2nd Amendment, Media

School Shooting in Tennessee That National Media Did Not Report

The following incident happened at a high school only minutes from my home in East Tennessee. I am sure that no one outside of our immediate region has ever heard the story, because the only person who was shot-and killed-was the gunman. These types of stories don’t fit the narrative of those who want “gun-free zones” and so are ignored by the national media. In this case an armed Security Resource Officer, Carolyn Gudger, became a local hero and saved an unknown number of lives by holding the gunman at bay until backup arrived. The text below is drawn from a local news website, Tricities.com. The story is not viewable on mobile devices, probably because it is so old. If you wish to view it on your PC, here is the link: http://tinyurl.com/ckqfcvf

School Resource Officer Carolyn Gudger

School Resource Officer Carolyn Gudger

Gunman killed at Sullivan Central

“On Monday morning, August 30, 2010, Thomas Richard Cowan loaded 13 bullets into two handguns, left his German shepherd chained to the fence and drove eight miles from his home in Kingsport to Sullivan Central High School. Whatever his mission, it was the 62-year-old Vietnam veteran’s final drive. For about an hour, Cowan’s armed invasion spread panic throughout the school before a burst of officers’ gunfire brought him down. No others were injured.

No one knows why Cowan pointed his Honda in the direction of the Blountville, Tenn., high school, where his brother is a janitor. He is described – in court records and interviews – as a peculiar man with a history of erratic, sometimes criminal, behavior and a deep suspicion of the government. He parked his car Monday morning in a handicapped space just in front of the school’s main entrance. Second period was just getting under way at 9:10 a.m. when Ashley Thacker, a junior, arrived at the main entrance of her high school. Thacker, 16, had been at a doctor’s appointment and was on her way to a music theory class as she approached the locked doors.

She noticed a man standing in the 10-foot waiting area between the two sets of doors, waiting to be buzzed in. His bald crown was framed with brown hair. He had a mustache, she remembered, and he was holding a cane. He told her to go on ahead of him. But she never made it through the doors. Instead, Melanie Riden, principal of Sullivan Central, came striding through the locked doors. “He pulled out his gun and started pointing it at people,” Thacker said. Cowan trained a .380-caliber semi-automatic pistol at Riden’s face, said Sullivan County Sheriff Wayne Anderson.

Carolyn Gudger, the school resource officer, drew her gun, then shielded the principal’s body with her own.

Thacker remembers Cowan shouting something – possibly including the words “10 years” – but she isn’t sure. She turned and ran out the set of public doors to the mulch pile in the front of the school, and hid behind bushes. “He might shoot someone,” Thacker remembered thinking. “I just wanted to get out of there.”

Riden fled and Gudger inched back into the school, leading Cowan through the scattered pastel chairs in the empty cafeteria. It was a tactical move, meant to lure the gunman into a more contained place, Anderson said. Sullivan County dispatch sent out a chilling alert: “Man with a gun at Central High School.”

Gudger told him to drop his weapon; he demanded she drop hers. Once, he tried, unsuccessfully, to lunge for her gun. Cowan repeated one thing only, Anderson said. That he wanted to pull the fire alarms. “I don’t know why, we can only speculate about that and I think everyone will speculate why he wanted to pull a fire alarm,” Anderson said. “Either to get the kids out of class or, I don’t know. We don’t know.”

Flattened against the bushes, Ashley Thacker waited two minutes, she thinks. “I didn’t hear anything else, so I thought Officer Gudger had arrested him.” She was wrong. As she approached the school, two assistant principals opened a window and yelled at her to run away. Crying and shaking, Thacker ran to her car and drove a half-mile to her parents’ business.

The view from the classroom

At about 9:15 a.m., a shaken voice came over the intercom. “Code red. Lockdown.” There was profanity in the background. This was no drill, students realized. With the announcement, teachers sprang into action – locking doors and papering over windows, turning off the lights and closing window blinds. Students huddled in the corners of classrooms, sitting in the darkness and searching for information with a storm of text messages.

Casey Deel, a 17-year-old senior, was on his way to a doctor’s office when his girlfriend, Alicia Edwards, sent him a text at 9:15 a.m. “There’s a code red lock down. im scared,” the 16-year-old junior texted from her government class. “r u serious?” Deel texted back. He skipped his appointment. In Kayla Nichols’ cosmetology class, students squeezed into a storage room the size of a parking space, and locked the door, the 17-year-old said. Ryan Kendrick was in algebra class, just off the main office. The 17-year-old senior thought he heard the gunman making threats – about not leaving the building alive and taking others with him – and Gudger urging him to calm down.

Then he heard a volley of gunshots. Kendrick and his friend, Andrew Ray, began to pray. Landon Sillyman was in his honors biology class, where the teacher had instructed students to put their heads on their desks in the darkened classroom. The 14-year-old freshman estimated the suspense lasted about an hour. But it was all over in minutes, Anderson estimated.

One hundred and twenty seconds after Cowan drew his gun, two deputies, Lt. Steve Williams and Sam Matney, arrived. They entered through separate doors and met Cowan and Gudger – still in a moving standoff – as they reached a science pod behind the cafeteria. Cowan wavered; he jerked his gun from Gudger to the other deputies then back again. The three officers told him, again, to drop his weapon. He wouldn’t. So they opened fire. Some students counted five shots, others counted six. Anderson would not say how many rounds hit the gunman.

