LITHONIA, Ga. (AP) – Police gave more details Wednesday about gunfire exchanged Tuesday between police and a gunman at a Georgia school and what led up to it.
Before going to the school, investigators say Michael Brandon Hill took a photo of himself with the rifle and packed up nearly 500 rounds of ammunition – enough to shoot more than half the school’s students.
Police said Hill, 20, got the gun from an acquaintance, but it’s not clear if he stole it or had permission to take it.
No one was injured, but the suspect exchanged gunfire with police who surrounded Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy in Decatur. The school has 870 students in prekindergarten through fifth grade.
Television footage showed lines of young students racing out of the building with police and teachers escorting them to safety. They sat outside in a field for a time until school buses came to take them to their parents at a nearby Wal-Mart.
Hill held one or two staff members in the front office captive for a time, the police chief said, making one of them call a local TV station. At some point, he fired into the floor of the school office. As officers swarmed the campus outside, he shot at them at least a half a dozen times with an assault rifle from inside the school and they returned fire, police said. Police came into the school office, and Hill surrendered.
Hill is charged with aggravated assault on a police officer, terroristic threats and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Police declined to discuss what he told them when questioned.