Rapper T.I. is being called a hero after helping police persuade a man not to jump off the roof of a high-rise office building in Atlanta, Georgia Wednesday, October 13.
A man in his mid-twenties was on the top of the 22-floor Colony Square building in Atlanta yesterday, attempting to commit suicide by jumping off. The police were working to talk the man down, but they were having no luck.
The 30-year-old recording artist, film producer and actor T.I., whose real name is Clifford Harris Jr., heard about the situation on the radio and felt he had to do something to save this man.
In an interview with People, T.I. says, “People were trying to talk to him and tell him to get down. Something in my heart just said, ‘You need to help.’ At that point, I started calling people at the radio station.”
T.I.’s messages were passed on to the suicidal man, but the man was not responding to the pleas. T.I. felt so strongly about helping this man that he drove down to the scene to persuade him to come down in person.
“I went down there and talked to a police officer and he sent me to the negotiator,” T.I. says. “They told him I was there and he started responding a little bit.”
“I told him, ‘It’s not that bad’ and [said] that I was there for him and [that] ‘there is nothing that you can’t get through as long as you are willing to put the time and energy into it,’ ” he says, adding, “‘but first thing is first. You’re going to have to come on down here and holler at me.’ ”
The man agreed to come down and met T.I. by the elevator.
“The first thing I said to him was, ‘Man, what’s up? What’s wrong?’ He just shook his head and took a deep breath and said, ‘Everything.’ He was kind of depressed and kind of just worn out by life,” T.I. says. “His demeanor to me seemed like a guy who just can’t catch a break.”
T.I. also says he told him, “It’s never as bad as it seems – and it could always be better.”
T.I. was careful to not sugarcoat the situation and let the man have false expectations.
“‘I’m gonna come check you out and see if there is anything else I can do to help,’ ” T.I. remembers telling him. “‘But I’m not saying I’m going to snap my fingers and life is going to be perfect from here on out.’ ”
Speaking of his role in saving the man, T.I. says, “It wasn’t heroism. It was just me listening to my spirit. I have a very hard time taking any credit for it. It was God’s work. I just showed up.”