former high school and had been working on his plan for two years.

The violent message struck a sour note with Angela: She didn’t recognize that kind of anger and hatred in her old friend. And at first, she was conflicted about what to do.

“This was not the Jack that I knew in person.”

However, Angela felt she had no choice but to err on the side of caution. She brought the message to the attention of the authorities at Jack’s old high school.

Now, Jack sits behind bars, charged with a host of counts that include attempted murder. Angela, for her part, has taken on the role of an advocate, calling for both tighter gun-control laws as well as compassion for people suffering from mental illness.

According to University of New Orleans professor Roger Depue, Ph.D., some of the warning signs of a potential school shooting include: writing and/or drawing violent fantasies, fascination with weapons and weapon equipment, boasting about skill in combat or fighting, and an interest in previous school shootings, among others.