When 20-year-old gunman Michael Brandon Hill descended on the Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy in Decatur, located a few miles east of Atlanta, the end could have been tragedy.
But the remarkable bravery shown by the school bookkeeper Antoinette Tuff may just have saved the day.
Tuff came across the deranged gunman when he slipped into the school front offices by following closely behind someone else who has access.
The gunman, cornered Tuff in her officer where he ordered her to call the local police and then to call the local tv station and tell them to get to the scene so they could film him killing police officers.
A cafeteria manager tried to enter Tuff's office, but the deluded gunman fired a round into the office wall, ordering the manager away.
The gunman shattered a window with gunfire and police returned rounds at him.
Tuff tried to connect with the gunman and talk him down, asking him to talk to her and telling him everything was okay. The brave woman shared her own difficult life experiences with the gunman, trying to persuade him that there was another option than to end his and other people's lives violently.
She convinced him to lay down his weapons and his backpack and to lie on the floor, face down with his hands over his head.
The gunman bemoaned that his life was over because nobody loved him. Antoinette Tuff counselled the gunman, telling him she loved him and urging him to surrender to police.
This animation replays Antoinette Tuff's bravery in the face of the Georgia gunman.
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