MARYVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Maryville College alum, Ashley Ferris, is being applauded for her bravery after she stopped the gunman who killed five people during a shooting rampage in Colorado.
Ferris was a student-athlete at Maryville College. She graduated in 2015 and now works for the Lakewood Police Department in Colorado.
“She wanted to be the best runner she could be, whatever that meant, and she was just a perfect teammate. Wanted to see other people get better, too,” said Tyson Murphy, Head Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Coach at Maryville College.
“She was always asking questions, always asking good questions, in many ways elevating the level of conversation in the class for everybody. She was really a joy to have in class,” Dr. John Gallagher, Professor of Management at Maryville College, said.
Police say the Colorado shooting suspect shot Ferris in the stomach. From the ground she fired back, shooting and killing the gunman. Her agency says the violent tragedy could have been even worse had she not intervened.
“It didn’t surprise me that Ashley possesses that quality of courage, but it’s always surprising on a national news event that somebody you know shows up in the midst of it,” said Bruce Guillaume, Director of Mountain Challenge, Maryville College’s outdoor adventure program located on campus.
“Your pride is the first thing that comes to mind. We’re so proud of her in terms of here in the Maryville College community,” Murphy said.
That pride is evident, and so is the support and love coming from her alma mater.
“The founder of our college, Isaac Anderson, had a sort of mission philosophy that we talk a lot about around here. That is to do good on the greatest possible scale. And that’s what she did, so part of me says, that’s what we do,” said Guillaume.
The last update from the Lakewood Police Department came just before the start of the new year. It said Ferris was still in a Colorado hospital with her family by her side. They were asking for privacy while she recovered.