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Brother: Georgia school shooting suspect had troubled past

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Updated: 8/22/2013 11:38 am
ATLANTA (WSB-TV) -- The older brother of the man police accused of opening fire inside a DeKalb County elementary school said he's still trying to wrap his brain around everything his sibling is accused of doing.

"I still don't know what to think of all this. I'm still trying to take it all in, honestly," Timothy Hill said.

Police said Michael Brandon Hill brought an AK-47 style assault rifle to McNair Discovery Learning Academy on Tuesday afternoon.

Timothy Hill said his brother suffers from mental illness and got into trouble with police as a teenager, involved in everything from stealing from stores and churches to setting fire to their family's home.

Court documents obtained by WSB show Michael Hill was arrested and indicted in March of this year for threatening his brother over Facebook, saying he'd "shoot him in the head."

Last month, he pleaded guilty to making terroristic threats, a felony. He got three years of probation.

"I had a feeling he was going to eventually one day do something stupid, but not of this magnitude," Timothy Hill said.

Arson investigators said Michael Hill nearly died from smoke inhalation in a fire at a DeKalb County apartment complex in April.

In an earlier case, he was accused of starting a fire in his brother's house, endangering the lives of eight people.

"He was actually 16 years old at the time, and they didn't charge him with arson or anything," Timothy Hill said. "He could be a good kid, but he just had his mental disorders, and they affected his life hugely."

Over the last few weeks, Michael Hill has been crashing on a friend's couch at a home near the school in DeKalb County.

Neighbor Jeanie Wiley said she was shocked to learn the man just a few doors down was accused of creating such a terrifying scene.

"I just knew his face looked familiar from living over there. I've seen him, but I didn't know him," Wiley said.

She said her gut feeling told her to keep her distance from Hill.

"It could have been us. I'm glad it wasn't us," Wiley said.

Timothy Hill said he hadn't seen his brother in a long time. One of the conditions of Michael Hill's probation was that he have no contact with Timothy.

The court also ordered Michael Hill get anger management training.
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wishmistress - 8/22/2013 1:47 PM
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Another startling situation brought about by the system's failures. This kid has been a ticking bomb for years, yet he was allowed to continue on his merry way. We've allowed our Freedom to walk into dangerous territory in so many areas, while taking away from those who want to do right. What's the answer now?
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