On Thursday, President Obama called Antoinette Tuff to praise her for her heroic efforts in deescalating a standoff between police and a gunman Tuesday at a Georgia elementary school where she is an employee, according to the White House.
"It was the best voice that I could hear," Tuff said during an interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper Tuesday. "He just wanted to let me know that he and his wife and his family were very proud of what I had did and everybody wanted to thank me..."
If it wasn't for Antoinette Tuff, Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy, just outside Atlanta, may have been another tragic case of innocent lives being taken at a school by an unexpected gunman Tuesday.
The elementary school's bookkeeper is being called a hero by police for talking down the suspect, Michael Brandon Hill, 20, when he walked into the school with an AK-47 type of weapon and fired a shot at the ground and exchanged gun fire with police, who had surrounded the Georgia school.
"She was in there, she was able to talk him down," DeKalb County Police Chief Cedric Alexander said, according to CNN. "Had that not been the case, this could have certainly turned into something very, very ugly, very quickly."
On 911 calls between Tuff and a dispatcher released Wednesday, she remained calm as a go-between between police and the armed man. Tuff could be heard telling the dispatcher that Hill wished he had gone to the hospital instead because he is mentally unstable.
Tuff also told Hill her own struggles of raising a mentally disabled child and that her marriage ended "after 33 years," but that none of that stopped her from working and living. Tuff got officers to agree to not shoot if she came outside with Hill. When the ordeal was over, Tuff told the dispatcher, "I've never been so scared in all the days of my life. Oh, Jesus."
Hill has been charged with aggravated assault, making terroristic threats and possession of a firearm.
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(Photo: ABC News)
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