Thursday, April 1, 2010

Returning Soldier Finds Home Destroyed By Fire

A Gainesville man serving in Afghanistan with the Army National Guard returned home and discovered fire had destroyed his home, said Hall County Fire Chief David Kimbrell.

Spc. Michael Walker had just completed his tour of duty and returned home Wednesday to discover the mobile home on Coker Road he shared with his wife and children was destroyed by fire, said Kimbrell.

"Things happen. Everybody's OK. That's all I'm worried about," said Walker.

His wife had picked him up Wednesday in Savannah where his unit arrived after serving in Afghanistan. Kimbrell said the fire originated in a clothes dryer and the home is a total loss. The Red Cross has assisted the Walkers, but Kimbrell asked for the community's support as well.

"We would like the community to donate money or other items to help the Walkers if possible," said Kimbrell.

"It is heart wrenching to see a man who fought to protect our freedoms return to a home destroyed by fire."

Walker is a member of Charlie Company, 1-121st Infantry, 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the Georgia Army National Guard. He had been in Afghanistan for about a year.

If you want to help the Walker family, contact the Hall County Fire Department for more information at (770) 531-6838.

Thieves Target One School Twice In 24 Hours

One southwest Atlanta school was the target of thieves twice in 24 hours. Atlanta Police report one person was arrested after a school break-in at Long Middle School in southwest Atlanta.

Officers got a call to the school around 1 a.m. Thursday morning and found the suspects walking through the band room with at least one television. One person was taken into custody, police are searching for two others.

The latest incident comes on the heels of a break-in at the same school. A school spokesperson tells WSB-TV in Atlanta that someone stole six flat-screen televisions, a laptop and projector late Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning.

Officials: 13-Year-Old Fires Gun Inside School Bathroom

A 13-year-old was taken into custody after officials said the student fired a gun inside Chapel Hill Middle School on Thursday.

"At approximately 12:15 p.m., we got some information that a weapon was discharged in the restroom. There were a few students in the restroom, none of them were ever in harm's way," said assistant superintendent Ralph Simpson.

At first school officials said they thought the sound was a loud pop or a door slamming but quickly realized the sound was something else.

"Apparently the student was showing the weapon off, brought the weapon from home, obviously transported by the school bus. Obviously the safety wasn't on the weapon and it was discharged," said Simpson

Parents received a letter about the incident late Thursday afternoon. Some parents expressed their frustration over the incident.

"A weapon discharging can hit anyone, and, working in EMS, a bullet has no name," said parent Malcom Vasham. "These children have no accountability, that's the problem, said Vasham.

Young learned the eighth-grader was caught in the hallway at the school.

When asked why school officials didn't immediately notify parents of the incident, Simpson said "had this not happen as immediately as it did, in terms of us apprehending the student, then yes, there would have been a call but it didn't call for that because the school environment wasn't disrupted."

The student was taken to the DeKalb County Juvenile Center.

Police: Home Invaders Posing As Cops Captured

Two suspects, wearing police paraphernalia, tied up two people during an early-morning home invasion in Lithonia. It happened at about 4 a.m. Wednesday on Klondike Road in DeKalb County.

"They had AK-47s, infrared beams and kept demanding drugs," one victim said. "I don't do drugs, I don't even smoke. I work in law enforcement."

The victim said the gunmen kicked in the back door, and tied them up with duct tape. He managed to reach for his cell phone even though his hands were tied up as the gunmen searched other parts of the house. When DeKalb and Lithonia police arrived at the scene, the suspects ran into a wooded area, investigators said.

After an extensive four-hour search involving K-9 units and helicopters, two men were apprehended. They are currently being questioned by authorities. Police said that the homeowners were not injured during the ordeal.

Arrest Made In Fatal Atlanta Studio Shooting

A man wanted in a slaying at a southwest Atlanta music studio has turned himself in. Authorities have charged 30-year-old Pachino Williams with killing James Calvin Perdue at the NBA Entertainment studio following a protracted shootout on March 19.

Atlanta police Maj. Keith Meadows said two people were at the studio when someone knocked on the door. When they opened the door, someone who stood behind the person knocking pushed his way into the studio and began shooting.

The man killed was identified as 24-year-old Dezmond Wilson. Meadows said the other man was shot in the leg and fled the building. Attorney Nate Dobson said his client was acting in self-defense.

Robbers Hold Up Taco Bell Drive-Through

The Cobb County Police Department is investigating a robbery at a Smyrna Taco Bell that took place at about 11 p.m. on Wednesday March 30.

Investigators said two men pulled to the drive-through window at the Taco Bell after placing an order. When the robbers pulled up to the window one of the two men, according to investigators, pointed a gun at a female employee and demanded that she give them money. After receiving an undisclosed amount of cash, the men fled, investigators said.

Anyone with information about this crime is asked to call Smyrna Police 770-499-3945.

Police: Student Sexually Assaulted, Stuffed In Locker

Five middle school students are facing criminal charges for attacking a DeKalb County student, police said. A school district police report said the 12-year-old boy was held by several students, touched inappropriately, then stuffed in a locker.

It happened March 10 at Stephenson Middle School in Stone Mountain. The 12-year-old victim said he went into the locker room to change clothes after track practice, and that's when the group of six boys approached him, the report said.

Two 14-year-olds are facing sexual battery charges, three more students are facing reckless conduct charges and the sixth boy is not criminally charged, the report said. All students detained are facing school discipline.

"This was an incident, a situation that is intolerable, that's not accepted by DeKalb County School system and we're addressing it," said district spokesman Dale Davis.

Davis also said this was an isolated incident and that the school environment in DeKalb is safe.

WSB; Georgia Radio Network; WXIA-TV; Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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