Three teachers held down an intruder who entered Inglewood Elementary School in Nashville, Tennessee on May 11 until police arrived.
Rachel Davis, a kindergarten teacher, said she saw the man, Onreka Gray, hop the school fence around 10:00 am when her kids were returning to class from recess, according to WSMV4 News.
That's when the man bolted toward the kids.
“I was trying to explain to him, ‘Sir, you cannot come in this door. This is not the front door. You’re not allowed in this building,’” Davis recalled. “And eventually, he wanted to get in so bad that he was lunging towards the kids.”
Davis tried blocking him then called for help.
“We struggled for a while, and he made it inside the building,” Davis said.
That’s when brave Davis tackled Gray. He fell on top of her, and Davis broke her elbow in the fall. Other teachers ran to assist her.
Nikki Thomas, the school’s secretary, joined Davis in the fight with some quick maneuvers.
“I got him in a headlock, put his arm behind his back, and put my legs across him so he wouldn’t get free,” Thomas said.
School bookkeeper Shay Patton also helped restrain Gray. Together, the three women held the intruder down for 10 minutes until police arrived.
“These children feel like my children and just that strong desire that I was going to do anything I could do to make sure they were safe,” said Davis, describing her reaction as intensely instinctive.
“We didn’t even think about weapons,” Patton said. “He could have had anything. I didn’t even think about that until hours later. I was like…Not only did we protect them, but we could have endangered our own lives...We did endanger our own lives.”
The three teachers said they have no idea what Gray’s intent was when entering the building.
“I don’t know what he was trying to do, but I’m grateful that he barely got into the door, and that was it,” said Patton.
All three women sustained injuries, including a broken elbow, in sacrificing to keep the school children safe.
Thomas thinks the event really showcases the school’s motto, “Together We Grow.”
“We are stronger together,” Thomas said. “I’m thankful for the procedure in place for lockdown. Everybody acted immediately, and that also kept the kids safe.”
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