Armed Student Talked Out of School Shooting by Counselor

The student reportedly had a list of teachers and a police officer at the school he was going to shoot.
Published: October 3, 2016

A middle school counselor in Tennessee is being praised after she convinced an upset student to hand over a gun inside her office Sept. 28.

Sycamore Middle School Counselor Molly Hudgens spoke with the student for 45 minutes after seeing the gun and eventually convinced the teen to abandon a school shooting plot that targeted teachers and a school police officer.

“She is a hero in our community, no doubt about that,” Cheatham County Sheriff Mike Breedlove told

Hudgens says her heroic response was the result of training she’s received during her 19 years with the school and skills she learned while getting her Master’s degree in school counseling.

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“My previous training and experience granted me the opportunity to help a student in need while protecting our school family as well,” Hudgens said in a taped statement, footage of which is included below.

The incident began in the morning when an upset 14-year-old student asked to speak with Hudgens in her office. After a conversation, Hudgens asked the teen if he had a gun. The student revealed a loaded, semi-automatic handgun in his waistband.

Hudgens attempted to text coworkers and a school resource officer at the school while she continued talking with the teen. Authorities estimate Hundgens spoke with the student for at least 45 minutes.

“There were problems early on technically with getting communication out with what was going on,” Sheriff Breedlove said. “But at the same time she was dealing with this young man trying to defuse the situation.”

When the school resource officer finally arrived, the student had already handed the gun to Hudgens.

Police say the boy, who is not being identified, had a list with him of the teachers and officers he was going to shoot. No students were on the list.

The teen was arrested and charged with carrying and possession of a weapon on school property and communicating a threat concerning a school employee. He will be expelled in accordance with the Chatham County School Board policy.

RELATED: 2 Students, 1 Teacher Shot at S.C. Elementary School

Parents received recorded calls informing them of the incident but giving few details.

“[Hudgens] was an amazingly brave person to be in there that long with this young man,” Sheriff Breedlove said. “She was able to defuse the whole situation.”

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