McNair Academy hero turns tragedy into triumph - KMSP-TV

McNair Academy hero turns tragedy into triumph

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The woman credited for saving her students from an enraged gunman a year ago has turned a potential tragedy into triumph.

Antoinette Tuff has written a book and spent the last year inspiring others by sharing her own personal tragedies.

Tuff spoke to FOX 5's Portia Bruner Tuesday morning. She says one year ago she was a broken spirit, struggling emotionally and financially after her husband of 33 years left her for another woman.

Tuff says she was so depressed she tried ending her own life several times, but she believes God had a purpose for her through that unforgettable encounter with an armed and angry man who came to her school with an AK-47 on August 20, 2013.

Michael Brandon Hill walked into Ronald McNair Discovery Learning Academy and opened fire, when he came face-to-face in the front office with Tuff, a bookkeeper.

Tuff can't remember how long she talked to Hill, calming him down and convincing him to put down his assault rifle, but she remembers being terrified.

No one was injured and Tuff is grateful her candid conversation about her own personal struggles helped convince Hill his own life would be much better off if he didn't harm himself or anyone else.

Tuff says she prays for Hill and hopes one day she'll be able to meet with him again to see how he's doing emotionally. She says she'll continue to give motivational speeches and awarding scholarship funds through her non-profit group Kids on the Move for Success.

She looks forward to returning to McNair Academy on Wednesday for what the school calls “Antoinette Tuff Day.”

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