Cops: Suspect in custody after hostage situation at West Virginia school

26 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Boy, 14, with handgun takes students, teacher hostage in W. Virginia before surrendering.

A 14-year-old boy held 29 students and a teacher at gunpoint in Philippi, W.Va., on Tuesday afternoon before he released them after negotiations and surrendered, the authorities said.

Michael Baylous said in a statement that the male student had taken a pistol into a second-floor classroom Tuesday at Philip Barbour High School in the north-central part of the state. The superintendent of Barbour County Schools, Jeffrey Woofter, credited the teacher for maintaining control when classes were about to change and praised the Philippi police chief for talking the suspect into giving up.

Woofter said the teacher had talked the boy into not allowing the next group of students to enter the classroom. “The teacher did a miraculous job,” he said. After initial negotiations, the suspect agreed to release the students and teacher, then eventually put the gun down and surrendered without further incident, Baylous said.

The suspect has been taken to a hospital for evaluation, and a local prosecutor will decide “the appropriate course of action,” Baylous added in the statement. Steve Saltis was among several anxious parents who went to the school and waited outside an area cordoned off by police tape while waiting for students to be released.

Saltis said many students had been sitting in the school’s football stadium after the school was evacuated and that he was able to talk to his daughter.

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