Antoinette Tuff is a genuine American hero

Friday, August 23, 2013

Good morning to everyone.

I write today to honor Antoinette Tuff, a genuine American hero.

She is the bookkeeper at a Georgia elementary school just outside Atlanta who persuaded an armed and mentally unstable 20-year-old named Michael Hall to surrender peacefully to police after he fired off several shots outside the school.

She was working in the front office when Hall entered the school armed with an AK-47 and 500 rounds of ammunition.

While on the phone to 911, she assumed control of the situation by telling the police to hold off as she gained Hall’s trust that she would protect him from being killed by the police, if he surrendered peacefully.

As they waited outside, Hall stacked the AK-47 and the ammunition on a counter, emptied his pockets, and lay down on the floor face down with his hands behind his back. Then she buzzed the front door open allowing the police to enter and quickly take Hall into custody without firing a shot.

Petula Dvorak writing for the Washington Post has the story.

Here’s the video of her 911 call to police.

I will take intelligence, patience, courage and empathy over a gun any day.

What do you think?

(H/T to Elizabeth for providing the link to the video in her comment)

38 Responses to Antoinette Tuff is a genuine American hero

  1. fauxmccoy says:

    ms. tuff is one hell of a woman, with steel ovaries!

    if the feebs were smart, they’d recruit her as a hostage negotiator, but i suspect she’d turn them down. what an amazing job she did! the 911 tape is incredible.

    • cielo62 says:

      Faux McCoy- I loved the 911 tape! Please note tho, the 911 operator herself did a great job. She saw what was happening between Antoinette and Michael and assisted instead of trying to force a police protocol into place. I would bet you, with odds, that many other people would not have behaved as the operator did. I also commend her.

      Sent from my iPad

  2. Adam Ashton of the Tacoma News Tribune is reporting this evening that Staff Sergeant Robert Bales was sentenced to life in prison by a military jury for killing 16 Afghan civilians during a killing spree in Afghanistan.

  3. Girlp says:

    A very brave woman.

  4. bettykath says:

    I’ve been thinking about why the prosecution did such a poor job against fogen. Clearly (imo) they threw the case. Why? Is there a motive? I think there is. Do you think that the governor was pleased to see the Rev.s Sharpton and Jackson leading protests in his state? The white privileged set, e.g. governor of the state, preferred to put them down. “They want an arrest? and a trial? Ok. We’ll give them one. Now, we’ll see to it that they also get an acquittal.” By giving in to the demands, they stop the protests. By throwing the case, thereby getting the acquittal, they have shown that it’s ok to kill Black males in the state, and it’s all the fault of the Rev’s for pushing the question. It was an attempt to put the Blacks, and their objections, down, to put them “in their place”. And don’t think for moment that the white privilege bigots who have been pushing racist policies don’t think that way.

  5. bettykath says:

    Now if only she had been armed, she could have killed him without wasting all that time talking him down. [sarcasm]

    • This is why I hope this kid gets help and medication. I really hope he makes something of his life and doesn’t spend the rest of it languishing in a jail cell. This kid, being successful, totally destroys the “kill the bad guy” mentality that Conservatives put on anyone who isn’t a conservative.

      • bettykath says:

        It sounds as if he was looking for suicide by cops. Many of those contemplating suicide don’t really want to die, they just want the hurt to stop. Sometimes the hurt is so bad that they are too debilitated to get the help they need.

      • pat deadder says:

        Leroy says This is why I hope this kid gets help and medication.
        My ex husband’s step nephew who is about 50 now was a perfectly normal kid until his teens.He played sports etc.Then while working at a summer job he jumped 3 floors out of a high rise.He recuperated physically but was diagnosed as a scitzophrenic.He is on his medication now. but would not be capable of working much.Apparently this illness strikes during teenage years. Mostly boys. Ms Tuff is a hero.She missed her calling.She needs to train police officers how to negotiate.
        I hope the young man can get the help he deserves.

    • Xena says:

      Antoinette took control of the situation. She thought more clearly and logically than the 911 dispatcher.

      • cielo62 says:

        Xena- give credit to the 911 operator. She relayed everything to the police, she kept Antoinette on the line giving her encouragement and was smart enough to see that Antoinette had the situation under control. She saw “the flow” and went with it instead of following the usual protocol. It wasn’t that the operator wasn’t thinking clearly, but usually these situations run a different course. I enjoyed listening to the call, hearing as the women developed a rapport.

        Sent from my iPad

  6. colin black says:

    She certainly is a cool an level headed .

    She showed compassion where many would have froze or even wanted the disturbed person shot.

    If only we could moniter our police 24 /7

    An if only we could run an experiment to discover if they are indeed inclined to use excessive force

  7. Deborah Moore says:

    It’s a wonderfully positive story and a challenge to others to be Excellent. I guess most of us have never or hope to never be in her position, so other than shouting Huzzah, it’s trying to have a conversation, maybe? I’m not sure.

  8. I like when the 9-1-1 operator says, “Ma’am, you’re doing a great job.” Soothing and reassuring. Both women did a great job.

  9. renah says:

    Two great posts that made my day– 1st a fabulous Crane installment (that i hadnt read before!), & now this very uplifting story about another amazing woman 🙂

    Thank you both!

    If only we lived in a society where everyone every day strove to be their personal best…

  10. Drew says:

    The right wing is comparing this near mass murder to Trayvon Martin, calling it “Trayvon in reverse in reverse”. They’re all really coming down on white spree killer culture.

    • Two sides to a story says:

      They got what they wanted, a not guilty verdict for Fogen. I don’t understand all the contortions they engage in, trying to bend every case of murder into some “TM is a thug” refrain revisited.

  11. Tzar says:

    I am listening to the call
    she is a cool customer

  12. ay2z says:

    Amazing, just amazing. Antoinette’s presence of mind and her ability to convince the suspect and the police, to have trust in her.

    Celebrate this woman!

  13. Tzar says:

    wow, she saved a life
    I can’t put it better than TSTAS did

  14. Deborah Moore says:

    More like her, please.
    Thanks, Fred.

  15. Two sides to a story says:

    She’s a truly compassionate and deeply wise human being.

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