Photo: CNN via YouTube

Antoinette Tuff is now a hero of mine, and she ought to be one of yours too. Her act of courage and empathy most likely prevented an elementary school massacre on par with last year’s Sandy Hook shooting.

When 20-year-old Michael Brandon Hill entered the Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy in Decatur, Georgia earlier this week he was determined to kill as many people as possible and die in the process. But Tuff talked him down by relating her own painful experiences and reassuring him that there was still time for him to put a stop to the violence.

Hill had already exchanged fire with police, and Tuff had every reason to believe that he would soon open fire on school staff and students. But, as you can hear from a 9-1-1 call released to the public, Tuff overcame her fear and expressed understanding and sympathy for Hill. In the end, she convinced him to surrender and no one was harmed.

You can hear that call below and view a great interview with a woman who reminds us all that courage and understanding can save lives. Not every situation like this can be defused in such a way, unfortunately; but stories like this ought to give us all hope.