Teen Hostage-Taker Dies in Wisconsin

Motive still a mystery; teacher hailed as hero
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 30, 2010 4:44 PM CST
Teen Hostage-Taker Dies in Wisconsin
A police vehicle blocks the driveway to Marinette High School Tuesday morning.   (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)

The 15-year-old who held classmates and a teacher hostage in Wisconsin yesterday died today of his self-inflicted gunshot wound. Samuel Hengel had nothing in his history to explain what happened, say police and those who knew him. “Not one hint that anything like this would happen,” a teacher at Marinette High School who's also a neighbor of the Hengels tells the Green Bay Press Gazette. “It’s so unexplainable.”

Meanwhile, the local police chief is calling teacher Valerie Burd "nothing short of heroic," reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "She kept a very cool head and kept the suspect as calm as possible." Hengel refused to speak directly with police during the 5-hour standoff, but he allowed Burd to communicate via phone. “We may never truly know why this happened,” said the district attorney.
(More Wisconsin stories.)

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