Ronald McNair Discovery Learning Academy bookkeeper Antoinette Tuff is being hailed as a hero for talking down Michael Brandon Hill who threatened to shoot up the school.
Tuff was sitting at the front desk in the school office when the 20-year-old Hill entered the office, reports Slate. The school has a buzzer system for visitor management, but the alleged gunman was able to slip in behind a parent who had just entered the office.
Hill was carrying an AK-47 he took from a friend as well as 500 rounds of ammunition, reports NBC News. The gunman, who has a history of mental illness, told Tuff he didn't have any reason to live and told her to announce over the intercom that the threat was real.
Hill briefly fired at DeKalb County (Ga.) Police officers during the incident.
Tuff convinced the shooter to stay in the office because she knew if he went outside, he would start shooting the students. She then talked about her struggles, her child with disabilities, and the fact that she had just lost her husband.
"And look at me, I'm still living," she told Hill. She then promised the shooter he'd be OK if he surrendered and that she would stay there with him until the police arrived. When he put the gun down, Tuff told the gunman she loved him and was proud of him for giving himself up.