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24 hostages released from Wisconsin school

MARINETTE, Wis. — A student 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 who were 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 15-year-old male gunman 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 who had been taken hostage about 3 p.m. 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 female teacher, who had acted as a mediator between the hostage-taker and authorities, were released unharmed once officers were inside.

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

The armed student burst into the classroom at the end of the school day Monday, authorities said.

Teacher Bonita Weydt said she was talking with a teacher in another classroom after school, which lets out about 3:10 p.m., when principal Corry Lambie came in.

"I said, 'Corry, what's going on?' and he said, 'Get out of the building,' " Weydt said.

24 hostages released from Wisconsin school 11/29/10 [Last modified: Monday, November 7, 2011 1:25pm]

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