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Elementary school students attend class at nearby high school after shooting incident yesterday

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A police officer helps a child off a school bus carrying students after a shooting at Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy in Decatur, Ga., on Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

A police officer helps a child off a school bus carrying students after a shooting at Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy in Decatur, Ga., on Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

DECATUR, Ga. (AP) — Students at an Atlanta-area elementary school are attending classes today at a nearby high school.

They were evacuated yesterday from their elementary school because of gunfire at the school. Police say a man armed with an assault rifle and other weapons was able to slip into the school, and then held one or two staff members captive in the front office — making one of them call a local TV station.

Police say the man shot at responding officers at least a half-dozen times, and they returned fire. He then surrendered. No one was hurt.

School bookkeeper Antoinette Tuff says she was one of the hostages. She tells ABC that she worked to persuade the gunman to put down his weapons and ammunition. Tuff says the man told her that he hadn’t taken his medication.

She says she told him her life story, about how her marriage fell apart after 33 years, and the “roller coaster” of opening her own business. Tuff says she told him, “We all have situations in our lives,” and that “If I could recover, he could too.”

She says she then talked him through the process of giving himself up.

Michael Hill is facing charges including aggravated assault on a police officer. Police aren’t sure of a motive.

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