Most of you know that we narrowly averted another tragic school shooting yesterday--this one in Decatur, Georgia. Now comes word that strongly suggests the suspect in the case had no business having a gun in the first place. It turns out that Michael Brandon Hill had just been sentenced to probation for threatening to kill his brother.
Hill has had difficulties with his family. Tuesday's incident, in which authorities say Hill shot about six rounds at law enforcement who raced to the Atlanta-area school before he surrendered peacefully when they returned fire, wasn't his first alleged encounter with Georgia police officers.According to an update from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, on December 30 Michael Hill told Timothy Hill on Facebook that he would shoot his brother in the head first and ask questions later. Timothy Hill was frightened enough to report the incident to police in Henry County, another Atlanta suburb.
In December, Hill "threatened to shoot" his brother, Timothy Hill, Timothy said.
The threat was on Dec. 30 or Dec. 31, just two weeks after the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., which left 26 people dead, 20 of whom were children.
A grand jury charged Hill in March with making terroristic threats for the incident, to which he pleaded guilty. He received three years of probation and was ordered to be evaluated and treated for anger management. In addition, Timothy Hill said his brother was issued a no-contact order, and said the two have not talked recently.
According to several of Hill's acquaintances, Hill has had mental issues for a long time--as early as age 13, according to Timothy. He reportedly suffers from both bipolar disorder and ADD. He's had to take so many medicines that by Timothy Hill's account, his medicine cabinet is a mini-pharmacy. Natasha Knotts, a woman who's been helping him for some time and considers herself his adoptive mother, says that Hill's Medicaid ran out some time ago, and he hasn't been able to get his medicines. Hill admitted to arresting officers that he was on medication, but hadn't been taking it.
There's a lot of fail to go around here, to put it mildly. About the only plausible explanation I can think of for why Hill only got probation is that he convinced a judge it was a heat-of-the-moment thing. But even if you allow for that, what in the world was he doing within an area code of an AK-47, 500 rounds of ammo and a truckload of explosives? And how in the world did someone not make sure Hill was getting help? Sounds to me like someone has a helluva lot of explaining to do.