School Climate & Safety News in Brief

Wis. Teen Takes Classmates Hostage; Fatally Shoots Self

By The Associated Press — December 07, 2010 1 min read
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A 15-year-old student armed with two handguns held a teacher and about two dozen classmates hostage for more than six hours at Marinette High School in northern Wisconsin last week before fatally shooting himself.

Sam Hengel’s motivation was unclear. The teacher, Valerie Burd, described him as an excellent student with many friends, and his parents said they saw “no indicators” that anything was wrong.

The hostage situation wasn’t discovered until about two hours after it started, when the principal unlocked the door to the darkened classroom in search of a student. During that time, students who were in the room said they talked to Mr. Hengel about subjects he liked, such as fishing and hunting.

When police officers later stormed the classroom, Mr. Hengel shot himself. All of the hostages emerged unharmed.

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