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Where'd They Get Their Guns?

An Analysis of the Firearms Used in High-Profile Shootings, 1963 to 2001

Date: May 20, 1999

Location: Heritage High School, Conyers, Georgia

Alleged Shooter: Thomas J. Solomon, Jr.

People Killed: None

People Injured: Six

Firearm(s): .22 rifle and a .357 magnum revolver


On the morning of May 20, 1999, Solomon allegedly walked into his high school and began shooting. After firing 11 shots from his rifle, and three from his revolver, he kneeled outside the school, allegedly pointing the revolver at his head. An assistant principal was able to take the gun away from him without any further shots being fired.

How Firearm(s) Acquired

The firearms were legal. Both weapons were taken from his parents' locked gun cabinet. Several friends and classmates said that Solomon was fascinated with guns, and one said that he had mentioned shooting people at school before. Another friend said that Solomon had "lots of guns" all over his house.


  1. Sue Ann Pressley, "Student Got Guns From His Home," The Buffalo News, 22 May 1999, sec. A, p. 5.
  2. James Pilcher, "Gunman Wounds Six in High School Attack One Month After Columbine," Associated Press, 20 May 1999.
  3. Joey Ledford, "School Shooting in Rockdale; Terror Strikes on Seniors' Last Day of Classes; Gunfire Started a Mad Rush as Students Ran in All Directions, Leaving a Trail of Bookbags and Shoes in Their Wake," The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, 20 May 1999, sec. A, p. 14.
  4. Sue Anne Pressley, "GA Teenager's Motivation is Still a Mystery; Classmate Says He Told School of Gun Incident," The Washington Post, 23 May 1999, sec. A, p. 3.


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 All contents � 2001 Violence Policy Center


The Violence Policy Center is a national non-profit educational foundation that conducts research on violence in America and works to develop violence-reduction policies and proposals. The Center examines the role of firearms in America, conducts research on firearms violence, and explores new ways to decrease firearm-related death and injury.