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Close friend: Atlanta School Suspect Was Mentally Ill

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File photo of hospital hallway. (Photo credit should read FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images)

File photo of hospital hallway. (Photo credit should read FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images)

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ATLANTA (AP/WAOK) – A woman who took in the suspect in an Atlanta school shooting says he was mentally ill but never violent in the past.

Natasha Knotts says that Michael Brandon Hill lived with her and her husband for a time when he was in his late teens. She says they took him in after he started coming to the church where they serve as pastors.

She says Hill called her sister Tuesday morning before the shooting and said he had a rifle but didn’t say what he was planning to do.

There were no injuries in the gunfire Tuesday, but the situation terrified parents who have students at the school. Police say the 20-year-old Hill exchanged gunfire with them before surrendering. He faces charges including aggravated assault on a police officer and terroristic threats.

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