Antoinette Huff is a hero, a saint, an angel, a godsend. Whatever your faith, your beliefs, your higher power, your reason for being — Antoinette Huff, in any form or capacity you find her taking, did something miraculous this week.
As a bookkeeper in the front office of a Georgia elementary school, Huff was one of the first people that 20-year-old Michael Brandon Hill, armed with an AK-47 and 500 rounds of ammunition, encountered as he confessed his lethal intentions. In the 911 call captured below, Huff calmly relays Hill’s directions for the police to an operator — there’s no hysteria, no crying, no begging, no screaming — Huff remains an effortless liaison throughout the entire 15-minute ordeal.
At one point the gunman decides to back off, telling Huff that he,
“should have just went to the mental hospital instead of doing this because he is not on his medication … He said he don’t care if he dies, he don’t have nothing to live for,” she says. “He said he’s not mentally stable.”
Allegedly, Hill’s Medicaid had recently expired, leaving him without the medicine he needed to manage his bipolar disorder. As Hill grants the police access to the building for his surrender, Huff never stops talking, serenely coaxing the boy through the movements.
“I just want you to know that I love you and that I’m proud of you,” she says. “We all go through something in life. My husband just left me after 33 years. I got a son that’s multiple disabled … I tried to commit suicide last year after my husband left me, but look at me now. Everything is okay.”
And then, moments later, everything was okay — thanks, in great part, to Antoinette Huff.
Featured image via nymag.com