A Cheatham County Counselor talked a student out of opening fire inside a school. Investigators said she prevented him using a fully loaded semi-automatic handgun Wednesday.
The Cheatham County Sheriff’s said a 14-year-old boy showed up at Sycamore Middle School in Pleasant View with the intent to kill some teachers and a police officer - but not any students.
He reportedly asked to speak with Molly Hudgens, a counselor at the school. Investigators said she sensed something was wrong and asked if he had a gun. The student claimed he was having various problems.
In a taped statement Hudgens said, “my previous training and experience granted me the opportunity to help a student in need while protecting our school family as well.”
Hudgens has worked at Sycamore Middle School for nearly 19-years.
“I want to assure our school community that no specific teachers or were named as targets,” Hudgens said.
The teen reportedly said Hudges would be the only person to talk him out of opening fire. Investigators say she talked with him for at least 45 minutes.
During that time, Hudges attempted to reach the Student Resource Officer.
“There was problems early on technically with getting communication out with what was going on,” Cheatham County Sheriff Mike Breedlove said. “But at the same time she was dealing with this young man trying to defuse the situation.”
By the time officers arrived, Hudges had convinced the student to hand over the gun.
“She is a hero in our community no doubt about that,” Sheriff Breedlove said.
Parents received recorded calls Monday afternoon about the incident. But they didn’t learn details until Thursday. Still, Sycamore Middle School Parent Jason Young said he is understood why the district waited to disclose Hudges’s heroic actions.
“Thank you is all I got,” Young said. “I wish there was so much more that we could say to express the true graduate for her act yesterday.”
The teen was charged with carrying and possession of a weapon on school property and communicating a threat concerning a school employee.
He was being held at the Williamson County Juvenile Detention Center. Chatham County School Board policy means he will be expelled.
His name was not released.