Man Lights Mom on Fire and Tries to Attack Teacher

This report out of Lubbock, Texas, is absolutely frightening, and so random that it can’t help but scare the heck out of you. You might want to sit down for this one.

On Monday, the day after Mother’s Day I have to add because it makes this case even more macabre, George James Bradley went on a rampage. First, he poured a flammable liquid on his mother and set her on fire. She was somehow able to run to a neighbor’s apartment, and is currently listed in critical condition with third-degree burns at a Lubbock hospital.

After setting his mother on fire, he arrived at Rise Academy, a pre-kindergarten through eighth grade charter school which serves about 200 students, at 9 a.m., where he asked the secretary to call 911 because he had killed his mother. Then, according to Audrey Saldivar, a school administrator, he became agitated and locked the office door. He proceeded to pull out a knife, forcing a teacher into the superintendent’s office. 

Superintendent Baumgartner was notified about the disturbance in the office, and he arrived there in time to see Bradley lock the office door. He then entered a back door to the office as several staff members escaped. At this point, according to Baumgartner, “I heard screams, and realized someone else was still in there, so I started kicking the door open. I just reacted to an instinct. I made a split-second decision, because I knew he had a knife and there was somebody in there screaming for their life. I just thought that I had to enter that space and prevent violence from being done.”

Baumgartner reports that as the door opened and the suspect came out swinging his knife, he feel backward and was grazed by the suspect’s knife. He then grabbed a chair and walked toward the front of the office. In the confusion, the female teacher was able to escape through the back door. Baumgartner said that Bradley said nothing but stared at him until the police arrived. Bradley then dropped his knife and did not resist arrest. The police also confiscated his duffel bag, which contained a can of gasoline, lighters, and neatly folded clothes.

Bradley was previously convicted of deadly conduct and drug charges for which he served five years in prison. According to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, he was released in 2005, but last fall he was sentenced to another five years in prison for aggravated assault on a public servant in an incident which occurred about three months after his release from prison. He didn’t serve that time, but instead, was given credit for time served.

Really? An example of our legal system at its best, right? But the craziness doesn’t end there, because he apparently has had other assault arrests since then, one as recently as December. What a surprise that Lubbock County prosecutors did not wish to comment on his case!

Bradley was arrested on attempted murder, aggravated assault, and attempted aggravated sexual assault charges.

Luckily for the 200 students of Rise Academy, the school is made up of modular buildings with no classrooms in the same building as the office, and the school effectively followed lockdown procedures, which meant all classrooms were immediately locked with all lights turned off. As a result, none of the students even witnessed the incident.

“It is a miracle … that nothing more occurred,” Saldivar said afterwards.

Truly, what a miracle and a blessing thanks to the quick and heroic actions of Superintendent Baumgartner!

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