ATLANTA - Police say a man who walked into a DeKalb County elementary school brought nearly 500 rounds of ammunition.
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.
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.
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.
Channel 2’s Carl Willis obtained a police report filed against Hill by his brother who accused him of starting a fire that endangered 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.
Willis went to a Decatur apartment listed as an address for Hill and found a boarded up apartment with fire damage.
Arson investigators told Willis that Hill nearly died from smoke inhalation in the fire.
A neighbor told Willis her gut told her to stay away from Willis.
“I just knew his face looked familiar from living over there. I’ve seen him but I didn’t know him,” Jeanie Wiley said. “It could have been us. I’m glad it wasn’t.
One of the women held captive in the school office, Antoinette Tuff, called Channel 2 Action News to report that there was a shooter in the school. She told a Channel 2 assignment desk editor that the gunman asked her to call the media and police.
Channel 2's Jovita Moore spoke exclusively to Tuff who said she spoke for nearly an hour to Hill about her life and his own all the while saving the lives of many others.
"The clips that go into the gun… he sat there right in front of me in the office and began to load them with bullets," Tuff told Moore.
"Antoinette, this whole time, what are you thinking?" Moore asked Tuff.
"I just started praying for him. I just started talking to him and allowing him to know some of the stories and let him know what was going on with me and that it would be OK. And then let him know that he could just give himself up," Tuff said.
Students and staff at McNair elementary spent the day at McNair High School. The elementary school remained a closed crime scene.
Hill is charged with aggravated assault on a police officer, terroristic threats and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Stay with Channel 2 Action News and wsbtv.com for continuing coverage of this developing story.
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