Heroic Elderly Vet Describes Saving 16 Children from Knife-Wielding Teen
A former Army vet is recovering from stab wounds after putting himself between 16 terrified children and a knife-wielding teen determined to kill at an Illinois public library this week.
75-year-old James Vernon was holding a chess club meeting with children between the ages of seven and 13 at the library in Morton, Illinois, when 19-year-old Dustin Brown entered the building with the intention of mass murder.
“He actually ran into the room yelling, ‘I’m going to kill some people!’” Vernon told the Pekin Daily Times Thursday.
Vernon engaged in combat with the teen, who was holding two hunting knives, using his Army knife-fight training from decades past. He blocked Brown’s attacks with one arm and tackled the teen, pinning him until authorities arrived.
Vernon's injuries include two cut arteries and a tendon on his left hand from blocking Brown’s knife swipe.
The heroic veteran explained on "Fox and Friends Weekend" that he first tried to talk to Brown and reason with him.
Vernon said that he advanced toward Brown as he spoke softly to him, giving the children time to escape the room.
"When my assailant realized there were no more 'soft targets' left in the room, he fired out at me," Vernon said.
He said that he blocked with his left hand and threw his weight into Brown.
"That was my biggest asset," he remarked, adding that he forced Brown to drop the knives, pinned him on a table and started punching him in the collarbone.
Did you ever think that chess would become a contact sport? Clayton Morris asked.
"No, but I delivered checkmate."
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