San Mateo awards Hillsdale High heroes

September 21, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
The San Mateo City Council honored the teachers and administrators who helped stop a bomb attack at Hillsdale High School last month. The crowd gave all eight honorees a standing ovation, crediting them with saving the lives of hundreds of students.

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Jana Torres actually had to jump over a lit pipe bomb on August 24th in the hallway of Hillsdale High School. The suspect threw it at her.

"It blew up right away and it was really loud. It was maybe two or three feet behind me," said Torres.

The security aide was the first person to confront the suspect who police have identified as former student Alex Youshock. They say the 17 year old was armed with a chain saw, a sword and eight live bombs. The city of San Mateo has now honored Torres along with the school principal, a counselor and a teacher as heroes.

"That's a little much, but I guess since I got him away from his chainsaw and he dropped his knife as he ran away, I guess it worked," said Torres.

The four police officers who ran in and handcuffed the bomber were awarded the Medal of Honor. These men had to take the vest off of the suspect which was still loaded with seven live bombs. Officer Rick Apecechea says he could see the fuse of one of the bombs. He realized he might die holding on to that vest.

"It did cross my mind. I figured I probably wouldn't know it if it happened, so I just dealt with the situation I had to at the time and focused on how I could get out of there safely," said Apecechea.

From the looks of things, their family members already knew they were heroes, but now it's official.

Youshock is in jail and is being charged as an adult in this case. He could face life in prison if convicted.

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