LA VERGNE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The City of La Vergne has declared Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017 as Robert Caleb Engle Day.
Caleb, as he’s known to family and friends, helped stop the gunman in an Antioch church last Sunday.
Metro police say 25-year-old Emanual Samson killed one woman and injured seven others when he started shooting in Burnette Chapel Church of Christ. Samson also shot himself during the struggle with Caleb Engle.
The young church usher confronted the gunman and was pistol-whipped, but he kept fighting.
His dad, Jamie Engle, stepped in while Caleb ran to his own car and grabbed his own pistol. The father and son held the suspect until police arrived.
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“The only thing I remember seeing when I raised up was Caleb’s bloody head and that’s the only image I can’t out of my head,” said Jamie Engle, Caleb’s dad.
He said his son was honored by the proclamation but remains humble.
“I think it’s a good honor, but I don’t think he’s really accepting it,” the father said. “He don’t want to be called a hero. He done what any law-abiding citizen would do.”
La Vergne Mayor Dennis Waldon says he’s declaring October 4 as Robert Caleb Engle Day to recognize the young man’s actions, which he calls heroic.
“If it weren’t for him and his dad, there’s no telling how many more people would’ve gotten hurt or even killed,” the mayor told News 2.
Caleb grew up in La Vergne and Jamie Engle worked for La Vergne for 15 years.
“His family has been well liked in La Vergne for years,” Mayor Waldron said. “His family is just good people.”
Caleb didn’t want to speak on camera Tuesday but did ask people to pray for the Burnette Chapel of Christ and the Las Vegas shooting victims.