Gunman Asks For Local TV Crew in Atlanta School Incident

UPDATED: A man fired multiple shots inside an Atlanta-area elementary school August 20 after ordering a school employee to call a TV station to "start filming as police die," according to the station's website. Initial reports had the suspect, identified as Michael Brandon Hill, 20, demanding the employee call WSB. In fact, the school employee--held at gunpoint--chose to call WSB.

The incident took place at Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy. No one was injured.

The suspect was armed with an AK-47 rifle when he fired about six shots at police before surrendering when they returned fire, according to NBC News.

The school staffer, a bookeeper named Antoinette Tuff, told WSB assignment editor, Lacey LeCroy, that the gunman wanted the station to send reporters.

"All the time of doing this, I never experienced anything like this," LeCroy said. "It didn't take long to know that this was serious."

The incident happened in DeKalb County. WSB's managers had invited the DeKalb police chief and other police department senior management to a community leadership luncheon at the station, which was cut short when phones started buzzing with word of an incident involving a gunman. "Needless to say, our meeting was over," says Mike Dreaden, news director. "They had to go do their jobs and we had to go do ours."

Hill was charged with aggravated assault on a police officer, terroristic threats and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Cox Media Group owns WSB, the market leader in Atlanta.

Students attended a different school the morning of the 21st. "The only good thing you can say is, thank God no one was hurt," says Dreaden. 

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.