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Rainer Heise
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Hero
    (1942- )
    Teacher at the Gutenberg-Gymnasium secondary school in Erfurt, Germany
    Present when 19-year-old expelled student Robert Steinhäuser assaulted the school, shooting two students, a secretary, 12 teachers and a police officer to death and wounding seven others (April 26, 2002)
    Pushed Steinhäuser into a supply room and locked the door, ending the carnage when the gunman committed suicide
    Asked why he didn't grab the gun when the gunman briefly put it down, he said 'I have an aversion to weapons.'
    He granted many interviews after the bloodbath, angering the town that wanted him to be a 'quiet hero.'
    He stated some teachers chided him as being a 'dirty pig who revels in the blood of my dead colleagues.'
    When the Berlin government wanted to award him a medal for bravery, he claimed 'That would be a medal of death. The only thing I want is to be left alone.'
    He was transformed from a mild-mannered history teacher into a reluctant hero.
    When Steinhäuser confronted him, he issued a challenge - 'Pull the trigger! If you shoot me now, then look into my eyes!'
    Amazingly the gunman stated, 'That's enough for today, Mr. Heise.'
    The police called his actions heroic and his efforts kept the body count from going higher.
    Unfortunately his openness about the events have caused some resentment and hostility toward him.
    While most have embraced his courageous acts, some have spat at his feet and he received a few telephone death threats.
    He never wanted to be a hero, but when death stared him in the face his natural instincts and ability took over.

Credit: Scar Tactics


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