HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT TAKES CLASSROOM HOSTAGE, FIRES SHOTS, KILLS HIMSELF
Nov 29, 2010 Marinette, Wisconsin. A 15 yr old student (Sam Hengel) from Marinette High School went on a bathroom break during his 6th period social studies class. He retrieved a backpack from his locker with 2 semi-automatic pistols, 200 rounds of ammunition, and a pair of knives. He entered the classroom and held 23 classmates and his teacher (Valerie Burd) hostage. He immediately fired three shots, blasting a hole in a wall and tearing apart a film projector. No one else in the school apparently recognized the sound of the shots as gunfire.
Students talked to Sam Hengel about everything from hunting and fishing to his favorite movies in an attempt to keep him calm. Hengel told the teacher to post a note on the door telling seventh-period students to report to the library. As a result, no one realized the class was in danger until about a half-hour after school ended, when a man came to the school office looking for his daughter. Principal Corry Lambie determined the last class the girl attended was Western Civilization and went to the room to find the door locked. When Lambie unlocked the door, Hengel pointed his gun at him and told him to leave. Hengel allowed the girl to go with Lambie.
The standoff dragged on for four more hours, with teacher acting as a go-between for Hengel and police. A SWAT team stormed the room after Hengel fired three shots about 8 p.m., destroying the classroom phone and hitting a computer. Hengel shot himself as officers reached him. He died the next morning at 10:44 am. The hostages were released until 8 pm.
TIMELINE OF THE INCIDENT:
1:30 pm 6th period classes start. 26 students report to the Western Civilization class taught by Valerie Burd (Rm A111). Some time during 6th period, Sam Hengel requests to go to the restroom and returns with a duffel bag containing weapons. Holds classmates and teacher hostage.
2:10 pm transition to 7th period classes. Students reporting to Mrs. Burd's classroom see note on door instructing them to report to the library as previously planned.
3:12 pm The school day ends.
3:40 pm A parent who has been trying to reach his daughter to pick her up arrives at the high school office. Principal Lambie reviewed student daily attendance records to determine that the student was present at 6th period but not 7th. The same was true for a friend of that student.
3:45 pm Principal Lambie goes to Rm A111 and found the room dark with the door locked. He unlocked the door and entered the room. Sam Hengel pointed a weapon at him and told him to leave. The student whose father had come to the school left the room also.
3:48 pm Principal Lambie calls 9-1-1 to report the incident. The building was evacuated and Room A111 was isolated.
3:51 pm First law enforcement officer arrives on scene. Additional law enforcement and emergency medical continue to arrive.
7:40 pm Five (5) students are allowed to leave the classroom after requesting to use the restroom.
8:03 pm Gunshots are heard in the classroom and law enforcement personnel breach the door. The suspect shoots himself as authorities approach. Remaining students and the teacher are safely evacuated. During the night, an explosive detection canine conducts a safety sweep of the building and investigators collect evidence.
SEE DISCUSSION IN A FUTURE BLOG