Police escort school buses after Ga. rifle threat

AP News
Posted: May 16, 2012 1:13 PM
Police escort school buses after Ga. rifle threat

ATLANTA (AP) _ Police in an Atlanta suburb are escorting school buses and guarding students at bus stops after a man aimed a rifle at a bus with children on board and dropped a notebook that listed bus numbers.

The man fled when witnesses confronted him Monday morning, but police recovered the rifle and notebook at the scene in a subdivision south of Atlanta.

A witness saw the man pointing the rifle at a passing school bus, Clayton County police Officer Phong Nguyen said.

The notebook was found with the weapon, said David Waller, a spokesman with the Clayton County school system.

A second witness chased the man but stopped when the suspect fired a second gun at him, authorities said.

"Obviously there's a heightened concern when anything like this happens in the community," Waller said.

"There's concern, but there's been no panic," he said. "We've not had an excessive number of students absent."

Buses carrying students to and from six schools are getting extra police protection.

"There's a unit that actually shadows the bus, then there are other units patrolling the area," Waller said. "It's a heavy police presence."

The plan is to continue the police escorts through Friday, which is the last day of the school year, Nguyen said.

Investigators are pursuing some leads, Nguyen said, but he couldn't provide specifics. He could not immediately say whether the rifle was loaded.

Part of the investigation is focusing on the rifle, which is being examined by the department's crime scene investigation unit, Nguyen said. If a suspect is identified, he or she could face aggravated assault charges, he said.