UPDATE: Student Took Class Hostage 1 Year Ago in Marinette

UPDATED Tuesday, November 29, 2011 --- 10:54 a.m.

MARINETTE, Wis. (AP) -- Security is increased at a northern Wisconsin school on the anniversary of a student taking a classroom hostage before killing himself.

The Green Bay Press-Gazette reports two additional police officers were placed at Marinette High School for Tuesday's anniversary. Marinette Police Chief Jeff Skorik says it's due traffic concerns and to give students and parents a sense of security.

A year ago 15-year-old freshman Sam Hengel held students and a teacher hostage at gunpoint for six hours before a SWAT team stormed in and Hengel shot himself in the head.

School superintendent Tim Baneck says people are still healing. He says teacher Valerie Burd, who was held during the standoff, still teaches at the school, and the room has been renovated and is being used for a different class.

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UPDATED Friday, March 4, 2011 --- 10:40 a.m.

Police don't know why Wis. teen held class hostage

By DINESH RAMDE
Associated Press

MARINETTE, Wis. (AP) -- Authorities in northeastern Wisconsin say they still have no idea why a teenager held his class hostage in November before killing himself.

Marinette Police chief Jeffrey Skorik said Friday that 15-year-old Sam Hengel apparently acted alone and that there was no indication beforehand that he was planning the attack.

Hengel brought two handguns into his social studies class at Marinette High School on Nov. 29. He held the teacher and about two dozen students hostage for six hours, then shot himself as a SWAT team swarmed the classroom. He died the next morning.

Skorik says police found no evidence that Hengel had been bullied, he did not play violent video games and had not gone through a recent breakup with a girlfriend. A toxicology report came back clean.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Friday, March 4, 2011 --- 6:30 a.m.

Report may explain why Wis. boy held class hostage

MARINETTE, Wis. (AP) -- Police are releasing their final report on a Wisconsin teen who held his class hostage for hours before fatally shooting himself more than three months ago.

Police in Marinette plan to release the investigative report -- all 150 pages -- at a news conference Friday morning.

Community members hope the report sheds light on a tragedy that left many questions and few answers.

Sam Hengel brought two handguns into his social studies class at Marinette High School on Nov. 29. He held the teacher and about two dozen students hostage for six hours, then shot himself as a SWAT team swarmed the classroom. He died the next morning.

What prompted Hengel's actions has been unclear. Classmates have said he was well-liked and had many friends.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED: Wednesday, February 2, 2011 --- 8:33p.m.

MARINETTE, Wis. (AP) -- The mother of a 15-year-old Wisconsin boy who held his social studies class hostage before shooting himself wants investigative reports of the standoff kept off the Internet.

Ann Hengel says having the information online would have harmful repercussions for hers and other children. She thinks people should access the information at courthouses instead of making it available online.

Hengel's son, Sam Hengel, held a class at Marinette High School hostage at gunpoint Nov. 29 before shooting himself. He died the next day.

Marinette Police Chief Jeff Skorik tells the Green Bay Press-Gazette he got a letter last week from the family's attorney, asking that the reports not be posted online. Skorik says the reports should be ready in the next several weeks and that going online is still an option.

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Information from: Green Bay Press-Gazette, http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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UPDATED Sunday, December 5, 2010 --- 6:42 p.m.

MENOMINEE, Mich. (AP) -- The father of a Wisconsin boy who fatally shot himself after taking his social studies class hostage last week says his son was a quiet leader and a fixture in his life.

Fifteen-year-old Sam Hengel held his class hostage at gunpoint in their room at Marinette High School last Monday. He shot himself as a SWAT team stormed the room after a six-hour standoff and died the next day. His motivations are still unknown.

Hundreds of mourners attended a memorial for Hengel on Sunday in nearby Menominee, Mich. Hengel's father, Jon, told them his son will tell him what happened when he meets him again, referring to the afterlife.

He says Sam and his two younger brothers are the "North Star" in his life.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Sunday, December 5, 2010 --- 1:25 p.m.

Menominee, Mich. (AP) -- People are gathering at a school on the Michigan-Wisconsin border for the funeral of a 15-year-old boy who shot himself last week after taking his social studies class hostage.

Services for 15-year-old Sam Hengel are set for Sunday afternoon at a school auditorium in Menominee, Mich. The town is just across the river from Marinette, Wis., where Hengel held 26 classmates and his teacher hostage for six hours Monday.

