About Jake Ryker
Jake Ryker is the hero who responded proactively to stop the Thurston High School Shooting. On May 21, 1998, 17 year old Jake was a student at Thurston High School in Springfield, Oregon. On that fateful day, Jake was sitting in the cafeteria when another student walked into the building and started shooting. Jake’s instinctive response was to be proactive rather than passive. Despite being shot and wounded by the attacker, Jake led the effort to subdue the gunman and held him until law enforcement arrived. Jake was able to initiate taking back control while under attack.
This event verified that counter tactics – victims taking back control – were not only possible but had been used successfully. This tragedy occurred before the ALICE strategies were formalized and it has become the example that ALICE points to when told that training on counter strategies will never work. Proactive response has been shown to work in mitigating casualties time and time again, which is why it is so important to highlight individuals like Jake, who use human behavior to stop violence.
About the Jake Ryker HERO Award
The award was created by ALICE Training Institute to honor individuals who stand up in the face of danger and act. It is an award for those who use human behavior during violent attacks to save lives. Jake’s story proves the ALICE philosophy that human behavior and proactive response can save lives; that people can be counted on to step up in times of great danger and bravely take proactive action to save others.
If you know other heroes who are deserving of this award, please click here to submit a nomination.
Who is Eligible?
Any K-12 student or staff member who takes action that mitigates potential bad outcomes.
The recipient and submitter will receive paid travel and lodging at the conference. Additionally, the recipient receives a $5000.00 cash award.