A school shooting in Georgia was halted by a hero. Antoinette Tuff talked the gunman, 20-year-old Michael Brandon Hill, out of a likely bloodbath this week.
Thanks to her words, Hill laid down his assault rifle and surrendered to police instead of launching a rampage eerily reminiscent of last year’s Sandy Hook school shooting.
Tuff, a clerk at the elementary school where Tuesday’s incident happened, commented that the shooter “had a look on him that he was willing to kill,” reports The Chicago Tribune.
Her account of the situation was borne from the recording of the 911 call she made during the incident. It was released by police on Wednesday.
In it, Tuff can be heard calmly talking Hill out of the massacre and assuring him that giving up was the best thing he could do. As he discarded his AK-47 rifle, the school shooting hero commented, “It’s going to be alright sweetheart. I just want you to know that I love you though, and I’m proud of you.”
CNN notes that Tuff is an eight-year veteran of the DeKalb County school district. As she faced the armed man, she shared her own stories of heartbreak to help the troubled man calm down.
School Principal Brian Bolden commented later that it was Tuff’s quick thinking that prevented a potentially massive tragedy. He added, “Her name, Antoinette Tuff, says everything about her. Tough. She has always been that way from the first time I met her.”
The school clerk also earned high praise from Chris Voss, a former FBI hostage negotiator, who stated that Antoinette Tuff’s response to Hill was “amazing.” She also saw support on Facebook and Twitter, where users called for Tuff to be awarded the Medal of Freedom — the nation’s highest honor for a civilian.
The hero of the Georgia school shooting was also one of three staffers trained specifically for dangerous situations like the one that happened on Tuesday. Thanks to her training, and to her attitude, Antoinette Tuff helped avert a potential disaster.
[image via ShutterStock]