He shot himself when a SWAT team stormed the room.

People are leaving messages on a board in the lobby. Hengel's brother Ben has written, "I will always miss you, brother."

The stage is decorated with a tent and canoe, and photographs of Hengel as a baby, holding a fish and on a canoe trip are on display.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED: Sunday, December 5, 2010 --- 4:15 a.m.

Menominee, Mich. (AP) -- A large turnout is expected at the funeral of a Wisconsin boy who shot himself after taking his social studies class hostage.

Services for 15-year-old Sam Hengel are set for Sunday afternoon at a high school auditorium in Menominee, Mich. The town is just across the river from Marinette, Wis., where Hengel held 26 classmates and his teacher hostage for six hours on Monday.

He shot himself when a SWAT team stormed the room.

His motivations for the standoff remain unknown. Classmates and teachers say he was well liked and had a lot of friends.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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UPDATED Thursday, December 2, 2010 --- 10:40 a.m.

MARINETTE, Wis. (AP) -- The family of the teenager who took his own life after holding his high school classmates hostage in Marinette has donated the boy's organs.

Sam Hengel's family members issued a statement that says they're grateful for the support from friends, family and even complete strangers. The family says there's comfort in knowing the organs will benefit many individuals and that those prayers have been answered.

Police say they may never know what motivated the 15-year-old boy to hold about two dozen classmates and a teacher hostage this week and then commit suicide. He was a good student and enjoyed Boy Scouts and Taekwondo. A hunting and fishing enthusiast, he had a lot of friends and police don't believe he was bullied.

Classes have resumed at Marinette High School.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Thursday, December 2, 2010 --- 6:30 a.m.

MARINETTE, Wis. (AP) -- Friends and family of a 15-year-old Wisconsin boy who took his class hostage earlier this week before killing himself say they're at a loss to explain why he may have done it.

Sam Hengel was a good student who had a lot of friends. Police don't believe he was bullied.

But he had two pistols and more than 200 rounds of ammunition when he took his Marinette High School social studies class hostage for more than six hours Monday.

Students said Hengel didn't explain himself during the standoff. None of the hostages was harmed.

Police Chief Jeffrey Skorik said investigators in the city of 12,000 people bordering Michigan's Upper Peninsula had not found any notes or explanations from Hengel as of Wednesday.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Wednesday, December 1, 2010 --- 12:52 p.m.

Click the audio link ABOVE to listen to the 911 call.

MARINETTE, Wis. (AP) -- A Wisconsin high school principal told police to hurry to a classroom where a teenage gunman was holding his classmates hostage.

Authorities on Wednesday released a recording of Marinette High School Principal Corry Lambie's 911 call. Lambie can be heard calmly telling dispatchers that a student is holding an entire class hostage.

He tells dispatchers the student had a pistol and that officers should come to the high school's commons area. He urges them to hurry.

Authorities say 15-year-old Sam Hengel held about two dozen of his classmates and his teacher hostage for about six hours on Monday. Hengel shot himself as SWAT officers stormed the room, and he died Tuesday of his wound. All his hostages emerged unhurt.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Wednesday, December 1, 2010 --- 4:00 p.m.

MARINETTE, Wis. (AP) -- Emergency officials say a 15-year-old Wisconsin student who took his social studies class hostage at gunpoint had two knives and more than 200 rounds of ammunition with him.

Marinette police and the school district issued a joint statement Wednesday releasing more details about Monday's six-hour standoff. They say Sam Hengel walked into his Western Civilization class at Marinette High School with two semi-automatic pistols, the 205 rounds of ammo and the knives in his clothing and bag.

Hengel held his teacher and about two dozen of his classmates hostage. The standoff ended when SWAT officers rushed the room and Hengel shot himself. He died on Tuesday morning. None of the hostages were harmed.

Investigators still haven't determined his motive.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Wednesday, December 1, 2010 --- 10:44 a.m.

MARINETTE, Wis. (AP) -- A teacher hailed as a hero is expressing condolences to the family of a student who took over her class at gunpoint for several hours before taking his own life.

Marinette High School social studies teacher Valerie Burd says in a statement that 15-year-old Sam Hengel was an excellent student with many friends.

