KILLEEN, Texas (FOX 44)– After hearing the news of the mass shooting in Uvalde, Eddie Chelby couldn’t sleep thinking about his wife and son who attend Saegert Elementary right across the street from his house.
He says by him standing out there it made him feel a sense of ease.
“I just felt compelled with my training. I’m a seasoned security professional and I was available and I just thought I can’t sleep. Not being able to do something about this,” says parent volunteer Eddie Chelby.
Chelby has about 20 years of private security training under his belt, he says Tuesday’s mass shooting put him in straight protective mode. At one in the morning on Wednesday, Eddie Chelby wrote an email to Killeen ISD Superintendent Dr. John Craft asking him if he could guard the elementary school the last two days of classes.
“I humbly request to provide security services unarmed. I’ll be just in front of the school. I don’t wish to enter the school but I just want to be there for my kids. I want to be there for my wife, who is also an employee at that school,” says Chelby.
The mass shooting in Uvalde broke the hearts of many people. Parents have been concerned about if they should send their kids to school this last week.
“The parents are just hurting. They’ve got two days of school left. They want their kids to be happy. They want them to take part in graduation ceremonies. They want them to take care part and you know, at the end of school year, parties,” says Chelby.
On a Facebook post, someone posted a picture of Chelby standing outside the elementary school guarding the campus. At first parents were concerned calling the campus, then later finding out what Chelby was doing.
The Facebook post went viral, inspiring other parents to do the same thing and help guard the school as well.
“I had a lady named Constance come out and help me. She was a parent of one of the students here, and she’s like, I got your back, you know, and literally took the backside of the school,” says Chelby.
Chelby says he hopes by doing this it will bring the community together in a time of need.
“Any body that’s tied to a student at a school. If you have time to volunteer, I think this is great. I think anybody they should come out and stand watch,” says Chelby.
Chelby says since the pandemic began the WatchDog program has been cancelled he hopes next year the program will return so he can continue to volunteer at Killeen ISD.