'I Knew That I Had To Tell Someone': Teen On Her Choice To Report A Potential School Shooting

Feb 26, 2018

On the day a shooter in Florida killed 17 people at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland, 18-year old Jack Sawyer of Poultney, Vermont was allegedly texting with his friend Angela McDevitt. "That's fantastic. 100% support it" he is reported to have written about the Parkland shooting. "It's just natural selection, taken up a notch."

McDevitt was alarmed. She didn't know what to do. Just days earlier, Sawyer had told her that he had been thinking about shooting up his former school, Fair Haven Union High School, in Vermont. She asked some friends what they thought and together they decided she should report the troubling text messages to her school's guidance office.

And now she's being credited with helping to thwart what could have been a deadly and devastating school shooting in Vermont. For a few days she was just listed as "Juvenile AM" in court documents. But now she has come forward. She says she was inspired by the activism of students in Florida to speak publicly.

McDevitt lives in New York State and knew Jack Sawyer from a school in Maine they both attended. She spoke with Vermont Edition about her choice to warn the authorities, and then to come forward publicly.

Broadcast on Monday, Feb. 26, 2018 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.