Hengel brought two guns into Burd's class Monday afternoon and held her and about two dozen students hostage. Hengel shot himself as a SWAT team finally stormed the room. He died Tuesday morning. Burd and all her students emerged unhurt.

She says she tried to keep Hengel and other students calm. She says authorities and district officials handled the situation appropriately.

Classes resumed Wednesday, but school officials say Burd wasn't working.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Wednesday, December 1, 2010 --- 9:20 a.m.

From NBC15's News Partner WLUK Fox 11 in Green Bay:

Valerie Burd, the teacher who was in the Marinette High School classroom during the hostage situation, issued a statement Wednesday morning.

"First, I would like to express my condolences to Sam's family and friends. He was an excellent student and had many friends in class.

My goal during this incident was to keep Sam and the other students as calm as possible and get them all out safely. The students responded in an exceptionally calm manner and kept him engaged in conversation throughout the entire time.

My personal feeling is that the entire situation was handled appropriately under the circumstances."

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UPDATED Wednesday, December 1, 2010 --- 9:10 a.m.

MARINETTE, Wis. (AP) -- A northeastern Wisconsin high school has reopened with teachers and counselors prepared to offer reassurances of safety and support a day after a sophomore who had held a classroom hostage for hours died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Sam Hengel brought two handguns into a Monday afternoon social studies class and held about two dozen fellow students and his teacher at bay for about six hours. The standoff ended when the 15-year-old shot himself.

Sixteen-year-old Kody Baumler says he felt upset as he walked back into school Wednesday. Baumler says Hengel was one of his friends and he was surprised he would do such a thing.

All the hostages escaped unharmed. Hengel died Tuesday.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Wednesday, December 1, 2010 --- 6:40 a.m.

MARINETTE, Wis. (AP) -- The Wisconsin high school closed after a 15-year-old student took his classmates hostage and then killed himself is scheduled to reopen.

Samuel Hengel held 24 of his classmates and his teacher hostage at gunpoint for more than six hours Monday at Marinette High School. Hengel shot himself when police entered the classroom. None of the students or teacher was harmed.

The school closed Tuesday and grief counselors were made available for students. It reopens Wednesday.

About 700 students attend the school about 50 miles north of Green Bay near Michigan.

Hengel's classmates who were in the room with Hengel said he never said why he was holding them hostage. Police also say they had no idea what motivated Hengel. School and police officials said Hengel had no prior disciplinary problems.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Wednesday, December 1, 2010 --- 6:40 a.m.

MARINETTE, Wis. (AP) -- The family of a 15-year-old who held a Wisconsin classroom hostage for several hours before fatally shooting himself says they'd seen no indication something was wrong with the boy.

Samuel Hengel's family issued a statement through a spokeswoman Tuesday. Authorities say the teen shot himself the night before when police stormed the Marinette High School classroom where he'd held about two dozen other students and teacher. No others were injured.

The statement says the family is "devastated and heartbroken" over the loss of the high school sophomore who enjoyed the martial arts and was an "avid outdoorsman."

It says the Hengels wish they could "provide insight to what led Sam to take these drastic acts" but are searching for answers themselves.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Tuesday, November 30, 2010 --- 12:25 p.m.

MARINETTE, Wis. (AP) -- Authorities say a 15-year-old boy who held 23 students and a teacher hostage in a Wisconsin classroom has died at a Green Bay hospital from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Marinette Police Chief Jeff Skorik says sophomore Samuel Hengel died at 10:44 a.m. Tuesday. Skorik says Hengel, of Porterfield, shot himself as police stormed a classroom at Marinette High School Monday night.

The 24 hostages who were held for several hours Monday afternoon were not injured.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Tuesday, November 30, 2010 --- 12:15 p.m.

\MARINETTE, Wis. (AP) -- Police chief: Student who held Wis. students hostage dies from self-inflicted gunshot wound

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UPDATED Tuesday, November 30, 2010 --- 9:00 a.m.

MARINETTE, Wis. (AP) -- Authorities say a 15-year-old boy who held 24 hostages in a Wisconsin classroom is in "grave condition."

Marinette Police Chief Jeff Skorik said Tuesday the boy is at a Green Bay hospital with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Skorik says the teen shot himself as police stormed a classroom at Marinette High School Monday night.

Police say 23 students and one teacher held hostage by the boy since early Monday afternoon were not injured.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Tuesday, November 30, 2010 --- 8:00 a.m.

