by Sue Rinaldi
On the 20 August 2013, America embraced a new heroine. She quickly became the talk of CNN, Fox News, Good Morning America, The View and countless other international media outlets, as well as the receiver of high praise from President Obama. The story on everyone’s lips was of an unimposing, unarmed book-keeper at an Atlanta school who bravely talked a crazed gunman into a miraculous surrender. Soon after the incident, the valiant tale of Antoinette Tuff spiralled.
At 12.45pm, twenty-year-old Michael Hill stormed into Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy in Decatur with 500 rounds of ammunition and an intent to kill. Waving a loaded AK47 assault rifle, he walked into the reception area by sneaking in after a staff member had been buzzed through, shouting, “This is not a joke! This is real! We are all going to die today!”
His weapon was aimed at the woman on the front desk. Only her and a door kept this man from accessing a hallway that led to classrooms full of children who were sitting at desks, learning and drawing, totally unaware of the horrific danger they were in.
Morning Had Broken
Only hours earlier the woman at the front desk, Antoinette Tuff, had begun her day in the usual way. ”I got up,” she explains, “had my devotional time and God didn’t say anything to me that hours later I would be facing an AK47.”
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