Baxter native honored as Nashville hero

Pictured, left to right: Scott Winfree, Cookeville Police Department; Tylor Luellen, Nashville Police Department; Putnam County Mayor Randy Porter; Jacob Byrd, Cookeville Police Department; and Baxter Mayor John Martin.

By Michelle Price
Special to the UCBJ

COOKEVILLE – On Tuesday, Putnam County Mayor Randy Porter honored Baxter native Tylor Luellen by proclaiming June 15, 2021 as “Tylor Luellen Day” in Putnam County. 

Luellen was the first officer to respond to the scene for a call of shots fired in downtown Nashville on Christmas morning 2020 and upon hearing an announcement from a parked RV stating, “There’s a bomb in this vehicle,” he requested backup and began to evacuate citizens by going door-to-door.

Porter commended Luellen for putting his life in danger that day to save others. 

“In the Bible it talks about how one of the greatest things you can do is to give up your life for a friend,” said Porter. “You were willing to give up your life for people that you don’t even know. There’s no telling how many people that you saved that day with the other police officers by putting your life on the line to go and warn those people to get out.” 

“In my mind, you’re one of our heroes and I wanted to thank you for your service,” Porter added. “Even though you live and work in Nashville, you are one of us because you came from here and we want to tell you how much we appreciate you and what you did there.”

Luellen is a graduate of Upperman High School and Tennessee Tech University. He was joined at the event by three of his former teachers, Bridget Looney, Cornerstone Elementary; Stephanie Winfree, Upperman High; and Joy Poteet, who taught Luellen at both Cornerstone Elementary and Tennessee Tech University.

Tylor Luellen (center) was joined at the presentation by his former teachers (from left to right) Joy Poteet, Stephanie Winfree and Bridget Looney.

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