Unarmed Veteran, 75, Fights Off Knife-Wielding Man Who Threatened to Kill Kids at Illinois Library: Report
An unarmed 75-year-old Army veteran helped save the lives of 16 children after fighting off a knife-wielding attacker who had threatened to kill them an Illinois library this week, according to a report.
Dustin Brown, 19, had allegedly planned to carry out a deadly attack that would end with him taking his own life, the Pekin Daily Times reported, citing the prosecutor’s court affidavit.
Armed with two hunting knives, Brown entered the Morton Public Library Tuesday afternoon screaming, “I’m going to kill some people,” James Vernon told the local newspaper.
Vernon was teaching a chess class of 16 children, ages 7 to 13 years old, at the time.
As the frightened kids huddled beneath their desks, the veteran confronted the man. The children, meanwhile, were able to flee after Vernon put himself between Brown and the door and gave them a cue to leave quickly, he told the local paper.
Vernon then successfully fought off the attacker using skills he learned in the Army nearly five decades ago, the Chicago Tribune reported.
He suffered several severe cuts in the fight that required surgery later, but was nevertheless able to subdue Brown.
Vernon, who was “bleeding pretty good” by then, held Brown until a library employee helped pin the man, and emergency personnel arrived, according to the Pekin Daily Times.
He was taken into custody. The suspect later allegedly told police, “I failed my mission to kill everyone,” the affidavit stated.
Brown was scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 5 and was being held on $800,000 bond. He faced a number of charges, including attempted murder and armed violence.
Brown also had a court date for Monday in connection to 22 child pornography charges from earlier this year.