Heritage High School shooter to leave prison early

Heritage High School shooter to leave prison early

TJ Solomon

CONYERS, Ga. — The Rockdale County high school shooter is getting out of prison early.

The Pardons and Parole Board has granted parole to T.J. Solomon.

Channel 2 Action News has learned that he will be released on July 26, after which he will serve 20 years on probation.

The Board released a statement:

The offender has demonstrated a clear record of rehabilitation including successfully performing in a Dept. of Corrections work release program whereas he has been working among the public, in the community. His release is compatible with the welfare of society.

He will remain under community supervision through the end of the prison portion of his sentence (May 19, 2019) and then for an additional 20-year probation sentence.

He will have special conditions imposed by the board in addition to standard parole conditions to include being placed on voice recognition monitoring; prohibited from being on school grounds of any public school system in Georgia; and no contact with any victims.

Solomon, 15 years old at the time, shot several classmates at Heritage High School on May 20, 1999.

Six students were hurt.

He was convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison. He's getting out three years early.

The shooting came exactly a month after the deadly Columbine High School shooting.

Solomon used a sawed-off rifle in the rampage.

Witnesses said he surrendered to an assistant principal with a tearful: "Oh, my God, I'm so scared."

During his sentencing, Solomon apologized to his victims.

"I apologize to the court and everyone who was hurt. I'm sorry for what I did," Solomon said at the beginning of the hearing. "I don't understand why I did it. I see myself as a little confused and I'd like to get help."

Victims who were in the courtroom hugged after the sentence was announced.

Michael Cheek, whose son Jason was shot twice, described the sentencing as "bittersweet."

"I feel sorry for T.J. and his family, but he did the crime and he should be punished for it," Cheek said.