On Tuesday, August 20, 2013, the worst ordeal that a parent, community or school district could have happen. At around 1 PM, EDT, a young white male gunman dressed in all black entered Ronald E. McNair Discovery Academy in Decatur, Georgia. School has buzz in security and it is believed that he followed someone in to the school. He headed straight to the office where one school employee was. The school is a 5 year old charter school with over 800 students grades PreK-5. The school has a buzz in security system, but many feel that the gunman entered behind someone. His car was parked about 100 feet from the main entrance of the school. The car was later searched for explosives and none were found.
The suspect who was determined at the time to be around 19 years old, ask the school employee to call channel 2, ‘So they can watch police die’. The gunman stated that he did not want to hurt students or school staff. The gunman apparently had a quibble with law enforcement. He had an AK-47 assault rifle with around 500 rounds of ammunition.
A savvy bookkeeper help to calm the man and his focus through the entire ordeal. The situation ended with no injuries and deaths due to the heroic bookkeeper, Antoinette Tuff and law enforcement. The identification of the shooter was revealed. He was 20 year old, Michael B. Hill who lived near the school. The suspect told arresting officers that he was off his medication.
All PreK-5 students were evacuated safely out of the back of the school and returned to their parents at the end of the day to a Walmart parking lot. Parents and children were reunited with cheers and tears. Everyone knew that they had been blessed on Tuesday and everyone would live to talk about an experience that they will never forget. High fives are in order to students, staff, Principal Dr. Brian Boldon, Dekalb Chief Cedric Alexander and Superintendent Michael Thurmond and his administrative staff. This story has made national attention.
The suspect Michael Hill is in custody and he waved his first court appearance Wednesday, August 21, 2013. Students spent Wednesday at a near by high school. Many parents decided to keep their children at home. On Thursday, August 22, 2013, students will return to McNair Discovery Academy to continue their education. We can’t live in fear, life goes on. Thanks Ms. Tuff for your caring heart and faith in God. Children first.
WSB-TV 2, Atlanta, Georgia