Oct 2, 2006 4:55 pm US/Eastern
Lancaster Co. School Shooting Leaves Four Dead
Pennsylvania State Police said a gunman opened fire inside a one-room Lancaster County Amish schoolhouse killing three children and wounding several others before taking his own life Monday morning.
Police say the shooting happened around 10:45 a.m. at the Georgetown Amish School at 4876 White Oak Road in Paradise, Pennsylvania.
State Police Col. Jeffrey B. Miller said 32-year-old Charles Karl Roberts IV of Bart, entered the school Monday morning armed with an automatic handgun, shotgun and several two-by-fours and two-by-sixes and held approximately half of 27 students hostage.
Roberts allowed the 15 male students, six to 15 years of age, to leave the building along with a pregnant female aid. During that time, the teacher was able to escape and call police. Roberts continued to hold the female students hostage.
State Police troopers attempted to negotiate with Roberts. During negotiations, Miller fired several rapid shots and police said they stormed the building.
Miller said the suspect used the two-by-fours to block all entrances of the building.
Once police were able to enter the one-room schoolhouse, they found the suspect dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Miller said three females, between the ages six and 13, were shot execution style and fatally wounded. One of the children, Miller said, died in the arms of a trooper.
At least seven other females had suffered gunshot wounds and were taken by ambulance and helicopters to area hospitals.
Three girls were flown to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia where they underwent surgery. A spokesperson said they received an eight-year-old girl who suffered a gunshot wound to the neck and arms, a 12-year-old girl shot in the arm and leg and a 10-year-old girl, suffering a gunshot wound to the head.
A spokesperson from Lancaster General Hospital said they were treating four patients.
The ages and conditions of the victims were not immediately available.
Miller said Roberts, a truck driver, was on a suicide mission and had left suicide note for his wife and children.
Miller said the suspect apparently had called his wife from a cell phone shortly before the shooting began, saying he was "acting out in revenge for something that happened 20 years ago."
According to the National School Safety and Security Services, including the Lancaster Co. shooting, there have been a total of 24 school shootings in the 2006-07 school year. Seven of those shootings resulted in death.
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