James Vernon: Elderly Veteran Stops Knife-Wielding Teen From Killing 16 Children

Benjamin Simon - Author

Oct. 16 2015, Updated 6:56 p.m. ET

It’s rare that an attempted mass-killing results in a triumphant happy ending, but that’s exactly what happened at an Illinois library this week thanks to the heroic efforts of an elderly veteran.

According to the Washington Times, 75-year-old James Vernon endured multiple stab wounds while stopping 19-year-old Dustin Brown from murdering 16 helpless children with two hunting knives. The veteran was holding a chess club meeting with children between the ages of seven and 13 at a public library in Morton, Illinois, when Brown entered the building with the intention of mass murder.

“He actually ran into the room yelling, ‘I’m going to kill some people!'” James Vernon told the Pekin Daily Times.“He was holding two knives.”

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Brown reportedly blocked the only exit to the room, brandished the blades and screamed violent threats. While the children hid under the tables, James Vernon stood up to Dustin Brown and tried to reason with him.

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“I tried to talk to him. I tried to settle him down. I didn’t, but I did deflect his attention and calmed him a bit. 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.”

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