Tuesday, November 30, 2010

LA Times-Wisconsin Teen Holds Class Hostage; Shoots Himself

Student gather in parking lot near Marinette High School in eastern Wisconsin, where a student took a class of 23 hostage, and then shot himself: The Associated Press
(Story reported by The Associated Press)

A teenager armed with a handgun held nearly two dozen students and a teacher hostage in a Wisconsin high school for about five hours before shooting himself when police broke into the classroom, authorities said Monday. No other injuries were reported.

Officers outside the Marinette High School classroom said they heard three gunshots shortly after 8 p.m. and broke through the door, said Police Chief Jeff Skorik. The gunman, a 15-year-old boy, then shot himself.

Skorik said the teen was taken to a hospital and his condition was not immediately known Monday night.

Five of the 23 students taken hostage had been released about 20 minutes before police entered the classroom because they told the gunman they had to use the bathroom, Skorik said.

The other 18 students and the teacher, who had acted as a mediator between the hostage-taker and authorities, were unharmed.

Skorik said the gunman had refused to communicate with officials, but allowed the teacher to speak with authorities by phone.

One of the students taken hostage said the gunman appeared depressed but didn't seem like he wanted to hurt anyone.

Zach Campbell said the students were watching a film in class when the teen pulled out a gun and shot at the projector. He said the gunman then fired another shot.

"It was a very scary event," Zach said.

(click here to read the full story on the LA Times website, and here for additional coverage on the Eagle Herald website, the hometown newspaper of Marinette, Wisconsin.)

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