UPDATED - As It Happens: School Hostage Situation

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The standoff is over and the gunman and one of the girls is dead. Sad.
Just been made aware that 2 high school girls are being held hostage at a high school in Colorado.
More Information:
Two schools were evacuated after a gunman claiming to have a bomb opened fire and took hostages at a high school near Bailey, Colorado, officials said.

Several shots were fired at the school, and the gunman is inside, Jefferson County sheriff's spokeswoman Jacki Kelley said.

The gunman was holding two hostages in a second-floor classroom, said Kelley. Six hostages were initially taken, but four of them were released, she said.

The gunman told police he had a bomb, said Lance Clem, spokesman for the Colorado Public Safety Department.

Kelley said she did not know if the hostages were students, teachers or both. However, both are female, she said.

She had no information on injuries, but said a bomb squad, SWAT team and agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives had been dispatched to the scene.

Negotiations with the gunman were ongoing but "sporadic," Kelley said.

The Park County Sheriff's office would not provide further details, but said it is dealing with a hostage situation. Bailey is located in Park County, and Jefferson County authorities are assisting in the investigation.

The lack of information from police and the school system was concerning parents who have children at the school, according to the Denver Post.

"We've had no phone calls from the district. We don't know what's going on," said Pat Bramelette, who has two children, one attending the high school, one in middle school.

His wife, Susan, told the newspaper, "The most I got was off the bottom of the TV screen."

Sally Impson told the Denver Post that she hopes her 17-year-old son, Andrew, will find a way to contact her, although his cell phone doesn't work in the school and the road to the school is shut down.

"I'm so shook," she said. "It's just scary. You don't know what's going on. You hear shots are fired. I hope to God that everything is OK."

The 450 students at Platte Canyon High School and the 340 youngsters at the adjacent Fitzsimmons Middle School were evacuated, officials said.

The students were evacuated to a safe place about 12:10 p.m. (2:10 p.m. ET), the Park County School District superintendent's office said.

Bailey is about 45 miles southwest of Denver. It also lies about 40 miles southwest of Littleton, Colorado, which is where two students killed 13 people at Columbine High School in 1999.

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