By Greg Botelho and Vivian Kuo, CNN
Atlanta (CNN) — A man slips behind someone else into a packed elementary school with an AK-47-type weapon. He goes into the office and shoots at the ground, then darts between there and outside to fire at approaching police.
So what do you do?
If you’re Antoinette Tuff, who works in the front office at Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy just outside Atlanta, you don’t run. You talk. You divulge your personal struggles to the gunman, you tell him you love him, you even proactively offer to walk outside with him to surrender so police won’t shoot.
And then the nightmare ends — with the suspect, later identified as Michael Brandon Hill, taken into custody and no one inside or outside the Decatur school even hurt, despite the gunfire.
“Let me tell you something, babe,” Tuff tells the dispatcher at the end of the dramatic 911 call, obtained by CNN affiliate WXIA, that recounts her minutes of valor and terror. “I’ve never been so scared in all the days of my life. Oh, Jesus.”
This brief outburst of emotion, moments after police entered the school Tuesday, was in stark contrast to her cool, calm demeanor as heard earlier on that 911 call.
As a go-between, she relayed his demands that police refrain from using their radios and “stop all movement,” or else the suspect would shoot. By the end — with police themselves having never directly talked to him — Tuff and the gunman were talking about where he would put his weapon, how he’d empty his pockets and where he’d lie down before authorities could get him.
By DEVIN DWYER (@devindwyer) , MARY BRUCE (@marykbruce) , JOHN PARKINSON(@jparkABC) and SUNLEN MILLER (@sunlenmiller)
WASHINGTON, Dec. 19, 2012
Invoking the somber aftermath of the school massacre in Newtown, Conn., President Obama today appealed to congressional Republicans to embrace a standing “fair deal” on taxes and spending that would avert the fiscal cliff in 13 days.
“If there’s one thing we should have after this week, it should be a sense of perspective about what’s important,” Obama said at a midday news conference.
“I would like to think that members of that [Republican] caucus would say to themselves, ‘You know what? We disagree with the president on a whole bunch of things,'” he said. “‘But right now what the country needs is for us to compromise.'”
House Speaker John Boehner’s response: “Get serious.”
“President Barack Obama said today that Republicans are too focused on getting the better of him personally in the fiscal cliff negotiations, rather than considering what is best for the country. “It is very hard for them to say ‘yes’ to me,” Obama told reporters.
“At some point they’ve got to take me out of it” and focus on “doing something good for the country.”
Obama alluded to the Connecticut school shootings in calling on Republicans to compromise, saying that “if there’s one thing we should have after this week, it should be perspective about what’s important.” He added: “Right now, what the country needs is for us to compromise.”
By Holly Yan, CNN
(CNN) — As with many murder-suicides, the gunman in the Newtown, Connecticut, shooting took to his grave the reasons that compelled him to kill more than two dozen people before taking his own life in the second-deadliest school shooting in U.S. history.
But those who knew the shooter struggled to reconcile the difference between the quiet, withdrawn 20-year-old without a criminal record and the man who donned black fatigues and a military vest and rained hell at Sandy Hook Elementary School last week.
Police said the shooter was Adam Lanza and that he killed his mother, Nancy, in their home before walking into the school and spraying with
bullets 26 more people — 20 of them children no older than 7.
The rampage ended when Lanza apparently took his own life in a classroom. With him were three firearms: a semiautomatic .223-caliber rifle made by Bushmaster and two handguns, a Glock and a Sig Sauer.
Connecticut law requires gun owners to be at least 21. The guns, authorities said, belonged to his mother.
Police have yet to disclose a motive for the attack — which left those who knew Lanza trying to discern whether anything in his past could have foreshadowed the present.