Armed Citizen Saves Neighbor Kids From Potential Stabbing

Knife point (HMM crime!) by lindakowen is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 .

Terrel Majette was enjoying a quiet late spring evening on his front porch in the town of Franklin, Virginia last week when he spotted something decidedly out of the ordinary; two kids sprinting toward his home with terror in their eyes. 


As the boy and girl approached Majette and his brother, the girl exclaimed that they were being chased by a man with a knife. She ran up onto the porch while the boy continued sprinting for his house, and Majette ran inside to get his gun.

“She said, ‘Excuse me, sir, that man down there is chasing us with a knife!’” Majette recalled. “I paused for a minute to process what she was saying. I get up, and I see the man standing with two knives in his hand, yelling from about three houses down. 

“I then go inside to grab my firearm, and as I’m coming back, I hear my brother, who is protecting his daughter in the car, yell to me, ‘Be careful, bro, he’s charging this way,’” Majette stated. 

“As I stepped on the porch, he had got right near my yard, running at full speed. Only thing that stopped him was seeing me holding my gun.   “I asked him multiple times to please go home as he continued to stand there wielding one of his knives,” Majette continued. 

“At this same time, my wife was calling the authorities as the little girl asked could she come in our house.”

By the time officers responded to the scene the man, identified as Willis Barry Jr, had run into a home. Authorities were able to make contact with him and take him into custody for a mental health evaluation. 

The report noted that Patrol Officer Tyler R. Dodson, who was listed as the reporting officer, knew Barry from a previous Emergency Custody Order (ECO).  

“Mr. Barry emerged from the residence unarmed and began stating that he came from the depths of hell and stated that he was going to start speaking in Vatican and African,” the narrative stated.  

The narrative then noted that Cpl. Brown took Barry into custody for a badge ECO, and Dodson spoke to the alleged victims.  Dodson spoke to a witness who stated that Barry came out of his residence and began coming into their yard on Norfleet Street with two knives, stating that the children took his cellphone, the narrative noted. 

Reportedly, Barry then laid on his stomach and stuck the knives into the ground.  The witness stated that her boyfriend came out of the residence, and Barry went back into his own residence on the street, the narrative reported, adding that the witness said none of the children were physically assaulted by Barry because they went back into their residence when Barry scared them.  

“Mr. Barry was transported to Southampton Memorial Hospital without incident,” the narrative stated.


Majette told the Tidewater News that he'd seen Barry in the neighborhood before and "figured he had some sort of mental illness", but the threat of violence was still surprising. The armed citizen said he had no desire to shoot Barry, but he wasn't about to "allow him to hurt anyone out there." 

Thank goodness Majette was in a position where he could respond almost immediately to the threat against these kids. His actions may very well have saved at least one life, and he managed to do so without having to pull the trigger. 

This isn't the first time that Majette's been faced with a life-threatening encounter. He told WAVY-TV that he was the victim of an armed robbery in Atlanta five years ago that left him with PTSD, but last Wednesday all he could think about in the moment was "what if it was my child?"

Terrel Majette's heroism hasn't been reported outside of local media, but a Bearing Arms reader named Dale spotted this story and sent it my way. A tip of the hat to Dale for sharing Majette's bravery with me, and kudos to Majette himself for stepping up and protecting his young neighbors from the knife-wielding man who was chasing them. 

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