08/21/2013 09:13 am ET Updated Aug 21, 2013

Michael Brandon Hill, Georgia School Shooting Suspect, Made Clerk Contact WSB-TV For Reporters

WSB-TV assignment editor Lacey LeCroy didn't panic when she got word that her next call would come from a woman who was at gunpoint. She picked up the phone.

On the other line was a clerk from Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy in Decatur, Ga., where a gunman was making demands while hundreds of children evacuated the building. The suspect -- identified as 20-year-old Michael Brandon Hill -- had forced the clerk to call Channel 2 to demand that reporters come to the scene.

She assured the clerk, Antoinette Tuff, that a news team was already on its way, and asked why Hill insisted the media be there.

"She said he wanted us to start filming as police die," LeCroy recalled in an on-air interview. "He also [wanted] police officers to back up."

Scroll down to watch the interview from WSB-TV

Later in the call, LeCroy heard gunshots. The line went silent for nearly five minutes, she said.

Hill was charged with aggravated assault on a police officer, terroristic threats and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon after Tuesday's shooting. He's accused of firing on officers with an AK-47 assault rifle. So far, police have not released a motive.

More than 800 pre-kindergarten to fifth-grade students were evacuated, and nobody was injured.

During the standoff, Tuff tried to get the gunman to warm up to her, sharing her life story with him in between the times he left the office to shoot at police, she told ABC News.

He listened. She opened up about her marriage, which fell apart after 33 years. She complained about the "roller coaster" of opening her own business. She asked him his name, but at first he wouldn't tell her.

"I told him, 'OK, we all have situations in our lives,'" Tuff said. "It was going to be OK. If I could recover, he could, too."

Eventually, she says she was able to request that Hill put his weapons down, empty his pockets and backpack and lay on the floor.

"She came on and said, 'They got him, they got him,'" LeCroy said. "She was surprisingly calm -- she did a great job."



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