School police monitor McNair shooting incident inside command center

by: Erica Byfield Updated:

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DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - DeKalb County School officials used cameras to keep tabs on a man armed with an AK-47 as he paced inside an elementary school Tuesday.

Channel 2's Erica Byfield spoke to the officer who was tasked with monitoring the cameras the day Michael Hill allegedly stormed into McNair Discovery Learning Academy.

District leaders acknowledged using technology in this way for the first time on Friday.

"I advised them at the point that he put the weapon down on the counter, I advised them when he laid down on the floor," Sgt. Mary Parks told Byfield.

Parks viewed the cameras from the district's command center as the frightening scene unfolded Tuesday. District police were able to view all school cameras from the command center.

"I had a visual of him in the front office," Parks said.

Parks described as being similar to relaying a dance. She said Hill looked nervous.

"At one point he was pacing back and forth. He was talking on a cellphone, he sat in a chair, he was reading some paper," Parks said.

Parker said she did her job and wanted to make sure all of the officers who went inside the building knew what they were getting into.

On Friday, Byfield also talked to one of the school employees who came face to face with Hill.

"He asked me to leave. I stared at Ms. Tuff, not wanting to leave," said Cafeteria Manager Malcolm Quillien.

Quillien told Byfield he thought he was going to die.

"Just literally thinking that my life was about to be over," he said.

In the seconds that followed, Hill fired his gun into the ground. Quillien said Hill was less than 5 feet away from him.

Bookkeeper Antoinette Tuff, also in the office at the time, told Channel 2's Jovita Moore about the exchange Tuesday evening, hours after the terrifying event.

Tuff is credited with staying calm and convincing Hill to give up. Quillien said Tuff gave him strength.

"To look and see she is talking to someone with a gun it was great because my heart immediately dropped when he told me to leave and to look at her there was no panic in her eyes," Quillien said.

As soon as Quillien left the office he said he called 911 and then the school principal.


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