Man in custody after shots fired in Ga. elem school - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

ADVERTISEMENT
Bookmark and Share

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Man in custody after shots fired in Ga. elem school

Posted: Updated:
© CBS News © CBS News
© NBC © NBC
© NBC © NBC

DECATUR, Ga. (AP) — A suspect was in custody after gunfire erupted at an Atlanta-area elementary school where dramatic television footage showed young students racing out of the building, being escorted by teachers and police. No one was injured and all students and teachers were accounted for and safe, authorities said.

Students were evacuated from Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy in Decatur, a few miles east of Atlanta, and sat outside in a field for a time until school buses came to take them to their waiting parents and other relatives at a nearby Wal-Mart. When the first bus arrived a couple hours later, cheers erupted in the store parking lot.

According to WSB-TV's website, a woman in the school office called to say a gunman asked her to contact the Atlanta station and police. WSB said during the call, shots were heard in the background.

Numerous police were at the school and SWAT was there for a time. The suspect is a man in his mid-20s and didn't have an obvious connection to the school, DeKalb County schools Superintendent Michael Thurmond told The Associated Press. He and police said all students and teachers came out safely.

WSB-TV assignment editor Lacey Lecroy said she spoke with the woman in the school's front office who told the station she was alone with the suspect and the man's gun was visible.

"It didn't take long to know that this woman was serious," Lecroy said. "Shots were one of the last things I heard. I was so worried for her."

Jonessia White, the mother of a kindergartner at the school, told AP she talked to her son's teacher shortly after most students were evacuated. White said the teacher told her they were still inside the building shortly after 2 p.m.

"When I hear he's safely out of the building, I'll be OK," White said, adding that she learned of the shooting when a friend called to say helicopters were hovering over the school.

DeKalb County Police Department spokeswoman Mekka Parish said, "We're just trying to calm the nerves of parents."

Police had strung yellow tape up blocking intersections near the school while children waited to be taken to Wal-Mart where hundreds of people were waiting. The crowd waved from behind yellow police tape as buses packed with children drove along the road in front of them at the store. The children were waving back.

Regional superintendent Rachel Zeigler used a megaphone to say children were on the buses by grade level and that each bus would also be carrying an administrator, a teacher and a Georgia Bureau of Investigation officer. School officials urged families to send one representative to retrieve children to avoid a bottleneck. Relatives had to show ID, sign each child out and have their photo taken.

The school has about 870 children enrolled. The academy is named after McNair, an astronaut who died when the space shuttle Challenger exploded on Jan. 28, 1986, according to the school's website.

White said the school's doors are normally locked.

"I took (my son) to school this morning and had to be buzzed in," she said. "So I'm wondering how the guy got in the door." She said before what happened Tuesday, she thought of the school as safe and was satisfied with its procedures.

Jackie Zamora, 61, of Decatur, was at the Wal-Mart waiting and said her 6-year-old grandson was inside the school when the shooting was reported and she panicked for more than an hour because she hadn't heard whether or not anyone had been injured.

She said the school has a set of double doors where visitors must be buzzed in before showing a form of identification to a camera to be allowed in.

"I don't know how this could happen at this school," Zamora said. "There's so much security."

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Search warrant leads to two arrests in Grant Parish

    Search warrant leads to two arrests in Grant Parish

    Friday, July 25 2014 11:11 AM EDT2014-07-25 15:11:49 GMT
    GRANT PARISH, La. (KALB News Channel 5) -The Grant Parish Sheriff’s Office conducted a search warrant on July 23, 2014 on Charlie Coleman Road north of Pollock which resulted in the arrest of two people.More >>
    GRANT PARISH, La. (KALB News Channel 5) -The Grant Parish Sheriff’s Office conducted a search warrant on July 23, 2014 on Charlie Coleman Road north of Pollock which resulted in the arrest of two people.More >>
  • Teen gets 232 "teeth" removed in Mumbai

    Teen gets 232 "teeth" removed in Mumbai

    Friday, July 25 2014 11:51 AM EDT2014-07-25 15:51:28 GMT
    (CNN) -- A teenager in India, who had more than 200 "teeth" growing in his mouth due to a benign dental tumor, has had them removed.More >>
    (CNN) -- A teenager in India, who had more than 200 "teeth" growing in his mouth due to a benign dental tumor, has had them removed.More >>
  • Unrestrained Pineville man killed in crash

    Unrestrained Pineville man killed in crash

    Friday, July 25 2014 11:04 AM EDT2014-07-25 15:04:53 GMT
    PINEVILLE, La. (KALB News Channel 5) – Early this morning, a single vehicle crash killed a man from Pineville, LA that was not wearing a seatbelt.Troopers responded to the crash around 1:12 a.m., which occurred on LA Hwy 1 north of the Poland community. More >>
    PINEVILLE, La. (KALB News Channel 5) – Early this morning, a single vehicle crash killed a man from Pineville, LA that was not wearing a seatbelt.Troopers responded to the crash around 1:12 a.m., which occurred on LA Hwy 1 north of the Poland community. More >>
Powered by WorldNow
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KALB. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.