Daughter of bookkeeper hero talks about her mom's experience - CBS46 News

Daughter of bookkeeper hero talks about her mom's experience

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LaVita & Antoinette Tuff LaVita & Antoinette Tuff
DEKALB COUNTY, GA (CBS46) -

We are learning about the McNair Discovery Learning Academy bookkeeper who came face to face with suspect Michael Brandon Hill.

Antoinette Tuff ultimately talked Hill down and got him to surrender without hurting anyone. 

Antoinette Tuff's daughter, LaVita Tuff, said she got off the phone with her mother minutes before the suspect walked in.

"The initial concern was always is she all right? Are the children safe?" LaVita Tuff said.

LaVita Tuff was frantic when she learned her mother was not only inside the school when a gunman walked in, but she was held hostage by him.

"I can tell you that the entire time she just kept praying inside her head. She kept praying, she kept praying because she didn't know if he would turn on her at any point and end up shooting her," LaVita Tuff said.

LaVita Tuff said her mom talked to Hill about her life. She feels her mom's background of what she calls 'coming from nothing and overcoming obstacles' led her to and prepared her mom for that moment.

"I think that my mother has always been a person who is extremely well in crisis situations and she has no background training in them whatsoever. So I think her life experiences and the tragedies that she was discussing with this young man prepared her for a moment like this and her instincts just kind of kicked in," LaVita Tuff said.

Antoinette Tuff is a hero in every sense of the word. She's been her daughter's hero her entire life.

"My mother raised a disabled child and she taught him how to be independent so he can live on his own. My mother put me through college. My mother put me through grad school. My mother put me through law school and she did this all while working three to four jobs to make sure we had. And so for me, the world got to see her as a hero yesterday, but my mother has been my hero my entire life," LaVita Tuff said.

LaVita Tuff said when her mom told her, "I survived," that's when she knew she was OK.

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