US school suspect had nearly 500 rounds, say cops
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Last Updated: Thursday, August 22, 2013, 09:05
  
Lithonia: A suspect in an Atlanta-area school shooting took a photo of himself with an AK 47-rifle and packed up nearly 500 rounds of ammunition before the attack enough to shoot more than half the school's students, police has said.

No one was injured in shooting Tuesday, but the suspect exchanged gunfire with police who surrounded the elementary school in Decatur, Georgia, they said on Wednesday.

The school's 870 students were evacuated and terrified parents rushed to pick up their children.

Some said they instantly thought of the massacre of 20 children and six educators at a Connecticut elementary school in December.

That attack has dominated arguments over gun control in the US.

A woman whose family once took in the suspect in Tuesday's shooting, Michael Brandon Hill, said he was mentally ill but never violent in the past. Natasha Knotts told that Hill lived with her and her husband for a time when he was in his late teens. She says she served as a mother figure for Hill in after he started coming to the small church where she and her husband are pastors.

Police said Hill got the AK-47-rifle from an acquaintance, but it's not clear if he stole it or had permission to take it.

Knotts said Hill called her sister Tuesday afternoon before the shooting and said he had a rifle but didn't say what he was planning to do. She said she believes that Hill acted out as a plea for help.

"This is something that's totally out of his character. This is not him. This is not the Mike that I know," she said in an interview at her home.

Knotts said she thinks of herself as the 20-year-old Hill's adoptive mother. Hill told her that his birth mother was dead and that he didn't know his father. He also has a brother.

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 questioned him for hours at headquarters, but declined yesterday to discuss what he said. Davis said Hill's motive was unclear but he'd had contact with the school office before.

PTI


First Published: Thursday, August 22, 2013, 09:05


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