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Daycare owner saves kids from gunman

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Updated: 4/17/2013 11:38 pm

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Fearing for her own life while a gunman pressed the barrel of a handgun to her head, Meltonia Wright had something else running through her head. She imagined images of massacred students in Newtown.

"Our first priority is the safety of the children, and I did the best of my ability to make sure that happened," said Wright.

While a gunman demanded money from her in the parking lot of Young Kids In Motion daycare center on McDuff Avenue in the Westside's Lackawanna neighborhood Wednesday morning, 46 children and daycare staff were inside the building. Wright says the gunman, wearing a hoodie and a mask, claimed he would shoot the children if she didn't give him money.

"I stayed calm. He stayed calm. Enough for him to trust me," Wright told Action News while still nursing a bloody lip from the attack. She reasoned with gunman, allowing her to retrieve her purse inside the daycare. The daycare owner stepped inside and locked the gunman outside of the building.

Staff gathered the children into an area farthest from windows or doors. They called police and say they watched from inside as the gunman ran off moments later.

Wright said, "I'm glad to tell the story because anything could have gone the opposite way."

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