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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

(Newser) – 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.”

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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.
(Read more Wisconsin stories.)

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