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.

Latest Stories

16 hours ago in Sports

NASCAR changes to franchise model

nascar

NASCAR has announced a dramatic overhaul of its business model, shifting to a franchise-like system that is intended to provide actual value and financial stability to team owners.

16 hours ago in Sports

It’s now Professor Selig

budselig

The former baseball commissioner has a new gig.

16 hours ago in Sports

Denver streets run orange to welcome Super Bowl-winning Broncos

12-overlay-9

Hundreds of thousands of cheering, orange-clad Denver Broncos fans lined the city's streets on Tuesday for a parade and rally to welcome home the team after their upset victory in Super Bowl 50 over the Carolina Panthers.