Teachers at Inglewood Elementary School in Nashville, Tennessee, tackled a man who had forced his way into their school May 11 and held him down until police arrived.
The man, identified as Onreka Gray, allegedly forced his way into the school after a kindergarten teacher named Rachel Davis tried to physically stop him, according to WSMV4 News.
“We struggled for a while, and he made it inside the building,” Davis said. Many other teachers banned together to assist, including Nikki Thomas, the school’s secretary, the outlet reported.
“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.
The school’s bookkeeper, Shay Patton helped Thomas hold Gray down for 10 full minutes until police arrived, reported the outlet.
Gray was first spotted at approximately 10 a.m. when he jumped a fence and ran toward children that were making their way back inside the school from recess. Davis said she told Gray, “Sir, you cannot come in this door. This is not the front door. You’re not allowed in this building,” but he did not stop, according to WSMV4.
“Eventually, he wanted to get in so bad that he was lunging towards the kids,” she said. Davis struggled to hold him aback as she yelled for help. Other employees then arrived and provided assistance in restraining Gray, the outlet reported.
“We both fell backward, and he fell on top of me, and eventually it took me, Nikki, and Shay all of us together to get him in the corner and restrain him from getting down further down the hallway,” Davis said, according to WSMV4. (RELATED: Border Patrol Agent Rushed Into Texas School And Killed Shooter: REPORT)
Davis suffered a broken elbow as a result of the ordeal, and Patton and Thomas also sustained injuries, according to the outlet. The three women said they were grateful the situation ended without further injury considering the danger Gray posed to students.
“We didn’t even think about weapons. 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,” Patton said, according to WSMV4.
“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,” Davis added.