Yesterday 20-year-old Michael Brandon Hill stormed the Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy in DeKalb County, Georgia. The school is an elementary school. Hill was said to be armed with an AK-47 among other weapons. Considering the media and I haven’t seen a picture of the actual gun that’s up for debate if it was an AK-47 because sometimes the media thinks that just about any rifle is an AK-47, but I digress.
Once inside the school Hill told a school employee to call local TV station WSB to tell them ‘start filming while police die. After exchanging shots with police Hill surrendered peacefully. Not to flog a deceased thoroughbred but I was unable to find which weapon he used to exchange gunfire with police. It’s also unknown at this time if Hill has any connection with the school. No one was injured in the fracas. Some reports say that a school secretary by the name of Antoinette Tuff talked him into surrendering. Hill’s brother says that the suspect has a history of mental problems ‘including bi-polar’.
Neighbors say that Hill was quiet and polite and looked after his roommates’ kids without any trouble.
On the surface I’m going to say that this was more than likely a suicide by cop plan. Hill slipped into the school behind somebody and if he was really going to kill any children he would not have hesitated and what better way to get the attention of an entire police force? Since he has ‘bi-polar’ as his brother put it he could have been having an extremely depressive episode which could have triggered this. As some who has the ‘bi-polar’ I can sympathize with Hill but I can’t excuse his actions. Just with that brief exchange of gunfire with police could have resulted in the deaths of innocent victims. If my hypothesis is correct this would be one of the few times I would prefer to see the suspect sentenced to a mental facility rather than prison.
Just by his brother saying that he has ‘bi-polar’ shows how much that people with depressive conditions are still stigmatized in today’s society. We need to let this stigma go so more people would be willing to come forward to get the treatment they need than resorting to acts of self-violence that could also harm others.