Georgia Department of Corrections image of T.J. Solomon
CONYERS, Ga. -- In May 1999, one month after the Colombine High School killings, the first copycat case took place in Conyers at Heritage High School. State officials say the gunman in that case has gotten a tentative parole date.
15 year old T.J. Solomon opened fire on his fellow students with a sawed-off .22 rifle in the commons area of Heritage High School. Six students were injured by gunfire.
All of them survived. Solomon was confronted by a fellow student, who chased him out of the building. Solomon fired shots toward the student, but missed. He then surrendered to police.
Following a guilty plea, a judge sentenced Solomon as an adult to forty years in prison -- then reduced the sentence to twenty years. He's been in prison thirteen years, and has a tentative parole date of May 2014.
State officials say he has been recommended for work release in the interim. "My belief is that he should serve his full sentence," said Rockdale Co. District attorney Richard Read, who originally recommended that Solomon be sentenced to sixty years in prison.
"Given the impact of the crime, his responsibility and his role in the crime, I think he ought to serve the full sentence. Anytyhing less than that I think is inappropriate," Read said Wednesday.
A Pardons and Parole board spokesman says Solomon's behavior in prison has been one factor in his favor as he approaches his tentative parole, though he wouldn't elaborate.
The spokesman says Solomon will have a full hearing before the board prior to final approval of his release on parole.