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05 Dec 2010 21:09


U.S.: “Why Sam, why?” Marinette, Wisconsin mourns student in standoff

  • Sam, you are in good hands now. Someday when we meet again, you can tell me what happened.
  • Marinette, Wisconsin resident Jon Hengel • Expressing grief towards his son Sam, who held a classroom hostage last week and ended up shooting himself to death. Sam’s memorial service was today, and hundreds of mourners found themselves at Marinette High School staring at one of his favorite things in the world – a campground, complete with trees, a tent, a canoe and even a fake campfire. The younger Hengel, who was the only person hurt during the six-hour standoff, left behind more questions than answers, sadly. “This is not about Sam’s sin. This is about the world’s sin,” said the Rev. Nick Johannes, a local Lutheran pastor who presided over the somber ceremony. “Something has gone terribly wrong.” source

30 Nov 2010 20:45


U.S.: Why Marinette school officials didn’t notice the hostage situation

  • one The lights were off in the classroom at the time the hostage crisis started, so it didn’t look like anyone was in there.
  • two A sign was posted on the door telling seventh period students to go to the library, which was common at the school.
  • three While administrators were suspicious, they didn’t check until a parent said something – two hours later. source
  • » About the shooter: Sam Hengel, who died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, strangely did not make any demands during the situation and even joked about music and movies. Hengel, a straight-A student who liked the outdoors, apparently didn’t show any telltale signs beforehand. His parents are staying mum in the wake of the incident.

30 Nov 2010 10:23


U.S.: Marinette, Wisconsin police: The teacher is the real hero here

  • The teacher was nothing short of heroic. She kept a very cool head and kept the suspect as calm as possible. We really give that teacher a lot of credit.
  • Marinette, Wisconsin Police Chief Jeff Skorik • Describing how the teacher involved in last night’s high school hostage situation ensured that things didn’t get worse. The 15-year-old student, who has not been named, was carrying two types of guns and a duffel bag loaded ammunition when he held a classroom hostage last night. He’s reportedly suffering from life-threatening injuries due to wounds self-inflicted as the hostages were released. It could have been far worse, kids. source

30 Nov 2010 10:07


U.S.: How Marinette, Wisconsin’s local paper played the hostage situation

  • Because we admit to having a tinge of morning-after guilt about the way we ripped the online coverage of the high school hostage situation in Marinette, Wisconsin last night, here’s the cover of today’s Marinette EagleHerald. This is probably the biggest story of the year for them. And in case you’re curious, you can read the full stories over here. (Green Bay also had some good play in print, even if early online coverage was lacking.) source

29 Nov 2010 22:15


U.S.: Marinette, Wisconsin hostage situation ends; coverage still sucks

  • good The high school hostage crisis is over in Marinette, Wisconsin and only the gunman was hurt. The situation lasted about five hours.
  • bad The coverage was still very scarce for hours, though Green Bay finally has some photos. Can anyone explain why this happened? source
  • » There’s a lesson here: In the past few years, newspaper companies have cut their resources very thin, especially at companies like Gannett, which owns the nearby Green Bay Press-Gazette. It’s sad to think that when something genuinely bad happens in small-town America, there are no details because we’ve cut our resources that much. We’re sad for the town that trusts the local news; we’re also glad that things weren’t worse.

29 Nov 2010 20:48


U.S.: Some more morsels from the Marinette, Wisconsin hostage situation

  • 24 people are being held hostage – 23 students and one teacher; noone has been injured
  • yes the situation started during the school day, but other students were unaware of the situation
  • no the student doesn’t have a criminal record, nor do any media sources have photos yet source

29 Nov 2010 19:48


U.S.: What happens if there’s a school hostage situation, but no media?

  • Well, that’s what appears to be happening in Marinette, Wisconsin. Granted, the town of around 11,000 isn’t big or anything, but it’s within shouting distance of Green Bay, and police have been on the scene for somewhere around three hours, yet this is all the coverage we appear to have. Small-town Wisconsin is small-town Wisconsin, but it’s weird that a hostage situation has been going on for somewhere in the neighborhood of three hours, yet all we seemingly have is the lead paragraph. (In the case of the Green Bay Press-Gazette, a reporter is driving out there now.) Have we gotten that lax about paying small-town reporters or having comprehensive coverage? source