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Brenda Wood one-on-one with Antoinette Tuff

1:54 AM, Jan 28, 2014   |    comments
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Antoinette Tuff

ATLANTA - Microsoft's commercial placing Atlanta's Antoinette Tuff alongside other heroic women is just one of many unexpected things in the new life of the school bookkeeper-turned-national-hero.

Last year, Tuff talked a gunman at McNair Learning Academy in DeKalb County into giving himself up without hurting anyone. 11Alive's Brenda Wood sat down with Tuff to talk about her life since that August day.

At first she did not believe she was in the Microsoft commercial.

"I didn't even know they did it," she said.

"They didn't tell you, you were going to be in the commercial?" Wood asked.

"No, ma'am," Tuff replied. "No, ma'am - I didn't know."

"So when was the first time you saw it?" Wood asked.

"When everybody else told me on my social media that I was in the commercial," Tuff said.

"So what did you tell your friends?" Wood asked.

"I didn't believe it at first - see myself where?" Tuff said. "They said, you need to go see yourself on that commercial!"

"And THEN what did you think?"

"I just said, okay, God, look at You now," Tuff replied.

"Oh, I have an overwhelming audience now," Tuff said. "I have people sending me emails; sending me gifts in the mail."

"How much of that day do you remember now?" Wood asked.

"I don't have the nightmares as much as I used to," Tuff said. "But when you've got an AK-47 at your face, and everywhere around you, you still remember."

"We're all just amazed by your composure - where did that come from?" Wood asked.

"To be honest with you, I didn't know I had it," Tuff said. "Because on the inside, I was terrified. I was literally screaming - saying, God, what are we going to do next?"

Next? Well, after talking down the gunman and saving the entire school, Tuff now has a book.

"What made you decide to write a book?"

"I want people to realize that no matter who you are, no matter what's going on in your life, no matter how dark it may seem, no matter how hopeless it may seem, that we all have a purpose to prepare for," Tuff said.

Tuff's charity - Kids on the Move for Success, which she started after the stand-off - has raised more than $100,000 for college scholarships. Her book - "Prepared For A Purpose" - is out now.

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