DeKalb Co. leaders honor school staffer who averted shooting - CBS46 News

DeKalb County leaders honor school office worker who talked down shooter

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Antoinette Tuff receives proclamation from DeKalb County officials Antoinette Tuff receives proclamation from DeKalb County officials
DECATUR, GA (CBS46) -

DeKalb County commissioners recognized the school staff member and the first responders who helped avert a tragic school shooting last week.

At their regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday, commissioners presented a proclamation to Antionette Tuff, a bookkeeper at McNair Discovery Learning Academy, for her handling of the situation on Aug. 20. Police say Tuff calmly complied with the demands of Michael Brandon Hill, 20, when he slipped into the school heavily armed.

Tuff found herself alone with the gunman. He told her that he was not there to harm the children, but indicated that he wanted to initiate a gunfight with police officers. At one point, he opened fire in the direction of the responding officers, police said.

A recording of the 911 call revealed that as Tuff relayed the man's demands to a dispatcher, she was able to establish an emotional connection with the man, revealing to him that she had been through hard times also.

"I can help you," she told the gunman. "I can let them know that you did not try to harm me."

Eventually, Tuff persuaded the man to surrender. No one was hurt.

"I think God orchestrated that day," Tuff told CBS Atlanta News. "You know, sometimes we look at and we think it's all about us, but in all reality, it's all about Him."

County leaders also honored Kendra McCray, the 911 operator who handled the call. Also recognized were members of the law enforcement and emergency response community who responded to the scene.

"I was very pleased because 911 operators, we don't get a lot of credit," said McCray with a smile. "It was very nice."

Check back with www.CBSAtlanta.com for updates.

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