Hostages at US school freed; gunman shoots himself (Second Lead)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

WASHINGTON - A gun-toting student released 24 people he held hostage at a high school in the northern US state of Wisconsin before shooting himself, news reports said.

The 23 pupils and one female teacher were held about five hours in Marinette before being freed Monday night uninjured, police said. When officers entered the classroom where the gunman, believed to be a 15-year-old, was holed up, he shot himself, they said.

He was taken to hospital, but his condition was not yet known.

The teenager, armed with a handgun, took over a classroom at Marinette High School as classes drew to a close. Police cordoned off the school grounds and began communicating with the gunman through the teacher via telephone.

Police Chief Jeffery Skorik said the teen made no demands and his motive was unknown. The student had no previous run-ins with the law, Skorik said.

He initially released five people but continued to hold the teacher and 18 pupils. The remaining hostages were freed when police stormed into the classroom after hearing gunshots, which is when the gunman turned his weapon on himself.

Police said the gunman was a student at the school, but they declined to name him. Officials said they believed he was armed with one handgun and was acting alone.

Filed under: Accidents and Disasters

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