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Elementary school students attend class at nearby high school after shooting incident yesterday

Wednesday - 8/21/2013, 12:30pm  ET

DECATUR, Ga. (AP) -- Students at an Atlanta-area elementary school are attending classes today at a nearby high school.

They were evacuated yesterday from their elementary school because of gunfire at the school. Police say a man armed with an assault rifle and other weapons was able to slip into the school, and then held one or two staff members captive in the front office -- making one of them call a local TV station.

Police say the man shot at responding officers at least a half-dozen times, and they returned fire. He then surrendered. No one was hurt.

School bookkeeper Antoinette Tuff says she was one of the hostages. She tells ABC that she worked to persuade the gunman to put down his weapons and ammunition. Tuff says the man told her that he hadn't taken his medication.

She says she told him her life story, about how her marriage fell apart after 33 years, and the "roller coaster" of opening her own business. Tuff says she told him, "We all have situations in our lives," and that "If I could recover, he could too."

She says she then talked him through the process of giving himself up.

Michael Hill is facing charges including aggravated assault on a police officer. Police aren't sure of a motive.

%@AP Links

083-a-08-(Daijah (DAY'-juh) Hayes, fifth grader, in AP interview Tuesday)-"a little corner"-Student Daijah Hayes says police officers quickly got them out of the school. (21 Aug 2013)


079-a-09-(Tonya Tarver, mother of children at Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy, after school shooting incident)-"to the school (third reference)"-Mom Tonya Tarver says she doesn't understand how security was breached. COURTESY: WSB ((mandatory on-air credit)) (21 Aug 2013)


GRAPHICSBANK: Dekalb County Police SWAT officers run toward Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy after reports of a gunman in the school, Decatur, Georgia, lettering SCHOOL SHOOYING, graphic element on gray (21 Aug 2013)

APPHOTO AX101: In this Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013 photo released by the Dekalb County Sheriff's Department, Michael Brandon Hill, 20, is shown. Authorities say Hill faces numerous charges in relation to a school invasion on Tuesday. Two people who encountered Hill, accused of opening fire inside a U.S. school, say he told them was off his medication, though a motive remains unknown. Antoinette Tuff, the bookkeeper at Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy, told ABC on Wednesday the suspect told her he hadn't taken his medication. (AP Photo/Dekalb County Sheriff's Department) (21 Aug 2013)


APPHOTO GAATJ304: Keondria Williams holds on tight to her daughter, Kierstin Williams, 8, after they were reunited in a Wal-mart parking lot Tuesday afternoon Aug. 20, 2013 after McNair Discovery Learning Academy in Decatur was evacuated because of a gunman who fired shots from inside the school. Williams, who was waiting for her husband to be reunited with their younger child, said she was probably more scared than her daughter. "You want to make sure you hug on them, love them and tell them you love them every single day," she said of her children. (AP Photo/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Ben Gray) MARIETTA DAILY OUT; GWINNETT DAILY POST OUT; LOCAL TV OUT; WXIA-TV OUT; WGCL-TV OUT (20 Aug 2013)

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