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Atlanta elementary school worker being hailed a "hero"
(CNN) ATLANTA -- An Atlanta Georgia elementary school worker is being hailed a hero.
She was the only person between the armed man and the children inside the school.
She helped convince the gunman to surrender while on the phone with 911.
I'm in the front office. Oh! He just went outside and start shooting. Can I run?"
...but Antoinette Tuff didn't run.
Instead, she stayed inside the front office of the Atlanta-area elementary school where she works. And passed the gunman's orders to a 911 dispatcher.
"He says he don't care if he die. He don't have nothing to live for."
"Tell me why he wanted a TV camera to come out there to the school."
"Because he was gonna end his life and take the cops and everybody with him."
"That's what he said?"
With the students on lockdown, police and parents fearing the worst, Tuff talked to the gunman about his problems and about hers.
"Don't feel bad, baby. My husband just left me after 33 years."
"I realized at that time that it was bigger than me. He was really just a hurting young man, so I just started praying for him."
"I can help you. Want me to talk to them?"
...and she finally helped convince the gunman, whom police identify as 20-year-old Michael Hill, to surrender peacefully...
"We not gonna hate you, baby. It's a good thing that you giving up, so we not gonna hate you."
Still on the phone with the dispatcher, Tuff kept Hill calm as he lay on the floor waiting for the police to come inside.
"He's just got his phone. All he's got is his phone."
"Let me tell you something, baby. I ain't never been so scared in all the days of my life."
"Me neither, but you did great."