Inside DeKalb Co. school, staff member talks gunman down - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Inside DeKalb Co. school, staff member talks gunman down

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Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy in DeKalb County has reopened for classes today, August 22, two days after Michael Hill opened fire inside of the school with an AK-47.

No one was injured in the incident.

Antoinette Tuff, one of the school's staff members, was in the front office of the school during the incident. Not only did she relay information between the 911 dispatcher and the gunman, but Tuff made a personal connection with the gunman that changed the course of the event.

" Don't feel bad, baby. My husband just left me after 33 years," she said to Hill. Because she was on the phone with 911, some of her statements were recorded. "I can help you. Want me to talk to them?"

Through her compassion, Tuff eventually convinced Hill to surrender peacefully. She kept him calm as he lay on the floor, waiting for the police to come inside.

"We not gonna hate you, baby," Tuff said to Hill. "It's a good thing that you giving up, so we not gonna hate you."  

To the authorities, she said, "He's just got his phone. All he's got is his phone."

Later, Tuff recalled, "I realized at that time that it was bigger than me. He was really just a hurting young man, so I just started praying for him."

This was not Hill's first incident of violence. According to WSB-TV, Hill had been arrested and indicted in March for threatening his brother over Facebook. In July, he pleaded guilty to making terroristic threats, receiving three years probation for the felony offense.

Hill is currently being held on no bond and could possibly appear in court today, August 22, according to WSB-TV.

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