A Texas father stood guard outside his daughter’s elementary school in Killeen, volunteering to help protect the children after Tuesday’s deadly school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.
“I said I would just be out there unarmed to let people know that I’m watching. Let the parents have a little bit of relief,” Ed Chelby, a U.S. Army veteran with eleven years of experience in the army and in security, told KWTX-TV.
KWTX-TV interviewed the father after a picture of him standing guard outside Saegert Elementary School went viral.
Please say thanks to this fine gentleman that volunteered today to stand watch at a Texas school. We need more like him. 🙌🙌🙌
Saegert Elementary ❤️🤟 Killeen Texas pic.twitter.com/aMauIkyd9b
— Blue Starr (@bluestarrfl) May 26, 2022
Chelby has a daughter who attends Saegert Elementary, where his wife also works as a nurse, KWTX-TV reported.
“Him standing in front of the school, that’s reassuring — feeling that we get to go home and see our families this summer,” Samantha Longfeather-Locke, the woman who took the viral photo of Chelby, told the outlet.
“The world needed to know what he was doing because I feel that, that’s sparking some sort of change to start,” said Longfeather-Locke, who also has a child at the school.
After the Tuesday shooting in Uvalde, Chelby emailed the school district’s superintendent, requesting permission to stand guard outside the school’s entrance, the father told KWTX-TV.
The incident had left Chelby with “sleeplessness caused by the grief I experienced,” he said, according to the outlet.
On Tuesday, 18-year-old Salvador Rolando Ramos took an AR-15 he had bought after his 18th birthday to Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, where he gunned down 19 children and two teachers.
Chelby told the outlet that after the shooting in Uvalde, “a lot of emotional people” came up to him, telling him that “[t]hey didn’t want to send their kids to school. They struggled with sending their kids to school.”
“And I told them, I was like, ‘I got them,’” Chelby said.
“You don’t know if you should send your kid to school,” Chelby told the outlet. “You want them to get their education and their experience of the last days of school, but you want to protect them with everything you got.”
Before Chelby requested to stand guard, he was in the process of becoming a school volunteer, with a background check underway when the superintendent gave the nod to his helping secure the school facility, KWTX-TV reported.
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