Ga. school gunman sentenced, why Trench thinks it's too long

Michael Brandon Hill

Michael Brandon Hill

Do you remember Michael Brandon Hill? A little bit more than a year ago he took several guns into the Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy in DeKalb County, Georgia. No one was hurt after he briefly exchanged gunfire with police and he ultimately surrendered after being talked into it by the school secretary. Considering he was armed to the teeth and had 500 bullets in his possession, yet no one was hurt, I had suggested that he was trying to commit suicide by cop. I was right.

This past Tuesday Hill pleaded guilty to the charges against him. He said that he wanted to take responsibility for his actions. He was then sentenced to 20 years in prison, that sentence doesn’t help anyone. Hill has a history of mental illness, specifically being bi-polar. According to Hill’s brother he was off his meds because his Medicaid ran out, a situation that I can certainly relate to. Even at his hearing Hill admitted he was trying to commit suicide by cop.

“He knew because there were children the police would come there and they would fire at him and he would die,” Deets told Superior Court Judge Mark Anthony Scott. “He is a 21-year-old man who had the deck stacked against him from birth. He reached out for help but our system, as it exists, is not equipped to give people like Mr. Hill help.”

Not to mention, and yes I will keep beating this horse, that seeking help for mental health issues in our society is still stigmatized. His own brother even said that he had ‘the bi-polar’. That’s a great example of how many people are still ignorant of what these terms really mean.

Bottom line is 20 years in prison is too much for Michael Hill. This is someone who actually needs treatment and not jail. Sentence him to a state psychiatric facility? Fine, that I have no problem with. In prison I doubt he’ll get nearly the help he needs.

500 bullets

Brother: Georgia school shooter changed as a teen:

bullets

A big deal is being made about the fact that Michael Brandon Hill allegedly had 500 bullets on him when he exchanged gunfire with police at the Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy. A lot of people seem to think that this shows how intent he was on killing people at the school. I’m still not buying it. I still think that he was trying to commit suicide by cop. Not to take credit away from Antoinette Tuff though. She talked him into surrendering rather than taking his own life. However if Hill was really intent on killing kids he would have because any kind of security in our country is mostly theater, or done for the sake of appearance if you will. A man with an AK-47 and 500 rounds of ammo can go anywhere he damn well please depending on his willingness to kill and again I don’t think Hill had it in him.

Hill’s brother appeared recently on Piers Morgan’s show and stated that his brother has a history of mental illness.

“Once he started hitting his teenage years, something happened with him. Everything just started changing after doctors started messing with his medicines here and there, and changing them up and putting him on a different one and institutionalizing him multiple times to correct his medicine. It just escalated from there.”

He said Michael Hill set fire to the family’s home when eight people were inside sleeping — the fire was discovered before it spread — and at another point their mother awoke to find him standing over her with a butcher’s knife.

“My stepfather and mother ended up having to lock up…like all the knives in the trunk of the car, just to protect everybody in the home,” Tim Hill told Morgan.

Tim Hill also confirmed that his brother threatened his life on Facebook, prompting him to call police. He said he feared for his life.

Not to excuse Hill’s actions in any way but supposedly he was off of his medications because his Medicaid benefits ran out. That opens up a whole other can of worms that we won’t get into right now. All I’m saying is that no one was physically hurt in any of Hill’s previous violent tendencies. I think these were all cries for attention as he seems to be all bark and no bite.

Like I said previously this is one of the rare cases where I hope the suspect gets the help he needs. It just shouldn’t take having to storm an elementary school with a loaded rifle to get it.

Yesterday’s shooting at DeKalb County elementary school in Georgia

Police: Gunman wielded AK-47 inside Georgia school; no one injured:

‘Lucky we didn’t have anyone killed’: 20-year-old charged after school shooting:

Neighbors: Alleged shooter quiet, friendly:

Michael Brandon Hill

Michael Brandon Hill

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.