DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. (WSB-TV) -- As federal, state and local investigators still work to figure out how the gunman got into McNair Academy, Channel 2 Action News got an exclusive look around at how hundreds of students and staff got out safe.
With suspected gunman Michael Brandon Hill still inside McNair Academy, outside emergency crews were already working out ways to get everyone else out.
"With the primary danger being in the front of the school, we wanted to find a way to evacuate the students out of the school and the teachers and the administration in a safe manner," said Assistant Chief Mike Yarbrough of the DeKalb County Police Department.
With Hill's car packed with explosives out front, Yarbrough gave Channel 2 investigative reporter Aaron Diamant an exclusive look at the escape route around back through a hole cut in the fence.
"We walked them through tandem in line and stepped them down and again all the way through this back yard we had a tandem of law enforcement and fire personnel and others that helped them get across to the busses," Yarbrough said.
"And how were the students during all of this? Were they calm? Were they upset?" Diamant asked.
"You know, it was great to see these little guys and gals were certainly on their game today. I was proud to watch how well they performed, how well they listened to instructions of their teachers and kept with each other. They had a very good attitude throughout, certainly had some of the kids you could tell the fear in their eyes and the wonder of what was going on," Yarbrough said.
And while it's clear that split-second decision may have saved a lot of lives Yarborough also said they'll be taking a close look at exactly what went right and the lessons learned.