Gunman in US school surrenders, no one hurt

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Student Aaliyah Battle, 4, hangs on the bus window and cries as DeKalb County Sheriff’s Deputy John Conley comforts her while she waits to be reunited with her family Tuesday afternoon Aug. 20, 2013, in DeKalb Coutny, Ga. A teen opened fire with an assault rifle Tuesday at officers who shot back at McNair Discovery Learning Academy in Decatur, the police chief said, with dramatic overhead television footage capturing the young students racing out of the building, being escorted by teachers and police to safety. No one was injured. AP Photo/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Ben Gray

MIAMI – A man entered a US elementary school armed with a Kalashnikov Tuesday and took employees hostage before surrendering, authorities said.

No one was wounded when he “held a few staff members captive in the front office,” then fired about six shots at police from inside the building, said Lieutenant Kyle Jones of the DeKalb Sheriff’s Office near Atlanta.

The suspected gunman had an AK-47 and several other firearms, Jones said, and surrendered after police shot back at him.

His identity has not been revealed nor have officials said whether he was associated with the Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy where the incident took place.

According to Mekka Parish, spokeswoman for the DeKalb County Police Department, the suspect is 25 years old.

Scores of children were safely evacuated from the elementary school to a nearby Walmart superstore to be reunited with their parents.

As the shooting unfolded, US President Barack Obama was coincidentally tweeting about the need to strengthen US gun laws.

This newest incident comes eight months after the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, when a young gunman killed 20 students and six adults in a shooting spree.

Meanwhile, several US states have tightened their gun laws, but on a federal level, legislation has remained unchanged.

The US Senate in April killed a watered-down bill favored by Obama that would have imposed background checks on all gun buyers.

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