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Antoinette Tuff has been showered with praise from everyone from the U.S. president to her Georgia congressman for her compassion and bravery in helping to prevent a 20-year-old gunman from harming elementary school students, their teachers and himself in a riveting confrontation partly captured on tape. Now, the Christian mother is sharing her story of hope and resilience, and her conviction that God had prepared her for a “moment of divine purpose.”

Prepared for a Purpose: An Inspiring True Story of Faith, Courage, and Compassion in Crisis, available for purchase beginning Jan. 21, 2014, recounts how Tuff convinced gunman Michael Brandon Hill to stay with her in the front office at McNair Discovery Learning Academy in Decatur, Ga., where she worked as the school’s bookkeeper. Hill, who revealed during the exchange that he was suicidal, had entered the grade school on Aug. 20 armed with an AK-47 and about 500 rounds of ammunition. He barricaded himself in Tuff’s office for nearly an hour, at one point shooting on police outside the school and discharging a single bullet inside the office. Tuff eventually convinced Hill to surrender, and no one was hurt in the ordeal.

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