More than $11K raised for first responders who 'saved the lives' of Franklin couple Sunday

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Kevin and Leanne Craft

Kevin and Leanne Craft of Franklin

Editor's Note: This story was corrected to indicate Kevin and Leanne Craft live in Franklin, not Brentwood as previously reported. We apologize for the mistake. 

As a Franklin couple continues to recover from a weekend attack, friends and family who began a GoFundMe account have raised more than $11,000 in less than a day to honor the first responders.

Metro Nashville Police said Kevin and Leanne Craft were attacked Sunday afternoon as they waited as customers inside the office of Public Storage in Nashville, located at 800 5th Avenue South. Police said Kelvin Edwards, 35, took the machete from his bin at the storage facility, entered the office and without warning repeatedly struck the Crafts with the machete, even striking the couple after they were bleeding on the floor.

The Crafts were quickly transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center after officers who responded to the scene used multiple tourniquets to control their bleeding “and save their lives,” a MNPD news release indicated.

Police said they found Edwards with his hands raised in surrender on the street outside the facility three minutes after they got a 911 call about the attack at 2:50 p.m.

The GoFundMe, which has raised more than $11,400 as of early Wednesday morning, was established to “purchase Visa gift cards for the 10 officers and two detectives first on the scene,” according to its description. The money will also be used to purchase dinner for the Central Police Precinct, the description noted. Click here to follow a link to the account. 

Former Ravenwood standout Grace Parsons, a Belmont junior who plays for the Bruins soccer team, thanked the first responders on social media Tuesday night. Leanne Craft is Parsons' mother and Kevin Craft is her stepdad. The Crafts live in Berry Farms. 

“So so thankful for these first responders who saved my mom and step dad’s life,” she said in a tweet. “Thank you to everyone who has donated … means the world and can’t thank you enough.”

MNPD Officer Phillip Claibourne was the first on the scene Sunday.

“I saw the suspect up by the entrance of the storage unit,” he said in a press conference Monday. “He was standing on the sidewalk with his hands in the air and his feet together.”

Claibourne said he hand-cuffed Edwards without incident as Officer James Hill arrived.

“The first thing that came to my mind when I looked through the doors, I just saw the color red was very prominent on the lower sections of the floor,” Hill said, adding he could tell from about 20-25 feet away that the Crafts, who were laying on the floor, “were going to need quite a bit of medical assistance.”

Hill said he and other officers immediately began putting tourniquets around the arms and legs of Steve Craft, 55. As other officers arrived, they quickly began treating Leanne Craft, 50, as well.

Police said the officers who rushed into the storage facility office to render aid to the Crafts also included James Wells Jr., Alexander Hartle, Gabriel Vasquez, William Hamblen and Jordan Shaffer.

In an interview with Detective Brent Fisher, Edwards was angry about the COVID-19 shutdowns and his inability to get into the Rescue Mission. 

Edwards, who carried an Arkansas driver license with a Little Rock address, has been in Nashville since at least 2016, the year of his first arrests here, according to a news release by the MNPD. He was convicted of felony vandalism in 2017 and was charged with deliberately spitting on two Davidson County Sheriff’s deputies while in jail. They prosecuted him on two counts of assault and he was convicted on both charges.

Edwards is charged with two counts of attempted murder in the incident involving the Crafts.


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