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

Daugaard Has Fond Fair Memories

Dennis Daugaard

The South Dakota State Fair is underway in Huron, continuing through Monday.

in Local

Cooler, Wetter Weather Ahead

rain guage

The longer range forecasts now appear to favor a wetter, cooler trend for the northern plains.

in Local

Changes Coming To Retirement System

state capitol pierre

The Retirement Laws Committee of the South Dakota Legislature voted this week to begin the process of changing some of the rules of the state retirement system.

in Local

Iran Debate Unlikely

Capitol 2014

It was expected that the Senate would have a lengthy debate next week over the proposed nuclear deal with Iran.

in Local

Lots Of Pheasants In Iowa

pheasant

A statewide survey by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources shows the pheasant population has increased for the second year in a row.