LITHONIA The man accused of exchanging gunfire with police at a Georgia school didn't seem to have any friends and rarely talked about his family or past during the months he lived with a couple who serve as pastors at a small church.
Sparkle Potts, left, cries upon seeing her nephew Cameron Bell pull up in a school bus from Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy while waiting with his grandmother Arvis Potts, right, in a Wal Mart Inc., parking lot after students were evacuated when a gunman entered the school, Tuesday in Decatur. Natasha Knotts, the woman who once took in the suspect, Michael Brandon Hill, was "part of our family." Her family was aware that "he had a mental disorder" before he moved in, she said.
Police gave more details on Wednesday about the previous day's ordeal and what led up to it. Before going to the school, investigators say that 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.
A statement from the Dekalb County Public Defender's office said that it was representing Hill and that he has a history of mental illness. One of the office's attorneys, Claudia Saari, said in an email that a preliminary hearing is scheduled for Sept. 5.
Tuesday's ordeal terrified parents.
an unarmed officer.
School bookkeeper Antoinette Tuff says she was one of the employees held hostage. Tuff told WSB TV in Atlanta that she tried to keep Hill talking to prevent him from walking into the hallway or through the school building.
Hill told her that his birth mother was dead and that he didn't know his father. He also has brothers.
unclear. Hill had an address listed in court records about three miles from the school in Decatur, but no clear ties to the school.
Atlanta suspect s mother figure He had mental disorder
Dramatic 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.
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 pre kindergarten through fifth grade.
Rufus Morrow was at work when he got a phone call with news that shots had been fired at the school his daughter attends.
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The Associated Press
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.
"We're not gonna hate you baby. It's a good thing that you're giving up," Tuff said after having Hill put his weapons and ammunition on the counter. Tuff told Hill that she loved him and would pray for him.
DeKalb County Police Detective Ray Davis said Hill's motive was Nike Air Max Thea Custom
But he was quiet and didn't display anger or violent tendencies, said Natasha Knotts, the woman who took him in after he started coming to the small church where her husband is pastor and she is an assistant pastor. No one was injured in Tuesday's standoff, but parents feared the worst after reports of the gunfire began surfacing.
"He was part of our family," Knotts said. Her family was aware that "he had a mental disorder" before he moved in.
"He had a look on him that he was willing to kill matter of fact he said it. He said that he didn't have any Air Max Thea Fashion reason to live and that he knew he was going to die today," Tuff said.
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.
Tuff began telling Hill of her own struggles, including raising a disabled child and losing her husband.
probation office in DeKalb County and let them know what's going on," Tuff said on a 911 recording that was released Wednesday. "He said he should have just went to the mental hospital instead of doing this, because he's not on his medication."
Tuff reassured him by saying he didn't hurt anyone, hadn't harmed her and could still surrender peacefully.
Law enforcement officers applauded Tuff Wednesday.
"She was a real ally. She was a real hero in all of this. She just did a stellar job. She was cool, she was calm, very collected in all of this, maintained her wherewithal," Alexander, the police chief, said.
Hill was arrested in mid March for making terroristic threats in Henry County, DeKalb and Henry County sheriff's officials have said. He was sentenced to probation.
Tuff relayed messages from Hill to DeKalb County emergency dispatchers before convincing him to surrender. She told the dispatcher that Hill said he wasn't there to hurt the children but wanted to talk to Nike Air Max Tavas Purple
"We have to make a reasonable assumption he was there to do harm to someone," said DeKalb County Police Chief Cedric L. Alexander.
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.
Before he surrendered, Tuff took to the school's public address system saying that Hill was sorry for what he'd done and didn't want to hurt anyone although the lockdown remained in effect.
Knotts told The Associated Press on Wednesday that Michael Brandon Hill, who is now 20, lived with them for about six months in his late teens. Though there is no blood or legal connection between them, Knotts said she served as a mother figure for Hill.
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