News

Suspect arrested after school shooting; no injuries

Suspect arrested after school shooting; no injuries

A police officer helps a child off a school bus carrying students after a shooting at Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy in Decatur, Ga., on Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013. Superintendent Michael Thurmond says all students at the school east of Atlanta are accounted for and safe and that he is not aware of any injuries. Photo: Associated Press

ATLANTA (Reuters) – Police arrested a 20-year-old man on Tuesday for opening fire with an AK-47 inside an elementary school in the Atlanta suburbs, forcing the evacuation of 800 students who were all reunited with their parents without injury, officials said.

Authorities believe the shooter gained access to the school in Decatur, Georgia, by slipping in behind someone who had access to the building’s locked doors, said DeKalb County Police Department spokeswoman Mekka Parish.

Michael Brandon Hill faces numerous charges including aggravated assault on a police officer, making terroristic threats and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, Parish said.

Hill was originally identified as being 19 years old.

The shooting comes less than a year after a heavily armed gunman opened fire at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, killing 20 children and six adults. The rampage reignited debate over gun control in America.

In Georgia, after the gunman made his way into the school, an office worker called an Atlanta television station, and said the suspect was demanding to talk to the station. She said the gunman wanted the station to send a crew to “start filming as police died,” the station reported.

When police officers arrived at the school, the suspect started shooting at them and the officers returned fire, said DeKalb County Police Chief Cedric Alexander.

Television footage showed students being evacuated from the Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy and crowding in a field behind the building before they were taken to a nearby Walmart store parking lot.

The school has an enrollment of more than 800 students from pre-kindergarten to fifth grade, according to the website of the DeKalb County school system.

The school is named after an African-American NASA astronaut who was among seven crew members who died aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger when it exploded in 1986 after liftoff.

Recent Headlines

in Local

Cub Scouts Injured During Experience

Fresh
ambulance

Burns to faces, hands and arms

in Election 2014, Local

Barr, Regan Agree to Sheriff’s Race Debate on WTAX Oct. 31

Fresh
sangamon county sheriff

The two candidates have sparred back and forth in recent weeks through press releases and, in some cases, have cancelled other debates due to perceived hostilities.

in Local

Eastbound Monroe St. Reduced by Capitol

road construction

Public Works says multiple service valves have broken and they need to be repaired.

in Local

Portions of Chatham Under Boil Order

water

Residents and businesses in the area on West Walnut St. from Route 4 to College might experience low water pressure or no water pressure at all.

in Local

State Rep. Raymond Poe Undergoing Stem Cell Transplant

Updated
poe

State Representative Rich Brauer, others, say they'll step in while Poe is out.