Training from a half century ago paid off.
James Vernon, a 75-year-old veteran, took matters into his own hands when he found himself face-to-face with a man who was determined to shed some blood.
Vernon and 16 parents and children were in a conference room at the Morton Public Library Tuesday when Dustin Brown, 19, entered and declared he was going to kill some people, according to the Pekin (Illinois) Daily Times.
Brown had more than one knife and Vernon knew he had to do something fast to prevent a tragedy from happening.
The elderly vet stepped in between Brown and the others, giving them a cue to leave the room.
“He actually ran into the room yelling, ‘I’m going to kill some people!’ Vernon said.
Vernon said the knives Brown had looked like hunting knives with fixed blades about five inches long.
“I tried to talk to him. I tried to settle him down,” Vernon said. “I asked him if he was from Morton, did he go to high school. I asked what his problem was. He said his life sucks. That’s a quote.”
Vernon was successful in stopping Brown from killing anyone but he didn’t walk away without an injury. Brown slashed two arteries and a tendon on Vernon’s left hand as he blocked Brown’s knife.
Despite the injury, Vernon subdued Brown until the police arrived.
Brown was held on $800,000 bond on charges of attempted murder, armed violence, aggravated battery to a person over 60 and burglary. Brown had been free on bond facing child pornography charges.