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School employee helped avert tragedy in standoff

School Shooting
Posted at 6:07 AM, Aug 22, 2013
and last updated 2013-08-22 02:11:24-04

DECATUR, Ga. (AP) — The 911 tapes from a standoff and shooting at an Atlanta-area school show how a school employee's calm demeanor and kind approach helped end the ordeal without any injuries.

Police said Wednesday that school bookkeeper Antoinette Tuff was heroic in how she responded after being taken hostage a day earlier by Michael Brandon Hill, a 20-year-old man with a history of mental health issues. Police say Hill went to the school armed with an AK 47-style rifle and nearly 500 rounds of ammunition.

Tuff can be heard relaying messages from Hill to DeKalb County emergency dispatchers before convincing him to surrender.

No one was injured, but police say the suspect shot into the floor and exchanged gunfire with officers who had surrounded Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy in Decatur.