Sam Hengel: Teen Held Classroom Hostage Before Committing Suicide

Posted by on Dec 1st, 2010 and filed under Campus Updates, Featured. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

A Wisconsin high school student shot himself after holding his classmates and teacher hostage in the Marinette High School in north Wisconsin. He succumbed to a self-inflicted injury on Tuesday in a local hospital at around 11:45 am.

Sam Hengel, a 15-year-old sophomore student, held his 23 classmates and teacher hostage for six hours, but never harmed any of them nor did he make demands, according to Marinette Police Chief Jeff Skorik. He was, however, armed with two handguns and a knife and shot three bullets at the wall, a desk and at the projector.

One of his classmates, Zach Campbell, described to the police that before the hostage, Hengel didn’t show signs of anything wrong. In fact, all of his classmates were shocked and surprised because Hengel was the outdoors man and likes to fish and hunt. Their class was watching a movie when Hengel pulled out the gun and shot at the projector. He also collected the cellphones of his classmates and broke the ones that were ringing.

When one of the parents couldn’t reach her daughter through the cellphone and called the school, Principal Corry Lambie went to the classroom and saw the hostage. Hengel pointed the gun at him and told him to leave. This was when he called the police and all classes were suspended for the day.

Campbell described the rest of the hostage taking as just talking to Hengel in a calm and normal way. “He didn’t seem like he wanted to hurt anyone. He may have wanted to commit suicide. I don’t know”. But he also observed that his classmate looked quite depressed while the hostage was taking place.

It was only when police broke the classroom that Hengel shot himself and the hostages were rescued. The Marinette police also do not have a clue why the sophomore student did everything and are investigating the case. The Hengel family, on the other hand, declined to comment on the incident.

If there is something that people should learn from this incident, it is that quiet and outgoing kids are also prone to depression and suicide. It could be that this Hengel kid is hiding something from everyone, and that there is something big troubling him. It is sad that he had to commit suicide before police got to him, and based on his classmates’ testimonies, he had a future. I hope nothing like this would happen again because losing a young kid is a very big loss.

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