One person is in custody and a group of elementary school students are finally returning home after shots were fired at Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy. No one was harmed in the shooting, but the school was evacuated and students were taken to a nearby Wal-Mart for safety.
The suspect was identified as a white male who was armed with an AK-47 and dressed in black, according to WSB-TV. The network reported that the suspect was peacefully apprehended by DeKalb County sheriff’s deputies and U.S. Marshalls.
“Shooter apprehended; all kids safe and accounted for,” interim Superintendent Michael Thurmond told the AJC earlier this afternoon just before 2 p.m. He said a 25-year-old man was arrested.
Parents were told they could pick their children up from the Walmart at I-20 and Gresham Road, but would have to bring photo identification.
The alleged gunman entered the school and talked to a clerk, who he reportedly asked to call WSB and the police department. He surrendered peacefully after being confronted by police officers, the station reported.
“This was his way of sending a message to police, by calling us,” according to Lacey LeCroy, WSB’s assignment editor, who took the call. “She told me she was the only one in the office with him.”
Several hundred people were gathered at the Walmart where students gathered after the incident. Employees were handing out water.
Many parents expressed frustration with district communication, saying they had heard nothing from the school’s staff and had gotten most of their information from local media or second-hand information.