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Thursday, January 26, 2023

School siege gunman shoots himself

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Police stationed at Marinette High School during a hostage situation in which a teenage gunman shot himself (AP)

A student armed with a handgun held nearly two dozen students and a teacher hostage in a US high school for about five hours before shooting himself when police broke into the classroom, authorities said.

No other injuries were reported in the classroom incident involving a 15-year-old boy at Marinette High School in Wisconsin.

Police officers said they heard three gunshots shortly after 8pm and broke down the door.

The 15-year-old male gunman then shot himself. He was taken to a local hospital, where his condition remains unclear.

Officials earlier had said there were no reports of shots fired, but student Zach Campbell said he and his classmates had been watching a film about Greek myths at the end of the school day when the hostage-taker pulled out a gun and shot the projector.

He then fired another shot.

“It was a very scary event,” Zach said. The teenager made students put their mobile phones in the middle of the room and broke his own phone when it rang. The class then spent six hours talking to him about hunting and fishing.

“We just wanted to be on his good side,” Zach said. He said the gunmen seemed depressed. “But he didn’t really seem like he wanted to hurt anybody.”

Zach was among five students who were released about 20 minutes before police entered the classroom after convincing the gunman they had to use the bathroom.

The other 18 students and the female teacher, who had acted as a mediator between the male hostage-taker and authorities, were released unharmed once officers were inside.

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