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One Dead As Hostage Standoff Ends

June 18, 1999

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) _ A hostage standoff at the state’s largest mental institution ended this morning with one of the hostages killed and the second wounded. The gunman was taken into custody, police said.

Dennis Czajkowski, a former nurse at Norristown State Hospital who had held the hostages since Wednesday, shot and killed nursing supervisor Carol Kepner after police broke into the room where he was holed up, state police spokesman Robert Whitebeck said.

Czajkowski shot a second hostage, Maria Jordan, who was flown to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Whitbeck said.

Czajkowski, 40, who apparently had been angry over being fired from his job, was taken away by medical helicopter with unspecified injuries. Whitbeck said state police did not fire any shots at him.

``He was terminated and the two women his is holding were part of that decision,″ Whitbeck said earlier today. ``He specifically targeted at least Maria Jordan. We don’t know whether he knew for sure whether Carol Kepner would be there.″

The power had been shut down Thursday night and police negotiators worked round the clock talking to Czajkowski. But they said he did respond to conventional hostage-negotiation techniques. By this morning, he had apparently been awake for the entire time since the standoff began around 10:45 a.m. Wednesday, police said.

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