NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Three Inglewood Elementary School employees are being hailed as heroes after a man tried to force his way into Nashville Elementary. Terrifying moment not only staff but also students as they watched from the playground.
It was something that no one could prepare for.
“Me and another teacher noticed he was just mingling at the bottom of the playing field. You start to have a feeling that something is wrong,” said Rachel Davis, recalling the moment she had that feeling earlier in May.
Davis, along with another teacher, noticed a man hanging out near the fence, just outside the playground. During the initial conversation, Davis remembers talking to the man, later identified as Onreka Grey, and telling him he needed assistance, he would need to go to the office and talk to. there.
Davis explained Gray would not accept an answer.
“I just heard Mrs. Davis say ‘he’s trying to get into the building, he’s trying to get into the building.’ So right away, I was like you’re not getting into this building, like I wanted to scream from the bottom of my lungs, ‘You must not enter this building,’ recalls Katrina Thomas, the primary school security officer. .
Davis and Thomas explain how the whole thing plays out in front of the students as Gray tries to enter the building.
“As soon as the door was opened to let the kids in, he jumped over the fence and started racing to the door,” Davis said. “I remember grabbing him and trying to hold him tight, and my kids were just staring at me.”
Davis explained that was when Gray tried to get inside. Thankfully, other staff members jumped in to help. Davis told News 2, “Until it was all over, when others told her of her heroic deeds, as they watched her jump on Gray’s head and fall backwards, all All to make sure he doesn’t get in. schools.
“I’m shouting to the kids, ‘run, run.’ So all the kids are involved,” said Thomas.
The next member of this heroic team arrived immediately. Shay Patton, school bookkeeper. A day after the incident, she’s still having a hard time near the playground where it all started.
“The next day, I heard the playground door from the hallway. I heard the kids in the hallway and the door hum and I just wanted to stop, you know, fear is always like that,” Patton said. “I had the phone in my hand, and I called Mrs. Croft, our principal, and said, ‘Mrs. Croft has one,’ and then he kicked my phone or punched my phone, or one. what.”
For Thomas, the incident happened especially close to home, as her niece was among the children playing outside when Gray tried to squeeze inside.
“If something happened to her, I just don’t know. Even just thinking about it, it’s still difficult. It’s hard to think about it, and even seeing her face afterwards. I had to go back and I just lost it,” Thomas recalls.
On Tuesday, the three women faced Gray again in the courtroom. Gray is facing charges including assault, resisting arrest and aggravated trespassing. All three say it’s difficult to see him again, but back in school and the playground, it’s hard not to think about what might happen if Gray passes the school.
“I just miss this strong desire, I will do whatever I can to make sure the kids in this school stay safe,” Davis said.
Thomas explains, “Imagine what could happen. Just imagine what would have happened without Mrs. Davis, me and Shay. It’s just an imagination.”
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Less than 24 hours after the incident, staff from the Metro Nashville Public Schools went to the elementary school to assess the fence. There are plans underway to replace it with something taller, to prevent this from happening again.
https://www.wkrn.com/news/local-news/nashville/imagining-what-could-have-happened-inglewood-elementary-staff-members-tackle-intruder-forcing-him-to-the-ground/ Inglewood Elementary staff members tackle intruder, forcing him to the ground