She did what most people would not have been able to accomplish.
In a rare event that transpired in Tennessee last week, a counselor at a middle school was able to talk a teenage student into giving her the gun he said he planned on killing faculty with.
In most shootings, gunmen don’t give clear forewarning, or these warnings aren’t taken seriously if they are discovered. In this student’s case, he came to see the counselor, Molly Hudgens, on Wednesday morning after his first period.
After Hudgens asked the 14-year-old a few preliminary questions, his alarming responses prompted her to ask a critical question: whether or not he was armed. He said yes, and showed her the .45 caliber pistol tucked under his clothes.
“He advised Ms. Hudgens he was going to kill some teachers and a police officer, and not students. He came to her because he indicated she would be the only one to talk him out of it,” Cheatham County Sheriff Mike Breedlove told reporters.
The student was armed with two magazines on top of the semi-automatic weapon he possessed, and Hudgens began speaking through the boy’s issues for the next 45 minutes. She said that she attempted to alert the school’s police officer via text message without alarming the student, but poor service caused her texts to not be sent. She was able to convince the student to hand over his weapon as she called for authorities.
“She did something even the most experienced law enforcement officer might not do,” Breedlove said. “Had she not been there, it could have been very different.”
Hudgens said in a video released on Thursday that she was grateful that her training allowed her to simultaneously help a student in need and protect her school family as well. She stated that the student did not specifically name any teachers, nor did she reveal what the student’s motives behind the planned attack were.
The student, who remains unidentified, was arrested for carrying and possessing a weapon on school property and communicating a threat concerning a school employee. He was in jail awaiting trial and undergoing psychological evaluations before release.
“Mrs. Hudgens single handedly saved the lives of many people and should be recognized as a hero in our community,” Breedlove said.
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