NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A Nashville International Airport volunteer is being hailed as a hero after a woman fired a gun near baggage claim.
Earnest Cobble returned to BNA from retirement after having worked there for 25 years.
“I’m used to people asking, ‘How did I get here? where is that, where is that Where are the restrooms?’ When I retired, I just said I wouldn’t mind being a volunteer,” Cobble told News 2.
Around 7am on Easter Sunday he wasn’t concerned when a woman kept coming to reception with questions so he started helping a couple afterwards and that’s when he heard a gunshot.
“From where I’m standing now, when I turned around, the young lady was behind me and the first thing I said was ma’am, you shouldn’t have that gun here at the airport,” he recalled.
The woman was identified as 39-year-old Danielle Calthomas. Cobble recalled the tense moments for him, Calthomas, and the passengers nearby.
“I asked her to come down, I asked her to put the gun down. I asked her to put the gun down,” he said. “She shot again, I kept yelling at her, put the gun down, put the gun down and she slid to the ground and fell on her stomach.”
All of this happened as Cobble warned passengers to stay away.
“I urge passengers coming from the north end to come back and passengers coming up by elevator to go back down by elevator,” he said.
Throughout the ordeal, he tried to get Calthomas’ attention.
“She asked me to call 911 and I already had the airport police on the phone and then she asked me to call her mother and during that process I tell her to put the gun down and move it to the door,” she said cobble .
Eventually he said she pushed the gun out of her reach and airport police rushed in.
According to an affidavit accompanying the arrest, Calthomas had fired the gun twice, one bullet next to her head and the other in her left thigh. The report said officers who were at the scene reported smelling burnt gunpowder in the air after the incident and seeing a shell casing on the ground. Calthomas told officers she was “sorry” and received medical attention.
“Ask me why I stayed calm, I can’t give you that answer, I just knew I didn’t want her to hurt herself, hurt anyone else, or hurt me,” Cobble said.
His actions were recognized by the Metro Council and the airport’s Board of Commissioners, who credited him with helping to avoid a potential tragedy.
“Several times I wonder if I’m going through all these scenarios of what could happen and I’m like, OK, it could have gone in a different direction, I’m glad it didn’t,” he said. “When they spoke to our cops here, they told me, ‘Hey, you did the right thing, you kept an eye on them,’ and let me know it went as well as it could go, everyone’s alive. “
Cobble said he felt communication was vital throughout the incident. He told airport police exactly where he was and they dispatched the nearest officers to help.
Calthomas was charged with reckless endangerment with a deadly weapon and was released four hours after the warning.
https://www.wkrn.com/news/local-news/nashville/bna-volunteer-recalls-tense-moments-with-armed-woman-near-baggage-claim/ BNA volunteer recalls tense moments with armed woman near baggage claim