“A Mississippi high school football player is being hailed as a hero for saving a school bus full of elementary and high school students from a gun-wielding girl.
Surveillance camera footage on the Yazoo County school bus on Tuesday captured 18-year-old Kaleb Eulls tackling the 14-year-old girl while the children evacuated the bus.
He managed to wrestle the .380 caliber semi-automatic handgun from her, Yazoo County Sheriff Thomas Vaughan told CNN.
“Things could’ve got real ugly and there would’ve been a lot of grieving families in Yazoo County right now,” Thomas said. “I’m just extremely glad this young man took the bull by horns and stopped a potentially deadly situation.”
Twenty-two children ages 5 to 18 were on the bus to Linwood Elementary School, Yazoo County Junior High and High School when the unidentified girl drew a gun from her bag, Vaughan said. Video Watch the confrontation unfold on camera »
She started pacing the aisle, shouting and pointing the gun, threatening to shoot those she accused of teasing her, Vaughan said.
At one point, the bus driver calmly called her up to the front and attempted to talk her down. But she returned to the middle of the bus and resumed shouting — most of which is inaudible on the footage, except for the comment, “don’t talk to me.”
Someone then appears to grab her attention while the others pour out the front and back doors of the bus.
That person was Eulls, a 6-foot-4, 255-pound high school senior who has verbally committed to play for Mississippi State University after he graduates.
The defensive end and quarterback has been recognized as one of the best high school players in the state by the Clarion-Ledger newspaper this year.
Eulls was asleep on the bus until his younger sister woke him and told him a girl had a gun, Eulls told CNN affiliate WLBT.
“I just realized something had to be done, and it was just a lot of kids on the bus and [I] couldn’t let anything happen to them,” he said.
“I tried to grab her attention, just keep her from pointing it at anyone else in the bus,” he said.
In a matter of seconds, Eulls rushed the girl to the ground, took the gun from her and was running out the back door of the bus. On the footage, she can be seen running after him.
The girl was arrested and taken into custody as a juvenile. She faces 22 counts of attempted aggravated assault, 22 counts of kidnapping and one count of possession of a firearm on school property because the bus is leased by the school district, Vaughan said.
Everyone else, including Eulls, continued on to school, where he received a hero’s welcome, Vaughan said.
Eulls’ mother said she was a little shocked by the incident.
“When he tackled her to get the gun he could’ve got shot you know — she could’ve shot him. … His career could’ve been ruined for the rest of his life,” Ora Eulls told HLN’s Mike Galanos.
“I told him I was proud of him, we all was proud of him, and I told him don’t ever scare me like that again, because he did a tremendous thing saving 23 lives, plus he put his life in danger for their lives.”
Since Tuesday, the high school and the police office has been flooded with calls from the media and the public seeking more information on Yazoo County’s hometown hero.
Vaughan says he couldn’t be more pleased with the situation — especially when he learned that Eulls was bound for Mississippi State.
From the clocks and banners decorating his office to the screen saver on his computer, Vaughan says he is a Bulldogs fan through and through.
“I’ll be tickled to see him on the field. You can see in his body makeup he’s extremely strong and fast, and not only is he strong in body, he’s strong in mind and in his heart,” the sheriff said.
“He’s one of the most humble 18-year-olds you will ever see. He’s a great kid and if he maintains his mindset as he has it now he’ll go a long ways.”“