Georgia man gets 20 years for gun battle at school
DECATUR, Ga. (AP) — A gunman who was persuaded by a bookkeeper to surrender during a 2013 gun battle with police at a school near Atlanta pleaded guilty to multiple charges Tuesday and was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Michael Brandon Hill, 21, entered the Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy near Decatur on Aug. 20, 2013, armed with a rifle patterned after an AK-47 and nearly 500 bullets, according to police. He repeatedly fired at police from inside the school before school bookkeeper Antoinette Tuff persuaded him to surrender. Tuff said later that she prayed as she tried to persuade him against further violence. No one was hurt in the gunfire. “Her actions saved a number of lives out there at the school that day,” said Roderick Wilkerson, deputy chief assistant for the Stone Mountain district attorney’s office.
Hill’s defense attorney, Annie Deets, said Hill has a history of mental illness that started when he was 7. Deets said Hill was abused by his late father and lived with a mother who abused drugs and alcohol. He tried killing himself at least nine times, and he was in and out of state custody as a child.