OKLAHOMA CITY - A gun on the campus of U.S. Grant High School launched a lockdown and a suspect search Thursday. A former student was arrested hours later for bringing the gun to school. 

As students huddled in corners, teachers geared up to protect students. A Snapchat post shows 12th grade Government teacher Drew Rhodes standing next to the door holding a chair in one hand and the leg of a broken desk in the other, prepared to put himself between the students and any potential intruder.

“At the end of the day, if anything happens it needs to happen to me first,” Rhodes tells News 9. 

He signed up to be an educator, ready to die for the kids. “To be a part of education, you’re on the front lines of every battle the country faces,” Rhodes said. “That’s just what education is. If it’s not, you’re not doing it right.

Thankfully in this case, no one was hurt. Investigators are still trying to figure out how the former student got inside the building, but Physical Education coach Chris Gibson is credited with noticing the out-of-place teen, who he says had not been to school in a few days.

“He’s a student I kind of keep my eye on every once in a while,” Gibson said. “My radar is always up when he’s in the gym, and I just thought something was up, the way he was acting.”

After being turned over to administrators, the suspect was about to have his backpack searched when he took off running. Inside the bag, the vice principal found a loaded gun.

They still do not know if he was planning to use it.

“We all get a feel for kids, and we’re around them. I didn’t think there was that immediate danger of any kind, just from knowing the kid myself. But hindsight is 20/20,” Coach Gibson said.

Students say they were terrified of becoming the nation's next tragedy, but felt protected by the teachers who stepped in quickly to help. The kids say that is why they deserve a raise.

“Regardless what the paycheck looks like, I’ll still be at the door with a chair,” Rhodes said. “The other teachers who did the same things, they will be. Our principals will still be here ready to fight the battle, but we would like to be able to afford to live.”