Police ID suspect in Ga. school shooting

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Associated Press

DECATUR, Ga. (AP) - Police say the suspect in a shooting at an Atlanta-area elementary school is 20 years old and faces several charges, including aggravated assault on a police officer.
   
DeKalb County Police spokeswoman Mekka Parish said in a statement Tuesday evening that the suspect in custody is Michael Brandon Hill.
   
She says he is also charged with terroristic threats and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and is being questioned at police headquarters. She says no additional information was being released right now.
   
DeKalb County Police Chief Cedric L. Alexander said at a news conference that the gunman fired at least a half-dozen shots from inside Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy at police who were swarming the scene outside.
   
Officers returned fire. No one was injured.

Earlier story:

DECATUR, Ga. (AP) - A police chief says the suspect in a Georgia elementary school shooting fired from inside the school and officers returned fire.
   
DeKalb County Police Chief Cedric L. Alexander said at a news conference that the gunman who had an assault rifle was able to get into Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy in Decatur Tuesday by following behind someone who was authorized to be there.
   
Alexander says the 19-year-old suspect is being questioned.
   
The chief also says officers believed the suspect had explosives in the trunk of his car so they cut a hole in a fence to man sure students running from the building could get even farther away.
   
DeKalb County Schools Superintendent Michael Thurmond praised faculty and authorities who got the young students to safety, saying it is a "blessed day, all our children are safe."

Earlier story:

DECATUR, Ga. (AP) - The superintendent of DeKalb County schools says police have a suspect in custody after reports of a gunman at an Atlanta-area elementary school.
    
Superintendent Michael Thurmond says all students at Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy in Decatur east of Atlanta are accounted for and safe Tuesday and that he is not aware of any injuries.
    
Television footage showed students being evacuated from the school and sitting outside in a field. Buses are being brought in to take children to their parents at a nearby Wal-Mart.
    
Police are gathered at the school. Thurmond says the suspect is an adult man.
    
DeKalb County School Board Chairman Melvin Johnson told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution there were reports of shots being fired inside the building that houses students from pre-school to fifth grade.
    
Calls to DeKalb County police were not immediately returned.

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