James Vernon is an ex Army veteran who now teaches children chess in Illinois.
Whilst teaching 16 children chess tactics, he called on some of the army knife training and tactics he received over 50 years ago when 19 year old Dustin Brown burst into the Morton Library shouting:
“I’m going to kill some people”
Morton’s quick thinking was praised by parents and law enforcement, as Brown entered the classroom, Vernon put himself between the attacker and the children who hid under their desks.
Brown managed to slash the veteran’s hand as Morton manoeuvred himself to a position between the attacker and the exit. His quick thinking and willingness to put himself in danger allowed the children to escape.
“‘I gave [the children] the cue to get the heck out of there, and, boy, they did that. Quick, like rabbits,’
“‘There were no more potential victims in the room. He focused on me. There was no more talking.’
As the two grappled Mr.Vernon blocked the attack with his left hand, cutting two arteries and a tendon. Vernon was disappointed he didn’t remember the crucial part of his army training, to always attack first. “‘I should have hit his wrist. That’s how you’re trained, but it’s been half a century,’ Relieved parents and relatives undoubtedly forgave his lapse and all children escaped unharmed.
Vernon subdued the deranged teenager by throwing him onto a table and pinning him down until police arrived.
When asked about how he felt walking away from the incident, James Vernon said he was “bleeding pretty good”. But is now recovering at home and is expected to make a full recovery.
Dustin Brown later said (according to the court affidavit): “I failed in my mission to kill everyone”. That’s right Dustin, with thanks to one quick thinking senior citizen. Police later discovered multiple counts of child abuse photos and video on Brown’s computer, he was charged with attempted murder, armed violence, aggravated battery, burglary. As well as 22 charges of possessing images of the abuse on his computer. His court date is November 5th.