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Antoinette Tuff, School Clerk, Talks Down Attempted Georgia School Shooter

Submitted by on August 23, 2013 – 5:48 pm27 Comments

Antoinette Tuff, an eight-year veteran clerical worker in the Dekalb County school district, is being hailed as a hero this week after talking down attempted shooter Michael Brandon Hill and averting any casualties or injuries.

Hill entered Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy in Decatur, GA on Tuesday with a gun and over 500 rounds of ammunition. He fired several rounds into the floor, and at one point briefly exchanged fire with police, but no students or first responders were injured. Hill told Tuff that he was “mentally unstable” and off his medication.

Tuff remained with the armed man, acting as an intermediary between him and the police. The recording of the 911 call reveals that Tuff was extraordinarily calm, even offering Hill emotional support. As he finally prepared to surrender to police, Tuff told him:

“It’s going to be all right, sweetie… I just want you to know I love you, though, OK? And I’m proud of you. That’s a good thing that you’re just giving up and don’t worry about it. We all go through something in life.”

Tuff then shared with Hill that she had attempted to commit suicide the year before when her husband left her. (Court records confirm that Tuff’s divorce was finalized in June.) But she told him that she had carried on.

Tuff’s actions have been praised by everyone from the local police authorities to the White House. President Obama reportedly called her on Thursday to thank her.

[via CNN; image via ABC News]

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