MARINETTE, Wis. (AP) -- The teacher held hostage with 23 students in a Wisconsin high school classroom is being praised for keeping the teenage suspect calm and reassuring the hostages that they would be okay.

Marinette Police Chief Jeff Skorik says the female teacher "kept a very cool head" during the lengthy ordeal at Marinette High School that began early Monday afternoon. School district officials Tuesday identified the woman as Valerie Burd, a social studies teacher.

Student hostages also tried to keep the 15-year-old boy calm by chatting with him about hunting, fishing and movies. Skorik says the boy refused to communicate with officials during the standoff, but allowed the teacher to relay information to police.

The boy eventually shot and injured himself as police stormed the room about 8 p.m.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Tuesday, November 30, 2010 --- 6:45 a.m.

MARINETTE, Wis. (AP) -- Authorities say the teen who held 24 hostages in a Wisconsin classroom has potentially life-threatening injuries from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Marinette Police Chief Jeff Skorik said early Tuesday the 15-year-old boy is hospitalized in serious condition. Skorik says investigators still have no clear motive for the boy's actions Monday.

The chief says the boy gave no reason for holding the students and teacher in a classroom at Marinette High School for about five hours. None of the hostages were hurt.

Police say the boy shot himself as police burst into the classroom Monday night. Skorik says the teen had two handguns and fired several shots inside the classroom during the standoff. He says additional ammunition was found in a duffel bag at the school.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Tuesday, November 30, 2010 --- 6:45 a.m.

PESHTIGO, Wis. (AP) -- Friends of families whose teens were being held hostage in a high school classroom gathered for a vigil while the long ordeal unfolded in eastern Wisconsin.

About 50 people attended the vigil at Faith Baptist Church in Peshtigo Monday night. Some who came to the church knew the 15-year-old hostage taker personally. Others knew the teacher in the classroom and students being held at nearby Marinette High School.

Keith Schroeder is a friend of the family of the teen who held classmates at gunpoint. Schroeder tells WBAY-TV the situation seems totally out of character for the boy. The 23 hostages were released unharmed. The boy shot and injured himself in the classroom. His condition has not been released.

Information from:
WBAY-TV
http://www.wbay.com

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Monday, November 29, 2010 --- 10:42 p.m.

From NBC15's News Partner WLUK Fox 11 in Green Bay:

MARINETTE - A hostage situation is now over at Marinette High School where 23 students and a teacher had been held hostage by a 15-year-old student for more than five hours Monday.

Marinette Police Chief Jeff Skorik says the suspect, a male student, suffered a self inflicted gunshot wound. He is currently at Bay Area Medical Center and his condition is unknown.

Officials tell us there are no injuries to any of the students or the teacher.

Skorik says the 15-year-old had two handguns in the classroom. He says a high school administrator called authorities after 3 p.m. Monday to say an armed student had burst into a classroom.

At 7:40 p.m. five of the students were released from the room because they had to use the restroom. Skorik says the suspect agreed they could use it.

At 8:03 p.m. officers heard three gun shots, that’s when according to Skorik, officers entered the classroom and saw the suspect standing at the front of the room. Skorik says the suspect then shot himself and the rest of the hostages were evacuated.

Skorik says all students have been safely reunited with their families.

Marinette's Superintendent Tim Baneck says the high school will be closed Tuesday and doesn't know when it will re-open.

Baneck also says there will be grief support resources available for students and staff and anyone else who needs.

Baneck says the school and the county held a joint training last year on how to handle a situation such as this. He says the training paid dividends during the event Monday.

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UPDATED Monday, November 29, 2010 --- 10:11 p.m.

MARINETTE, Wis. (AP) -- A police chief says a student who held nearly two dozen other students and a teacher hostage for more than five hours in a Wisconsin classroom shot himself after authorities entered the classroom.

Police chief Jeff Skorik says the student was taken to an area hospital and his condition wasn't known Monday night.

The police chief says police officers entered the classroom after hearing three gunshots. No other students or the teacher were wounded.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Monday, November 29, 2010 --- 8:40 p.m.

From NBC15's News Partner WLUK Fox 11 in Green Bay:

MARINETTE - We are continuing to follow breaking news from Marinette tonight.

Officials say all the hostages have been released by an armed male student at Marinette High School.

