Antoinette Tuff helped the country avoid a massacre by convincing a 20-year old gunman to lay down his assault rifle inside a Georgia elementary school Tuesday.
A mother picks up her child after she was bused to a local Walmart following a shooting incident at McNair Discovery Learning Academy in Decatur, Ga., on Aug. 20, 2013. (Photo by Tami Chappell/Reuters)
President Obama on Thursday called to thank the woman who persuaded a gunman inside a Georgia elementary school to lay down his high-powered rifle earlier this week, avoiding a tragedy similar to last year’s Newtown, Conn., shooting.
The president thanked Antoinette Tuff for her courage. She was trained to deal with situations involving trespassers.
Tuff, a school staffer who works in the front office at the Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy near Atlanta, convinced 20-year-old gunman Michael Brandon Hill to put down his AK-47 style assault rifle. No one was injured Tuesday because Tuff calmed Hill down, offered him reassurance, and told him she loved him.
Tuff acted as an intermediary between Hill and the police, telling officers not to enter the school during her 24-minute 911 call. She is credited with saving the lives of many children by stopping Hill.