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‘If you were a white b—- I’d kill you’: Man allegedly robbed teacher with butcher knife in school parking lot

Willie Joe Buford (Davidson County Sheriff's Office) and LEAD Cameron College Prep (WKRN screenshot)

Willie Joe Buford (Davidson County Sheriff’s Office) and LEAD Cameron College Prep (WKRN screenshot)

A 65-year-old man in Tennessee has been arrested after he allegedly robbed a 36-year-old school teacher on campus using a large butcher knife before locking her in a closet. Willie Joe Buford was taken into custody on Tuesday and charged with one count of aggravated robbery with a weapon, records reviewed by Law&Crime show.

According to a press release from the Nashville Metro Police Department, the female teacher arrived for work at the LEAD Cameron School on 1st Avenue South just after 7 a.m. on Tuesday when she was confronted by a stranger in the parking lot, later identified as Buford.

“The victim reported that a stranger, subsequently identified as Buford, approached, pulled a butcher knife, and demanded her cash,” the release states. “When she told Buford that she had no money, he robbed her of her keys, cell phone, watch, and air pods. She said he then made her go into the gym, where he pushed her into a closet. He then fled in the victim’s Honda Accord.”

Police said that Buford took the teacher’s car to a parking garage in downtown Nashville before boarding a city bus and taking it to Murfreesboro Pike. Using the teacher’s phone to track him, officers with the South Precinct located Buford and took him into custody on Murfreesboro Pike and I-24.

Following his arrest, Buford allegedly confessed to robbing the teacher and then showed police where he had parked her car.

Police said that additional charges against Buford are expected to be filed. He remains in the Davidson County Detention Center on $100,000 bond.

A probable cause affidavit obtained by Nashville ABC affiliate WKRN provided additional details regarding the alleged robbery.

According to the report, the teacher told police that Buford was holding a “large butcher knife” when he approached her, forced her into the school gym, and demanded her money. After taking her electronics and keys, he also allegedly said that he would have killed her if not for her race.

“I’m not going to hurt you but if you were a white b—- I’d kill you,” he reportedly said to the teacher.

The teacher also noted that the closet she was forced into inside the gym automatically locked her inside when the door closed, Nashville Fox affiliate WZTV reported.

The teacher then continued to bang on the closet door and call for help until a group of students heard her and let her out. It was not immediately clear how long she was trapped in the closet. After she was released, the teacher reportedly met with police and was able to positively identify Buford as her attacker.

In an emailed statement to WKRN, school officials said students had not arrived on campus at the time of the robbery and that the campus immediately implemented emergency protocols.

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Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.