Brother: Gunman accused in McNair elementary shooting incident had troubled past

by: WSBTV.com web staff Updated:

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Channel 2 Action News has learned the man who walked into a DeKalb County elementary school Tuesday with an opened fire, brought hundreds of rounds of ammunition with him despite only firing off a half dozen rounds.

Michael Brandon Hill waived a first court appearance on Wednesday but could be in a DeKalb County courtroom on Thursday, investigators said in a news conference.

Police said Hill brought an AK-47 style assault rifle to McNair Discovery Learning Academy on Tuesday afternoon.

"He had approximately 400, approximately 500 rounds of ammo on him, a couple of magazines," said Detective Ray Davis of the DeKalb Police Department.

Police said Hill never entered the classrooms of the school and remained in the office during the entire incident, except when he emerged briefly to exchange gunfire with police.

"He came there to do one of two things: Do harm to the children or any first responders," DeKalb County Police Chief Cedric Alexander said. "Fortunately this came to an end quietly, without incident."

Channel 2's Ryan Young listened to 911 tapes made to dispatchers during the incident.

"He's going to start shooting, including the police," a woman said on the phone.

Investigator said Hill fired one shot inside the school, a single round into the floor of the office. No one was injured.

"He did step out and there was gunfire exchanged outside, one of our officers did return fire," Davis said.

Detectives passed out a picture that Hill took of himself holding a gun in front of a bathroom mirror.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is testing the weapon used at the school. Officials said Hill obtained the gun from the home of an acquaintance but they had not found the owner.

Meantime, Hill's older brother, Timothy, said he is still trying to wrap his brain around everything his brother is accused of doing.

"I still don't know what to think of all this. I'm still trying to take it all in, honestly," Timothy Hill said.

Timothy Hill said his brother suffers from mental illness and got into trouble with police as a teenager.

Timothy Hill said his brother was involved in everything from stealing from stores and churches in Henry County to setting fire to their family's home.

Channel 2 investigative reporter Aaron Diamant obtained court records from Henry County show Michael Hill was arrested and indicted in March of this year for threatening his brother over Facebook, saying he'd "shoot him in the head."

Last month, Hill pleaded guilty to making terroristic threats, a felony, and got three years' probation.

"I had a feeling he was going to eventually one day do something stupid, but not of this magnitude," Timothy Hill said.

Diamant also learned Michael Hill nearly died in a fire at a DeKalb County apartment complex in April of this year.

Arson investigators told Channel 2's Carl Willis that Michael Hill nearly died from smoke inhalation.

A neighbor who did not want to be identified said several people had to be evacuated from the Decatur complex.

"I didn't know it was burning until the policemen and the firemen and Lord knows who else, they almost knocked this door in," the neighbor said.

In an earlier case, Hill was accused of starting a fire in his brother's house, endangering the lives of eight people.

"He was actually 16 years old at the time and they didn't charge him with arson or anything," Timothy Hill said. "He could be a good kid, but he just had his mental disorders and they affected his life hugely."

Over the last few weeks Michael Hill has been crashing on a friend's couch at a home near the school in DeKalb County.

Neighbor Jeanie Wiley said she was shocked to learn the man just a few doors down was accused of creating such a terrifying scene.

"I just knew his face looked familiar from living over there. I've seen him but I didn't know him," Wiley said.

She told Willis her gut feeling told her to keep her distance from Hill.

"It could have been us. I'm glad it wasn't us," Wiley said.

Timothy Hill said he hadn't seen his brother in a long time. One of the conditions of Michael Hill's probation was that he have no contact with Timothy.

The court also ordered Michael Hill get anger management training.


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