In a scene reminiscent of other school shootings, a Northern Virginia Community College teacher spotted a weapon and ducked to avoid gunfire. Students ran from the classroom building while others barricaded themselves inside, piling desks in front of doors.

This time, though, no one was hurt.

Police said Jason Michael Hamilton, 20, opened fire in a classroom Dec. 8 with a high-powered rifle, but did not hit anyone and surrendered peacefully in a hallway. He was later charged with attempted murder and discharging a firearm in a school zone and was being held without bond.

A neighbor described Hamilton as a loner who...

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