Metro Atlanta woman shares story of stopping school shooting

Updated: Feb. 15, 2018 at 11:06 PM EST
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - As the eyes of the nation are focused on Parkland, Florida, a local woman is giving advice to young people after she was thrust into a situation similar, except it turned out completely different.

Four and a half years ago, a man entered DeKalb County’s McNair Academy with an assault rifle and enough rounds to kill every student several times, but Antoinette Tuff talked him off the ledge.

Even after he fired several shots, you can see her in surveillance video, listening to what the gunman had to say, and relating her own stories of hardship, until he finally set the weapon down.

“It was just pain meeting pain, at a time to save our lives together. So it’s not just our babies who are calling out. I was calling out that day too. No one actually took the moment to stop their busy lives to say, Antoinette, what’s wrong. We all cry in some kind of way.”

Tuff says she lives life trying to be aware of those around her who are in pain, and possibly on the brink of destruction.

“It’s a state of emergency for us all, and it doesn’t make any difference if it’s in our community, in our backyard, or somewhere else across the world. It affects us all.”

Tuff says her faith in God is the number one thing that prepared her for that moment and guided her through the day. She’s now a professional author and speaker who mentors students.