Once Again, it was a Staff Member Who Got Between Children and a Bullet

I'm sure most of you saw the news yesterday about a heavily armed man entering a large (850 students) elementary school in Georgia.  (Again, it was a locked-down school - meaning you had to be buzzed in but somehow he got in.)

And yet, within a hour or so, he gave up his weapons (after a couple of shots back and forth with police).   Why?  Because school clerk, Antoinette Tuff, took the chance to try to talk to him.

Amazing interview with Miss Tuff - this is the person you want in your child's school.

From NPR:

Tuesday's terrifying incident at an elementary school near Atlanta — in which a gunman with an assault rifle and other weapons entered the building — ended with no one being hurt after a school clerk apparently spent about an hour talking to the young man. She says she persuaded him to put his gun down and surrender.

"He had me actually get on the intercom and tell everybody he was sorry too. But I told them, 'He was sorry, but do not come out of their rooms.' ... I give it all to God, I'm not the hero. I was terrified."

According to ABC:
"The school clerk said she tried to keep the assailant calm by asking him his name but, she said, at first he wouldn't tell it to her. Then, he began listening to her tell her life story. She said she told him about how her marriage fell apart after 33 years and the 'roller coaster' of opening her own business."
Tuff made the request that she said helped end the standoff. She said she asked the suspect to put his weapons down, empty his pockets and backpack and lay on the floor. 'I told the police he was giving himself up. I just talked him through it,' she said."

Bless this woman and her courage.  But again, these are the people who will truly lay their lives on the line to protect children.  It is no small thing.


Unknown said…
Thank God that school had armed itself with such a smart, brave and compassionate woman.
Unknown said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said…
This interview is absolutely incredible: http://www.ajc.com/news/news/she-faced-down-suspect/nZT3X/ This woman had incredible emotional intelligence that she had gleaned from her own experiences of personal loss and parenting her own disabled child. I think her ability to see the shooter as a human being who needed help gave him the hope to put down his weapons and surrender.
mirmac1 said…
Made me cry! Thank God for her empathy. It saved the lives of many that day.

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