Decatur, GA, United States (4E) – A teenager armed with an AK-47 slipped into an elementary school in the Atlanta area Tuesday, held employees hostage and exchanged shots with police before surrendering.
Bomb-sniffing dogs also detected explosives in a car outside the school but no one was hurt in the incident at the Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy in Decatur. Police safely evacuated some 800 pre-kindergarten through fifth grade students through the back of the school and brought them to a nearby Walmart store, where they were reunited with their parents.
Police did not release the name of the 19-year-old suspect, who is expected to be booked into the DeKalb County jail, said Lt. Kyle Jones with the DeKalb Sheriff’s Office, according to AJC.com.
The suspect entered the school around 1 p.m. by following someone with access to the entry and took hostage of front office employees. He barricaded the office and asked one of the hostages to call the local TV station to cover the situation.
The suspect fired six rounds at police officers and U.S. marshals who came to the school, said Dekalb Police Chief Cedric Alexander. When he surrendered, police and SWAT teams started evacuating students out the back of the school unto waiting buses.