Antoinette Tuff - Talking Down a Gunman at a School with Virtue



This week the USA has seen two events that have shocked many people to their core:

  1. Three teenage boys in Oklahoma shoot and kill a college student because they were bored.

  2. An elementary school bookkeeper saves the lives of hundreds with her virtue.


What I found personally inspiring about Antoinette Tuff was her tremendous ability to simply talk with a man.

At SportsLeader we are all about mentoring. And at the core of mentoring - it is simply listening, talking, sharing … through those simple steps she saved the lives of hundreds of little children, police officers and many others.

Click HERE to see how Antoinette saved the lives of so many


We are probably not put in this situation but it definitely should remind us that having communication skills can eventually save our life and the lives of others (smile).

Let's all get better at listening, talking, sharing.

Virtue = Strength, Lou Judd 
SportsLeader Web Site

Georgia elementary school bookkeeper credited with calming armed suspect 
Published August 22, 2013

Staffer talks down school gunman: How did she do it?

A Georgia elementary school bookkeeper is being praised for her calm under pressure when a man police say was armed with an AK 47-style rifle and nearly 500 rounds walked into her school Wednesday and fired off shots at police officers surrounding the building.

Antoinette Tuff was taken hostage by Michael Brandon Hill, a 20-year-old man with a history of mental health issues, police said.

On a recording of a 911 call released Wednesday, Tuff can be heard relaying messages from Hill to DeKalb County emergency dispatchers before convincing him to surrender. She tells the dispatcher that Hill said he wasn't there to hurt the children but wanted to talk to an unarmed officer.

"We're not gonna hate you, baby. It's a good thing that you're giving up," Tuff says after having Hill put his weapons and ammunition on the counter. Tuff tells Hill she loves him and will pray for him. 

The exchange between Tuff and the suspect was captured on a recording of a 911 call made by school officials to dispatchers.

Tuff begins by telling Hill of her own struggles, including raising a disabled child and losing her husband. The bookkeeper reassures him by saying he didn't hurt anyone, hadn't harmed her and could still surrender peacefully.

Before he surrendered, Tuff took to the school's public address system to say Hill was sorry for what he'd done and didn't want to hurt anyone -- although the lockdown remained in effect.

Hill is charged with aggravated assault on a police officer, terroristic threats and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Police declined to discuss what he told them when questioned.