911 dispatcher from PBC recalls 2013 Georgia school shooting

Kendra McCray played pivotal role in 2013 incident

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. - The Palm Beach County native who made the nation proud by helping to avert a school shooting crisis in Georgia is back in south Florida for the first time since the incident. Kendra McCray was the 911 dispatcher who helped stop a gunman from hurting schoolchildren and teachers.

This year has been an incredible one for McCray. It all started when she received one very high pressure 911 call. Nearly a year after a gunman opened fire inside a Georgia elementary school, McCray - a Boynton Beach native - still is unable to let go.

"It's hard not to think about it," she said.

She has been working as a 911 dispatcher near Atlanta since 2005. A call on August 20, 2013 tested her spirit and her faith like never before. 

"It's been a school shooting. I was like 'What?'," she said of that day. "And I just knew that the phones were going to be out of control," she said.

Then the phone rang. On the line was the bookkeeper at the school, Antoinette Tuff, who was face-to-face with the gunman. McCray's strong and steady voice guided her through with Tuff able to talk the gunman down.

McCray is now back in Boynton Beach, seeing her family for the first time since that shooting since that now-famous 911 call.

"That was a real-life situation and it was just really, really hard on her," said Heather Jones, McCray's younger sister.

McCray said she was never sure about her choice to become a dispatcher - until that day. Now she believes she was destined for it. "I give all credit to God," she said. "I had nothing to do with that."

No one was injured in the ordeal and the suspect was taken into custody.

McCray will return to the Atlanta area in a few days to go back to work as a 911 dispatcher. She said that one call made her a better dispatcher and a better person.

 

 


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