03 May 2010

Angels Amongst Us—Scary Event Came Too Close To Home

Warning: This is a true crime story about good and evil.

Two weeks ago at 1:30 in the afternoon, when all the children were in their classrooms, a twenty year-old man wandered onto my children’s elementary school, opened the first door he came to, and attacked. Luckily, there were no children in that classroom. Unluckily for the child psychologist, she was alone.

A man with wild crazy eyes bashed the psychologist across the head with his skateboard, leaving an open gash across her forehead, then he destroyed her computer, and thrashed her room.

And that was only the beginning.

My son was in the classroom two doors down. A few minutes earlier, he’d been working out math problems when a sixteen year-old high school student, who had graduated from the elementary school, just happened to drop by to visit. (I’ll call this sixteen year-old boy Angel 1).

My son heard Angel 1 say he was going next door to visit the history teacher. That’s when when the screaming started. The psychologist was being beaten. Both Angel 1 and the history teacher went running to help. The history teacher is a very petite, very sweet woman who came face-to-face with a madman. With a brutal viciousness the guy attacked her, knocking her to the ground. Angel 1 stood his ground. Although he was only a boy, he fought off the over six-foot tall man, protecting the two female teachers, possibly saving their lives. Angel 1 had blood pouring from his lip and was covered with scratches. He was saying, “Save the kids!” by the time the next angels appeared.

At this point the badly shaken history teacher, the whole time thinking that the guy was still coming after her to kill her, crawled on her bloody knees into my son’s classroom. She asked the math teacher to call the police and get the school locked down. She told all the kids in the class to get under their desks while she held onto the door handle to keep the madman from getting in. My son said his teacher shook like a leaf and looked like she was playing tug-o-war with the door handle. This teacher is, without a doubt, Angel 2.

Outside, Angel 3 (Mr. H) and Angel 4 (Mr. M) were forcing the madman off the campus. While he scratched at them, swung at them, hurt them, they tried reasoning with him. They made it into the parking lot. This is where the guy lunged at Mr. H, trapped him up against a car, and wailed on him. Mr. H is a little dapper white-haired guy. Mr H is also a very wise guy. He used a rolled up magazine to jab his attacker under the ribs. The guy doubled over and fell back. Um, yeah, Mr H rocks.

The guy threatened to get a gun and kill them all. He opened the trunk. Mr M, thinking the gun was inside, put himself between the guy and the path to the kids. He had no doubt that the guy would shoot him if he had a gun. No one knew that he did not. Mr M rocks big time.

The guy jumped in the car (he’d stolen the car keys from the psychologist) and took the police on a wild 120 mph chase down a dangerous two-laned mountain pass. One of my friends was coming up the pass and was shocked to see all the cop cars including helicopters flying past her. The guy sideswiped a woman’s car and hit an 86 year old man’s truck head-on. The woman was injured, not critically, and the man in the head-on crash was fine!

As the police put the guy in the back of the squad car, reporters asked him what his name was. He said, “Satan.” and bent over to lick the hood of the police car. Truth be told, he was a local guy, who is in a whole world of trouble. Hopefully, so is his drug-dealer.

I am grateful for miracles. Things would have been different if Satan’s choice of weaponary had been something other than a skateboard. I’m grateful no children were hurt, especially mine. Those teachers risked their lives to protect them as did a sixteen year-old boy who just happened to show up at the right time.

Evil came to my children’s school. But in this case the Lord sent four angels to bar his way.

Kiss your children and hold them tight. I’m off to kiss mine.

Oh, and make sure your schools have a safety plan in place. It never hurts to be prepared.

Kimberley Troutte


Carolan Ivey said...

Oh wow, I'm shaking just reading this, Kimberley! I'm so glad everyone is going to be okay.

You know, I hear a lot of people complain about school taxes and how teachers have it too cushy. But I know what these people do and risk every day for our children, and I say they aren't paid nearly enough.

After 9/11, my then-9-year-old-son asked me if it was safe to go to school. I assured him that his teachers would do everything in their power to keep him safe. Your account just reaffirms that for me.

Kimberley Troutte said...


I couldn't agree with you more.

My son is still quite shaken from this whole ordeal, but one thing he know for sure: his teachers thought only of themselves in that critical moment and did everything in their power to protect the kids.

Elise Logan said...

I'm crying. I read it to DH, he's teared up a bit, too.

Thank God for those angels.

Kimberley Troutte said...

I still tear up. It happens at odd moments like now.

I'm touched that you were touched.

You know, we only hear about the bad stuff, but there are many, many good people out there. Far more than we'll ever know.

Lives were changed in our little community because of this. We had to toss off the "it couldn't happen around here" mentality and start thinking about what to do if something does.

My son? He changed too. Some of his innocence was stolen, but it was replaced by something else--a true understanding of what it means to sacrifice yourself for others. My son was prepared to fight the guy if he'd broken into the classroom to protect his teacher and save the other kids. "I would've fought him. But Mama," he told me, "I probably wouldn't have won."

That still gets me.

Ragan said...

Quote ["I would've fought him. But Mama," he told me, "I probably wouldn't have won."]

Wow. Just wow. The eyes of a child...

I'm so glad everyone is alright. It's a scary world out there.

Kimberley Troutte said...

thank you.
I know, it is scary, but it's also pretty wonderful too. And amazing. My son looks at his teachers in a whole new light. Heck, so do I.

Delia DeLeest said...

Okay, you've got me crying now. So glad there are angels in our midst

Kimberley Troutte said...

Sorry to make you all cry. Not my intent, really. But I am grateful this story touched you. I know good will come from this. It has to. And yes, thank God for the angels.

Chelley said...

Praise the Lord for miracles and Angels.

Thank God it ended the way it did.
Is everyone alright?

Evil is everywhere, but I pray for our kids' lives, safety and well-being.

God bless. :)

Kimberley Troutte said...

Chelley (love your name by the way) I think everyone WILL be all right. I heard that the psychologist came back to school (brave, brave young woman) and my son is sleeping through the night now. The administration is working hard to put safe guards in place. School is going on normally.
And me?
Well, I just feel blessed. So very, very blessed.
I hope the guy who did this will use it as a wakeup call too and get the help he so obviously needs.
Thanks everyone for your kind words.

azteclady said...

Oh my God, that's horrifying!

I mean, the outcome is great--no one was seriously injured, but dear Lord, just the fact that this... well, this crazy person would go into a school to perpetrate violence!

Christine Norris said...

This is why all the doors to all the schools here in NJ are locked all the time. You need to use the front door and be buzzed in, and there is a camera on the door to make sure you are who you say you are and aren't being forced to let someone else inside.

Thank gods for angels!