Teacher and Students Taken Hostage at West Virginia High School by 14-Year-Old …

27 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Armed student, 14, holds 29 classmates, teacher, hostage at W.Va. high school.

PHILIPPI, W.Va. When a “code red” alert first went up at her West Virginia high school, 17-year-old senior Kayla Smith said that no one in her classroom took the warning seriously.

West Virginia Police and school officials help parents reunite with their children at Philip Barbour High School following a “hostage-type situation” Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2015, in Philippi, W.Va. — A West Virginia preacher, a teacher and police helped persuade a 14-year-old boy to free 27 fellow students he held at gunpoint in a high school classroom Tuesday, a standoff that ended without a single shot fired, authorities and the pastor said. A report of someone with a gun inside the school led authorities to isolate and arrest a suspect in the building Tuesday, State Police said. (AP Photo/Ben Queen) (Ben Queen) PHILIPPI, W.Va.

As the situation unfolded over the course of two to three hours, the teacher spoke to calm him, buying time for the police to arrive and negotiate the students’ release. He didn’t know how to retreat.” The teacher kept the boy and the other students calm until other school officials alerted the police, said Barbour County schools Superintendent Jeffrey Woofter.

The rest of the negotiations lasted at least another hour and a half, as the boy talked about killing himself while in the room alone, said State Police spokesman Lt. But as the remainder of the 724-student body was evacuated to the football stadium to be sent home, praise streamed in for the teacher and the police chief for helping get everyone out safely. He and authorities reasoned with the boy through the glass window pane of the closed classroom door. “My exact words were, ‘You’re not going to end your life on my watch,'” said Swick, whose ministry has included the boy for about a year. “‘Not today.

Woofter said Philippi Police Chief Jeff Walters negotiated the release of the students from the classroom and eventually got the suspect to surrender a few hours after it began. You’re going to lay the gun down, and we’re going to walk out, arm in arm.'” The boy was taken to the hospital for an evaluation and later was charged with making terrorist threats, wanton endangerment and possession of a gun on school premises. Woofter, a former sheriff, said parents were right in following police warnings to stay away from the school. “In such a trying time, I was just amazed at our parents and how everybody responded to the situation,” he said. “I just thank God everybody is safe and hopefully we’ll never have a repeat of that again.”

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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