A lot of that is thanks to quick thinking teachers who evacuated the building, and fast responding cops. Most of the thanks, though, goes to Antoinette Tuff — because she contained the shooter and talked him out of hurting a single person, even though he was bent on being killed by the police sent to stop him.
She was one of the first to make a call to 911 when she heard gunshots outside, as 20 year-old Brandon Hill entered the building. Quickly, though, she told the 911 respondent “I have to go” — but still stayed on the phone as she spoke and confronted Brandon.
What she did next was heroic beyond words — she was able to calm the shooter down by talking and listening to him, and asking the police not to harm him. She even spoke about her own personal problems, and told him flat-out that even though she didn't know him, she loved him.
Here's part of what was said, 10 minutes into the call:
'It’s going to be OK. I love you though, OK? And I’m proud of you. It’s a good thing that you’re just giving up and don’t worry about it. We all go through something in life…[listening] No you don’t want that, you’re going to be OK…[listening] I thought the same thing. You know I tried to commit suicide last year after my husband left me, but look at me now. I’m still working and everything is OK…[listening]
Your name is Michael what? Michael Hill?…[listening] Oh the drums? … So you came with the kids who played the drums? …[listening] Oh how awesome! So that means I’ve seen you before then! Y’all play them drums and stuff real good! …'
Then, she said to 911:
OK so he said they can come on in now and he needs to go to the hospital. And he doesn’t have any weapons on him or anything like that. He’s laying on the floor and he doesn’t have any weapons and he’s got everything out of his pocket and everything he has is on his belt and everything is sitting here on the counter… I’m going to buzz them [the police] in so they can come and take him to the hospital…'
And they did just that, and as soon as he was gone, Antoinette began to break down, the fear being able to seep back in! She was told that she did 'great,' and we think that's the understatement of the year!
Holy SHIZZ! We would hope we could do something like that if something were to ever come up — but we don't know! Antoinette is one SPECIAL person, and because of her things did not get any worse from the beginning!
Nothing floors us more than to realize that the perfect person for that situation was the one who was actually there! People like her make us feel amazing about this world!
P.S. Small animals, like hamsters and guinea pigs, make great family pets! If you're interested in adopting one for yourself or a family, just remember they deserve the same care you'd give a cat or dog. When children learn how to properly handle the fragile animals, everyone is happier for it!