Few headline grabbing stories remain with you beyond their initial news cycle. Antoinette Tuff’s story of courage, boldness and empathy is one such story. When confronted by a mentally disturbed gunman, Tuff as President Barack Obama put it was “cool under pressure and had enough heart that somehow she could convince somebody who was really troubled that she cared about them.”
Tuff remained calm and was able to communicate both to the gunman Michael Hill and emergency services. The troubling ordeal ultimately ending in a peaceful surrender and Hill was later sentenced to 20 years in prison. Tuff later relocated to Texas and is a member of the Potter’s House in Dallas. Bishop T.D. Jakes serves as her Pastor but is also boasts a brilliant business mind. Learning more and more about Tuff, he joined forces with Tuff and later Lifetime to tell her story! After procuring rights to the story, Bishop Jakes approached the Lifetime television network to produce the made for tv film “Faith Under Fire” starring R&B superstar Toni Braxton.
Joining Braxton on the film are other notable actors: Malik Yoba and YaYa DaCosta. A week before the premiere, Bishop Jakes hosted a special screening at the church and the stars were big and bright that night! Joining Bishop Jakes on the red carpet were executive producer Derrick Williams, Antoinette Tuff, Toni, Towanda and Tamar Braxton and Tanya Lopez (SVP Lifetime Original Movies). The film is a drama based on the actual events of that fateful day at the Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy in Decatur, Georgia.
Seven time Grammy® Award winner Toni Braxton stars as Antoinette Tuff, a struggling single mom from Georgia who heroically averted a tragedy, saving hundreds of lives when she convinced a deranged gunman who stormed an elementary school to surrender. On August 20, 2013, shortly after arriving to work at the Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy in Decatur, Georgia, Antoinette the school’s bookkeeper, was in the front office when Michael Hill (Trevor Morgan, Abducted), a young man with a history of mental illness, snuck in, armed with an AK-47 and
hundreds of rounds of ammunition.
As the school went into lockdown, Antoinette was left alone with Michael, who repeatedly threatened to kill everyone. Showing enormous courage and empathy, along with nerves of steel, Antoinette convinced Michael to surrender by using her own life struggles to connect with him. Antoinette’s faith in God guided her through the toughest moments of her life, ultimately preparing her for that fateful day.