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Armed Man Threatens Teacher, Police, Then Shoots Self

April 9, 1989

BRIGHAM CITY, Utah (AP) _ A man armed with a pistol and rifle walked onto an elementary school playground and threatened a teacher and police officers, then shot himself to death, police said.

A dispatcher said the Brigham City Police Department received a call at 7:10 p.m. Friday that an armed man was approaching the playground at Foothill Elementary School.

Police officers found the man walking among children and adults in the area and talked him into moving away from the crowd. Then, police said, the man threatened one of the officers with his rifle.

″In the midst of negotiations, with officers standing approximately 10 feet away from the suspect, the suspect turned the rifle on himself,″ the statement said.

The man was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. His name had not been released late Saturday.

Wayne Bowcutt, a sixth-grade teacher at the school, said he and another teacher witnessed the shooting.

″It was a terrible thing,″ he said. ″(The police) did everything in their power to try to get him to give up the gun.″

Bowcutt said the man had turned a pistol on a female teacher and threatened her. The woman’s husband then told him to take the gun off his wife, Bowcutt said.

″Then I grabbed the kids and she grabbed the kids and we took them into the (school) building into the classroom to get them away from the man,″ he said.

Bowcutt said there were about 10 children in the area, as well as several adults when the man arrived at the school.

Three times in the past year, adults with guns have killed elementary schoolchildren in seemingly random attacks.

In January, Patrick Purdy killed five children and wounded 30 other people when he sprayed a schoolyard in Stockton, Calif., with bullets from a semiautomatic weapon. He later killed himself.

Last September, two 8-year-olds were killed and seven other pupils and two teachers were wounded when a man opened fire on a school in Greenwood, S.C. And last May, a woman shot and killed an 8-year-old and wounded five other children School in Winnetka, Ill., before wounding an adult and killing herself.

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