Yazoo athlete praised for ‘heroic act’
Chris Joyner • firstname.lastname@example.org • September 2, 2009
Yazoo County Sheriff Tommy Vaughan knew how it ended, but he said there still was plenty of drama in watching the school bus security tape.
At 6:53 a.m. Tuesday, a 14-year-old girl boarded the bus and walked better than halfway toward the back. She reached into a flower-print bag and pulled out a chrome-plated .380-caliber semi-automatic handgun and began shouting and threatening the other students.
“She was using some hard words,” Vaughan said. “She was saying somebody on the bus was either messing with her or picking on her.”
Then, Yazoo County High School football player Kaleb Eulls approached the girl, Vaughan said.
“He kept telling her, ‘Put the gun down; put the gun down.’ “
Then Eulls, 18, did what made him highly recruited as a defensive end—he tackled her. Vaughan said the students both went down, and a second later, Eulls’ right hand shot back into view holding the weapon.
“If it hadn’t been for this star football player, things could have been different,” Vaughan said. “He didn’t go overboard, but he did exactly what it took to get her on the ground.”
Eulls said he was asleep when the girl boarded the bus. When she pulled out the gun, one of Eulls’ three younger sisters, who were among the 22 people on the bus, shook him awake, he said.
Meanwhile, the girl demanded that the driver pull the bus over.
Eulls said he tried to get the girl’s attention.
“I kept my distance for a second, she kind of glanced away or blinked and I got to her,” he said.
“I just basically thought about all the lives that were in danger,” Eulls said. “It all happened in about five minutes. I’m thankful that it turned out the way it did.”
Ora Eulls, Kaleb’s mother, still had not talked to her son early Tuesday evening. Even heroes have to go to football practice. She said she first heard about the incident from her daughter.
Kaleb Eulls said his mother was relieved when he finally got home Tuesday night. “She said, ‘You’re everybody’s hero.’ “
Vaughan said the incident occurred in the Linwood Road area, a rural part of the county that is miles from help. Many of the students were elementary age.
The sheriff said Eulls showed admirable selflessness in a dangerous situation.
“He made the statement to one of my deputies that if she was going to shoot anyone, he would rather she shoot him,” Vaughan said. “Watching him do that and him doing such a heroic act and not even caring about his own safety, that’s something you don’t see every day.”
Vaughan said the girl was arrested on 22 counts of attempted aggravated assault, 22 counts of kidnapping and one count of possession of a firearm on school property. She was transported to the county juvenile detention facility, he said.
Vaughan described the girl’s alleged actions as “stupid” and said he wanted to know more about the gun, which he described as an inexpensive model prone to firing accidentally.
“I’m interested in talking to her parents to find out where did she get this gun. If she got it from home, why was it not secured?” he said.
Yazoo County High Principal Billy Ray Harber would not comment on the specifics of the incident but praised Eulls and the bus driver. “They did a great job,” he said.
Eulls, a 6-foot 4-inch, 255-pound senior, also plays quarterback for Yazoo County and was a Dandy Dozen pick this year by The Clarion-Ledger. He has committed to Mississippi State University.
Paul G. writes:
That’s a great story. The statement in the article stands out to me from the rest is the town sheriff’s: “He made the statement to one of my deputies that if she was going to shoot anyone, he would rather she shoot him.” That statement shows what one person can do in a situation like that. One person who is willing to risk his life to save others can do tremendous good.
This is something that Liberals, especially Liberals in favor of strict gun control laws, just don’t seem to understand.
Take, for example, the “news” program 20/20’s anti-gun episode, If I Only Had a Gun. The whole point of If I Only Had a Gun is that guns are too dangerous for anyone ever to use responsibly, so only police should use them. No one else should even try. Over and over again the 20/20 crew presents evidence that using a gun is dangerous and that facing someone with a gun is even more dangerous. And they are right. Their failure to present the opposite reality, that respect for the dangerous potential of a gun and proper training can ensure that a gun owner is of danger only to criminals, lays bare their anti-gun agenda.
One of other the messages that Dianne Sawyer and the 20/20 crew go out of their way to get across is the utter helplessness of anyone facing gun violence. “You can’t do anything to save yourself or anyone else,” they basically say. “Run, hide, and wait for the police to save you.” But this is just not correct. In fact, it’s often the worst thing you can do. Taking charge and attacking one’s assailant is often the most effective means of thwarting him. You might not be unscathed; you might die. But everyone else will be saved.
This is why we don’t praise the actions of the people of American Airlines Flights 11 and 77, or United Flight 175 on September 11th. We remember and mourn them, yes, but we don’t praise them. They, to our knowledge, didn’t fight back. They submitted to evil; they didn’t try to stop it. The people on United Flight 93, on the other hand, did fight back. They’re no less dead than the people on the other three flights, but they ensured that the terrorists on their flight failed. So we “praise them with great praise” as Tolkien would say.
And so we also praise Kaleb Eulls. He showed what one person can do when he disregards deadly Liberal propaganda and acts like a man.