Marinette Police Chief Jeffrey Skorik says that includes the female teacher in the classroom. No injuries have been reported. Skorik says the student is armed with a handgun.

Police say they will interview the released students.

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UPDATED Monday, November 29, 2010 --- 8:35 p.m.

Officials say all the hostages have been released by an armed male student at Marinette High School.

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UPDATED Monday, November 29, 2010 --- 8:20 p.m.

From NBC15's News Partner WLUK Fox 11 in Green Bay:

MARINETTE - We are continuing to follow breaking news from Marinette tonight.

Officials say five hostages have been released by an armed male student holding a classroom hostage at Marinette High School.

Marinette Police Chief Jeffrey Skorik says there are still 18 students and a female teacher in the classroom. No injuries have been reported. Skorik says the student is armed with a handgun.

Police say they will interview the released students.

Authorities say a high school administrator called authorities after 3 p.m. Monday to say an armed student had burst into a classroom.

Marinette's Superintendent, Tim Baneck says he believes the situation began near the end of the school day. Baneck says he does not know for sure who the suspect is.

Police say hostage negotiators are inside the school. Skorik says all contact has been through the teacher in the classroom. He says there has not been any threats or demands made at this point.

Parents are being asked to go to the Marinette County Courthouse Jury Assembly Room (located in the basement of the Annex) if you have not been in contact with your child.

Police have roads near the high school blocked off at this time.

Besides Marinette County authorities, FOX 11 is told Green Bay police and the Green Bay SWAT team has been called to the scene.

Superintendent Baneck says the school and the county held a joint training last year on how to handle a situation such as this.

Stay logged onto fox11online.com and watch FOX 11 News at Nine for the latest on this breaking news story.

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UPDATED Monday, November 29, 2010 --- 8:05 p.m.

(AP) -- Police chief says 5 hostages have been released from high school classroom in Marinette, Wis.

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UPDATED Monday, November 29, 2010 --- 7:15 p.m.

From NBC15's News Partner WLUK Fox 11 in Green Bay:

MARINETTE - We are continuing to follow breaking news from Marinette tonight.

Officials tell us there is an armed male student holding a classroom hostage at Marinette High School.

Marinette County Emergency Management director Eric Burmeister says a high school administrator called authorities after 3 p.m. Monday to say an armed student had burst into a classroom.

Marinette Police Chief Jeffrey Skorik updated the situation Monday evening. Skorik said the student has a handgun. He also said 23 students and a teacher are in the classroom. No injuries have been reported.

Skorik says hostage negotiators are inside the school. He says all contact has been through the teacher in the classroom. Skorik says there has not been any threats or demands made at this point.

Parents are being asked to go to the Marinette County Courthouse Jury Assembly Room (located in the basement of the Annex) if you have not been in contact with your child.

Police have roads near the high school blocked off at this time.

Besides Marinette County authorities, FOX 11 is told Green Bay police and the Green Bay SWAT team has been called to the scene.

Authorities expect to have another briefing around 8:30 or 9:00 p.m.

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UPDATED Monday, November 29, 2010 --- 7:00 p.m.

From the Associated Press:
Police chief: 23 students, 1 teacher held hostage by student in Marinette, Wis. high school.

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UPDATED Monday, November 29, 2010 --- 6:15 p.m.

MARINETTE, Wis. (AP) -- An emergency management official in Wisconsin says an armed student has taken hostages inside a high school classroom in Marinette.

Marinette County emergency management director Eric Burmeister says a high school administrator called authorities after 3 p.m. Monday to say an armed student had burst into a classroom. No injuries have been reported.

Burmeister says he's unsure how many people are in the classroom.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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Posted Monday, November 29, 2010 --- 5:35 p.m.

From NBC15's News Partner WLUK Fox 11 in Green Bay:

MARINETTE - We have breaking news from Marinette tonight.

Marinette County Emergency Management tells us there is an armed student holding a classroom hostage at Marinette High School.

That official tells us she is not aware of any injuries at this point.

That official says students are still in the classroom, she would not say how many are being held hostage.

Parents are being asked to go to the Marinette County courthouse jury assembly room if you have not been in contact with your child.

Police are have roads near the high school blocked off at this time.


Picture of Samuel Hengel, who authorities say held 24 people hostage at Marinette High School.