Student Resource Officer Stops Teen From Committing Suicide

Posted at 6:22 PM, Aug 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-22 21:32:34-04

A student resource officer in Rutherford County is being praised for stopping a 16-year-old from committing suicide. 

Deputy Matt Clagg was exiting Interstate 24 at Old Fort Parkway when he spotted a mother in distress last Monday night.

"She points and said her son was at the bridge and was about to kill himself," Clagg recalled. 

The Rutherford County student was standing near the edge contemplating suicide. Even though Murfreesboro police were already requested, Clagg approached the teen who was clearly upset.

"He never spoke but nodded a few times," Clagg told NewsChannel 5. "He was crying and you could tell in his eyes the hurt."

Clagg spent several minutes with the teenager and assured him that there are people who cared for his wellbeing. Clagg's goal was to keep the attention away from the interstate before he extended his hand for support.

"I kept praying asking for God to give me the right words to say," Clagg said. "He needs to know somebody cared."

The boy eventually backed away from the bridge. 

Clagg said he does not want to be called a hero even though his actions most likely saved a teenager from killing himself. However, not everyone agrees.

"In my eyes he's a hero because he didn't have to stop and help," Sergeant David Crim, Clagg's sergeant said. 

Sgt. Crim has also dealt with a similar situation. He stopped a high school student from jumping off a ledge in the gymnasium about ten years ago. 

Crime says they work with several students each year dealing with thoughts of suicide. 

"It's all too common to have students contemplate suicide," Sgt. Crim added.

Sgt. Crim is now writing a letter of commendation for Clagg and will present it at a meeting on Wednesday. 

"One suicide is one suicide too many," Tennessee Suicide Network Prevention Executive Director Scott Ridgway told NewsChannel 5. "You have to show them that you care enough to get them the help and walk with them."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said suicide is the third leading cause of death among people between ages 10-14 and the second among those aged 15-34 years. 

According to the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network, three teenagers have committed suicide in the mid-state within the last two weeks.

Officials with the organization said 100 people nationwide commit suicide everyday. Three Tennesseans lose their lives to suicide daily, claiming over 950 lives per year

In Tennessee, nearly 120 people within the ages of 10 and 24 commit suicide yearly. According to Ridgway, the number is considered "stable". 

There are many resources if you or anyone you know are experiencing thoughts of suicide.

You are urged to call 1-800-273-TALK or visit