Thursday, August 27, 2015

14 year old takes fellow students hostage at gunpoint in West Virgina. Fortunately there are no armed teachers so everybody survives, including the armed teenager.

Courtesy of International Business Times: 

Police in West Virginia took a 14-year-old boy in custody Tuesday for holding hostage a class of 29 students and a teacher at gunpoint in a high school. The boy surrendered following negotiations with police. 

The incident occurred at Philip Barbour High School in the state’s north-central Barbour County around 1 p.m. and no injuries were reported. The boy, armed with a pistol, took hostage a classroom at the school's second floor, the state police said, in a Facebook statement. 

Barbour County Schools Superintendent Jeffrey Woofter told the Associated Press (AP) that students entering for the next class were asked to leave when they opened the door of the classroom where the teen was holding the hostages. These students alerted another teacher, who then informed school officials about the situation. An assistant principal then asked for the police to be alerted, Woofter said.

The school was placed on lock-down and police began negotiating with the teen: 

“After initial negotiations, the suspect agreed to release all of the hostages. After further negotiations, the suspect put the gun down and surrendered to law enforcement without further incident,” the police said in the statement.

Apparently the boy's pastor played a part in getting him to put down the gun:

Ultimately, the boy's pastor convinced the boy to drop the gun and walk away. The pastor said his daughter is a senior at the school, and she had recently stepped in when she saw the boy being bullied. 

"He's a child who's been bullied to the point where he just snapped," said Pastor Howard Swick with Haven of Hope Ministry in Philippi. "And I'm watching this 14-year-old child with a gun, crying. He looked completely hopeless and didn't know what to do, and realized he had taken this farther than he had ever wanted to go. He didn't know how to retreat."

So essentially here was a potentially dangerous situation involving a handgun.

No poorly armed individuals in the school confronted him.

The police were called.

And ultimately there was no loss of life.

Gee imagine how differently that might have played out if this were one of those schools that allowed armed teachers to roam the halls.


  1. MariaT6:47 AM

    Gryphen, this is OT but I came across this info about Josh Duggar that you may not be aware of. That rehab program he's checked into? It's faith-based!

    1. Anonymous7:09 AM

      For them everything is faith based.

    2. Why am I not surprised? Here's hoping Anna's brother stages an intervention and gets his sister and her children away from all of them.

  2. Anonymous7:07 AM

    The pastor's words are heartbreaking. I hope this kid's life turns around.

  3. Anonymous7:11 AM

    And the bullies will go completely unpunished. The school won't do anything about it, and the bullying will just continue with another victim. And then what will happen when the next kid snaps. They might not be so lucky.

    1. That pastor's daughter did her part, and probably (hopefully) told the school authorities what was going on with the bullying, thinking they'd do something about it.

      Evidently not. So the escalated situation probably is a result of what you suspect, the bullies not being disciplined or expelled, the school authorities ignoring the bullying.

  4. Maple7:29 AM

    I'm guessing that if the teacher or custodian or security guard were armed, that boy might not lave gotten out alive -- or at least he'd probably have a bullet through his arm, or leg.

  5. Anonymous8:07 AM

    Study this:

  6. Anonymous8:09 AM

    Certainly a cry for help on the child's part. Hope he gets it.

  7. Anonymous8:19 AM

    OT: some Alaskans know this to well:

  8. Anonymous8:33 AM

    The 29 students got a very good life lesson. They are targets and there is nothing they can do to be less of a target.

    On the other hand, this episode is not national news because no one died. 29 students terrorised is not news in gun humper land.

  9. Anonymous8:55 AM

    Every case and every gunman is different. This one had a happy ending, probably because the boy didn't really want to hurt anyone. He wanted his own hurting to go away.

    But I'm curious, You give credit to the lack of guns in this incident, but there are other factors such as the pastor. Are you advocating a pastor in all schools? A pastor in everyone's life? That pastors are called in all hostage situations? That God is brought back into schools? That we have school prayer?

    1. Are you alright?

      Was there something out there in left field that caused you to come running in to say some thing this stupid?

    2. Anonymous10:57 AM

      I'm just fine. You somehow made a correlation that this turned out all right because no one else with guns were present to stop him.

      But the same correlation could be made that a man of God was the reason this turned out ok. Or that the kid wasn't black.

      I'm as atheistic as you are by the way. But the real reason this turned out ok is that the kid didn't really want to hurt anyone.

      Do you for a minute think that no guns on anyone else at the school would have stopped the kid if he'd had his mind made up to do damage and he'd started pulling the trigger? Then it would have been a massive body count until he either ran out of ammo, shot himself, or the police shot him.

      They were lucky, this time.

    3. Anonymous5:11 PM

      It was not a "happy ending" for those 29 students. If you have ever been threatened with a firearm, it doesn't end when the threat is neutralized. Each of those students had a traumatic experience that DAMAGED them. Sure counseling helps, but the DAMAGE will persist their whole lives.

      The best that can be said is that the ending was bloodless.

  10. Anonymous9:01 AM

    "negotiations with police" that's a novelty - I presume this was a white child - anybody black is normally shot by the police

  11. Anonymous9:44 AM

    Totally different ending if the boy had been black...


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