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

4 mins ago in Local

Inslee blasts Senate Republicans for Cabinet ouster

Fresh
govinslee

In a press conference today, Inslee said the Senate vote on Friday was "an election-year stunt."

9 mins ago in Local

Union to pay $32,000 for campaign finance reporting errors

Fresh
handing money

The State Attorney General's Office said in a news release today that Service Employees International Union 925 will pay the fine over improper reporting of in-kind and cash campaign contributions.

2 hours ago in Local

Restaurant owner charged with hiding sales, avoiding taxes

Fresh
taxes

Auditors noticed lower-than-normal cash sales during a routine examination of the company's tax returns from 2010 to 2013.

2 hours ago in Local

Man charged with murder, arson in parents’ attack

Fresh
generic police suspect or criminal in handcuffs

His mother, 58-year-old Vicki Konicke, a breeder of Golden Retrievers, died in the attack.

2 hours ago in Local

UW police looking for man who has groped numerous women

Fresh
huskies university of washington uw pac 12 college logo

Police believe the man inappropriately touch women at least three times at the building since Jan. 31.