The shooting happened Thursday night around 7 p.m. on the campus in Southwest Fresno.
Police have asked not to identify the teacher for safety reasons. The Edison High teacher is said to be in fair condition. He told superintendent Michael Hanson his main concern was making sure his students were taken care of since he will be gone for a while recovering. Police and district leaders say he acted heroically.
Police say the teacher was preparing to leave for the day, and was in his classroom along with a custodian, when investigators say four young men came in. When the teacher offered to help, one of the suspects confronted him.
"One of the suspects walked into the classroom away from the other three and said do you want to get shot as he produced a handgun. And he told the teacher that he wanted his property," Fresno Police Deputy Chief Pat Farmer said.
Investigators say the teacher immediately raised his hands and said he did not want to get shot while the janitor ran to another class to hide.
Police say one suspect grabbed a laptop, and then another suspect threw a 25 pound weight at the teacher's head, hitting him and leaving a four inch gash. Even though the blow left him dazed, officers say the courageous teacher battled back.
"The teacher knocked the handgun out of the suspect's hand, causing it to fall to the ground. At that point the suspect and the victim both went for the gun that was on the ground. The suspect grabbed it first and the teacher put his hand over the suspects hand during the struggle, trying to control the handgun," Farmer said.
The gun was fired six times, striking the teacher twice in the abdomen and leg. But the injured teacher didn't give up, police say he continued wrestling with the suspect until he finally was able to grab the gun.
The superintendent says cameras on campus outside the classroom did capture the suspects. Police are now analyzing the video. In addition, Fresno Unified is also looking at better ways to keep students and staff safe on campus.
"We are continually updating what we can do and how we can do it and I have no doubt that we will continue to look at if we can have better cameras, better surveillance, and better procedures that might be able to protect," FUSD Superintendent Michael Hanson said.
Officers do not have a good description of the suspects, and the teacher says he had never seen them before. There is no indication they are students at Edison High School, but they did look young, about 16 to 20-years-old.
The suspects did not get away with the laptop or anything else.
All activities went on as usual at Edison High Friday, including a rally. The suspects have not been arrested, but there is a $2,000 reward being offered for information that leads to an arrest.