Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Canadian HS Held Hostage

On Tuesday, September 23, 2008, an expelled 16-year-old student entered a private Christian high school in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, during chapel, and put a pellet gun to the pastor's head before the principal grabbed the gun. Police arrested the student, officials said.

Principal Mark Anderson said he kept talking with the youth, who was forcing the pastor to read a letter.

Anderson said he got close enough to see the weapon was not a firearm, then grappled with the teen and held him until police arrived and arrested him. Police said they recovered a pellet pistol.

"He just felt like we had to listen to his story, that people were working against him and that everything is a big conspiracy," Anderson told The Associated Press.

Anderson said he was expelled him because of incidents from last school year.

Alex McNair, a student at the Luther College high school, said the gunman forced the pastor to read a letter about his expulsion. He said the letter was about how the gunman had been bullied.

"He seemed completely unstable," McNair said in a message to the AP via the Internet social networking site Facebook.

According to student Tasha Niedzielski, “He had a gun in his hand and everyone started screaming,” said the story. “He basically told everyone to shut up and listen and he told Pastor (Larry) Fry to read.

“He read the speech and people exited carefully but then he’d point the gun at them and tell them to stop. He did it several times. They got all the Grade 9s out and then after probably half an hour or 45 minutes Mr. Anderson [school principal Mark Anderson] grabbed him and grabbed the gun and then a bunch of cops came in after him.”

Almost all the school's 450 staff and students were in the chapel for daily prayer when the suspect walked in and ignored a vice principal's request to stop, Anderson said.

Teachers were helping students to leave quietly as Anderson negotiated with the suspect to let students leave.
Police said there were no reports of any injuries to staff, students or the suspect.

The arrest came on the same day as a deadly school shooting in Finland. In that case, a masked gunman killed 11 people at a trade school and burned some of their bodies before shooting himself in the head.

No comments: