(Debbie) Shultz’s estranged husband stood wild-eyed in the doorway, teeth gritted, pausing almost for dramatic effect, she recalled. Then he rushed toward her, she said, raising a large knife toward her chest.
That’s when Shultz’s students, 16- and 17-year-old kids, went to her rescue. Several of the youngsters tackled the man, pinning him to the floor and wresting the knife from his hand.
Shultz’s husband, who she’s divorcing, had just been released from a mental institution.
The roll of honor is: Nimesh Patel, 17; Austin Hutchinson, 16; John Bailey, 16; Andy Anderson, 17; Matt Battaglia, 17; and Scott Wigington, 17.
As Hutchinson saw the man pull the knife, “I thought I could run like the rest of the people or I could help,” the student said. “It’s just not right leaving her there.”
Hutchinson and Wigington, son of Rockdale County Sheriff Jeff Wigington, were the first to reach the assailant. Wigington grabbed the hand holding the knife.
The others helped push the man to the ground, at which point Wigington took the knife away from him. The six boys then kept him pinned to the ground.
After police took the attacker away, some of the boys stayed at school to finish taking their finals. Odds are they all passed Spanish II.
Shultz planned to sign the divorce papers today and return to class to thank her students.
In 1999, a deranged student at Heritage shot and wounded six students. Sheriff Jeff Wigington, father of one of yesterday’s heroes, is quoted in the story.