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.