Cowan fell to the ground, his shoes just feet from door to the library full of teenagers. The pistol in his hand had seven bullets in the magazine and another in the chamber. He had a second handgun in his back pocket, loaded with five rounds. “That’s how close he was,” Anderson said. “We all know this could have been much more dangerous.”

Yes, it could have been much worse. It could have been another national headline about multiple deaths, sparking a national outcry for stricter gun laws. But it wasn’t. Why? Because the good people of Tennessee have enough sense to place armed officers inside of our schools to protect our children.

About Jen

"To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory"~Colossians 1:26-28


19 thoughts on “School Shooting in Tennessee That National Media Did Not Report

  1. These were very patient people. It sounds like they gave the gunman lot of opportunity to save his own life. I don’t know if it was wise to be so patient, but for the sake of conscience, it was good they were as it turned out. Perhaps it was a case similar to “suicide by cop.” When will the Liberal establishment come to realize that an armed citizenry is the safest citizenry?

    Posted by Linus | January 6, 2013, 2:49 pm
    • The Liberal establishment will never reach that conclusion…because their goal is not the safety of the citizenry. Their goal is the elimination of as many of our freedoms as possible. Facts and reality are never part of their debate.

      Posted by Red Pill Report | January 9, 2013, 8:34 am
    • The SRO was wrong and is very lucky to be alive. She should haveimmediately fired her weapon and killed the suspect. You NEVER play the ‘put your gun down, no you put your gun down, no YOU put your gun down, etc. etc. There was a definate threat so you must act immediately. If he had pulled the trigger then she would be dead and so would in all probability a number of students or teachers. Immediate action on her part was required and she failed to do so. VERY lucky it turned out as it did.

      Posted by Jim Bragg | January 10, 2013, 9:14 am
      • to many americans think the Police Have to say Drop your gun which isnt true. besides a bad guy can fire a lot of bullets before I finish that sentence

        Posted by t f | January 10, 2013, 4:47 pm
      • Wow you are a moron.

        Posted by richard | January 11, 2013, 6:40 am
      • Someone is a hero and all you can do is pull apart her actions, in all probability because she is black. Open your eyes, not your mouth.

        Posted by richard | January 11, 2013, 6:43 am
  2. Greatest name in the whole story – Landon Sillyman.

    Posted by Joshua | January 9, 2013, 7:44 am
  3. I am a parent whose child will soon be a student at Sullivan Central High School. It makes me feel good that my children are safe. I do not think other gunmen would be so stupid as to try that again. Kudos to Carolyn Gudger!! She is a HERO!

    Posted by Pamela | January 9, 2013, 11:28 am
  4. I read the article and am amazed that this school and their board had the moral fortitude and courage
    to act on employing an armed officer, disregarding costs, legal implications, objections from liberals, etc., etc. God bless these folks!

    Posted by michael | January 10, 2013, 8:50 am
  5. the solution is just so obvious.i hope more school districts or states or whoever will follow suit.

    Posted by Hope | January 10, 2013, 10:39 am
  6. This story wasn’t nationally covered because it did not sell. The only lives that are “important” in America are those of Caucasians. If you don’t believe that, how often do you hear an elaborate story about a minority beingu killed and how special they were to someone? However, you almost always see the media emphasizing someone’s race in a crime to keep people aware of who to fear.

    Posted by richard | January 11, 2013, 6:29 am
    • I disagree – maybe because of the area I live in (Baltimore Washington area), I don’t think it has anything to do with the race of the hero in the story. I think the reason it didn’t sell is because no innocents were shot or killed. No dirty laundry = no hits = no money.

      Posted by Pete | January 11, 2013, 6:56 pm
  7. I hope the ‘shoulda woulda coulda’ replies are only meant to encourage others in the same position to fire away. This woman handled it the way she did. It worked. She is brave, she is my hero, countless lives WERE saved by her actions that day…by the book or not. God bless you ma’am!!!!

    Posted by Mike Peter | January 12, 2013, 12:55 pm


  1. Pingback: ConMom - January 9, 2013

  2. Pingback: School Shooting in Tennessee That National Media Did Not Report « « catholicgrits - January 9, 2013

  3. Pingback: Caroline Gudger’s Standoff « YouViewed/Editorial - January 10, 2013

  4. Pingback: "School Shootings in America Since Sandy Hook" | Reilly C. ScottReilly C. Scott - June 11, 2014

  5. Pingback: Did I miss a gun control thread somewhere? by MC Hamster - TribalWar Forums - June 11, 2014

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

"There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by sword. The other is by debt." -John Adams 1826


Red Pill Report is a labor of love for the many contributors who post here. They share their thoughts and talents with us because, like you, they love this great Country and hope to contribute in some small way to returning America to the principles on which it was founded. How can you help? Please share our articles with friends and family. Share buttons for Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Email are found at the bottom of each article. Our writers also love your comments, so please share your thoughts with us, when you can. We appreciate our readers, and would love to have more! Thank you!




Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 34,787 other followers

%d bloggers like this: