published Friday, August 23rd, 2013

Obama hails Atlanta-area school worker who averted tragedy

President Barack Obama greets members of the audience during a visit to Lackawanna College Friday, Aug. 23, 2013, in Scranton, Pa.
President Barack Obama greets members of the audience during a visit to Lackawanna College Friday, Aug. 23, 2013, in Scranton, Pa.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

ATLANTA — President Barack Obama is praising the actions of an Atlanta-area school bookkeeper who calmly persuaded a gunman to surrender during a tense standoff and shooting this week for her calm, cool under pressure and compassion.

Obama phoned bookkeeper Antoinette Tuff to commend her as she prepared for a television interview on Thursday, and then said in an interview that aired Friday that he was impressed with the way that she handled herself Tuesday.

The president told CNN's Chris Cuomo that Tuff had been "remarkable" in persuading the gunman, identified by police as Michael Brandon Hill, to give up.

Police said the gunman had gone to the school armed with an AK 47-style rifle and nearly 500 rounds of ammunition.

Tuff had said she would like to meet Obama, and the president indicated that an invitation to the White House would be coming.

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