GA school shooting: 911 dispatcher Kendra McCray hails from Boynton Beach

Kendra McCray, 34, played pivotal role in incident

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. - A school shooting crisis in Atlanta, Georgia, was averted on Tuesday thanks, in part, to a woman from Palm Beach County. The dispatcher is a now-famous 911 recording hails from Boynton Beach.

Kendra McCray, 34, moved from south Florida to the Atlanta area eight years ago in order to take that job as a dispatcher. After this week, McCray and her family say that move was meant to be. The frantic moments were recorded between McCray and a DeKalb County school clerk named Antoinette Tuff.

"Can you get somewhere safe?," asked McCray on the 911 tape.

"Yeah, I got to go," responded Tuff. "He's coming back."

McCray helped guide Tuff - who was face-to-face with a gunman - through the ordeal.

On Friday, McCray spoke to NewsChannel 5 about the moment the school shooting call came in. "As soon as I plugged in, I got gunshots in my ear," she said. "I was definitely pre-destined for that time, that moment, that place."

In 2005, McCray moved to Georgia, not knowing if becoming a dispatcher was the right decision.

Her family members, who still reside in Boynton Beach, say it was certainly the right choice and that a higher power may have been at play.

"I know that there was a presence there and that they had been positioned to take that call that day," said Minicki Cooper, McCray's sister.

"She broke down a little bit crying afterwards because it was scary," said Dawn McCray, Kendra's mother.

McCray's strong and steady voice helped lead the frightened school employee - and everyone involved - to safety.

"I sent her a text and I said 'You know what? God placed you on that call for a reason," said McCray's younger sister, Heather Jones.

McCray says she is not yet ready to begin answering emergency calls. Instead, she plans to pursue a career in interior design. She recently earned her degree in Georgia and says now is the time to make her next move.

 

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