Tuesday a gunman at an elementary school near Atlanta was set to open fire and repeat the horror of Sandy Hook. A brave school clerk, Antoinette Tuff, spent an hour calmly persuading the gunman to put down his rifle and surrender.
According to the Washington Post Tuff who works for the Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy told reporters, that the gunman had a look about him that he was ready to kill. Tuff continued saying the gunman told her, “He said he didn’t have any reason to live, and he knew he was going to die today.”
Tuff calmly talked to the gunman telling him about her own life. She told him of her separation from her husband of 33 years. How lonely the separation made her feel and she encouraged the gunman not to despair.
Police said the gunman was carrying an AK-47 loaded with 500 rounds of ammunition. At one point the gunman exchanged fire with the police and Tuff talked him into standing down and surrendering his weapon.
The gunman, a 20 year-old man, slipped past security at the elementary school and endangered the lives of nearly 900 children and employees. The gunman was charged with aggravated assault on a police officer, terroristic threats, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. His motive was unclear, though apparently he has made violent threats in the past.