Monday, November 29, 2010

All hostages released from Wisconsin high school

I'll keep adding updates to the bottom, as the story progresses.

The hostage situation in Wisconsin has ended peacefully. Within the past hour, AP and others confirmed it is over. Local TV station WFRV had the most complete report I've seen:
MARINETTE, Wis. (WFRV) -- The hostage situation at Marinette High School has been resolved, all hostages have been released.

Authorities say the 23 students along with one female teacher have been released from the classroom where they were held hostage by a student armed with a hand gun.

No information has been released yet on the status of the student gunman. . . The suspect had not made his motive known nor had he made any demands.

There had been numerous inaccuracies reported on social media networks including that students have been injured. There were no injuries.
It's a terrible situation, and I'm sure a harrowing night for everyone in that town. I'm glad they all got out OK.

No big surprise on the inaccurate rumors getting reported. Be very leery of snap judgments about the gunman in the coming days. It's not a big surprise the gunman made no demands. That's very common--and telling.

I was happy to see that mental health counselors were already on scene to advise parents and students. Decisions made in those first few hours will impact some of those people for years to come. (It's very easy to re-traumatize victims, vs. methods to limit the initial trauma. We learned a lot at Columbine, and other tragedies.) 

It was also good to see that authorities were meeting with the gunman's family. And county officials said they had run a mock training exercise last year. We really did learn a lot from Columbine. (I get asked that question a lot. Yes, we did.)

I'll follow the story and update or comment if it seems appropriate.

11pm update:

AP reports that Police chief Jeff Skorik said officers heard three shots and then went into the classroom. The gunmen then shot himself. No one else was hit.

He was then hospitalized. No word on his condition.

Midnight Update:

AP now has a pretty thorough story up. The standoff lasted about five hours. The gunman is 15. Still no word on his condition. Other bits:
Skorik said the gunman had refused to communicate with officials during the standoff, 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.

10 a.m. Tuesday Update:
AP reports that police chief Skorik announced this morning that the gunman is hospitalized in serious condition.

And "Skorik says investigators still have no clear motive for the boy's actions Monday."

CNN quoted the chief describing the injuries as "potentially life-threatening." It also said the shooter "fired his two weapons at least five times and had a duffel bag containing more bullets with him, authorities said Tuesday."


  1. Your welks, Helen.

    I hope things turn out OK for the gunman, in spite of what he's done.

  2. I heard the gunman has passed. I read comments by local citizens who viewed him compassionately and seem to view the situation with more concern than just assuming he was some kind of animal. It's nice to read of this reported in the media in an intelligent way, as in, "Why? What can we learn from him?" rather than knee-jerking, placing blame.

  3. Anon: Where did you hear that? There are lots of false rumors floating.

    You might have seen a later report, but the last legit news source I can find says he's serious, with potentially life-threatening injuries.