URGENT One Dead, Six Injured In School Shooting, Barricade Situation
WINNETKA, Ill. (AP) _ A woman walked into a second-grade classroom and opened fire with a handgun today, killing one child and critically wounding five others before barricading herself in a nearby home and shooting a young man, authorities said.
The woman ″just walked into the classroom, went past the teacher who was there, indicated the gun was real and began firing at random,″ said Winnetka Police Chief Herbert Timm.
The woman fled Hubbard Woods Elementary School and went to a home several blocks away. A 22-year-old man was wounded when he tried to wrestle a gun away from the woman, but he and four other people in the house were able to escape, said Joe Sumner, director of operations for police.
The woman barricaded herself inside and rifle-toting SWAT team members in flak jackets with black daubs below their eyes surrounded the area in this affluent north Chicago suburb.
″It’s extremely scary. She’s just an ordinary citizen and she went through and set all this up. She isn’t exactly stable,″ said Northbrook poice commander Randy Walters, who was assisting at the barricade site.
Sumner said a negotiating team was unable to establish contact with the woman. No motive for the shootings was immediately known.
Police recovered a .32-caliber handgun from the school bathroom and the woman was believed to also have a .22-caliber gun and a third, unidentified weapon, Sumner said.
The woman was believed to have set fire earlier this morning to another house in Winnetka where she worked as a housekeeper. A woman and several children who lived in the house escaped from the basement through a window, said Sgt. Michael Geier of the Wilmette police, who was also assisting Winnetka police.
Patrolman Gary Schultz said the woman had opened fire without warning when she got to the school . The shooting ended around 11 a.m., Schultz said.
Parents rushed to the school and gathered outside, many of them weeping as they waited for word of their children. School officials said they would keep remaining children in school until the end of the day.
Sumner said the woman barricaded inside the home used three different names, one of which was Laurie Dann. The FBI has an ″investigative interest″ in a woman of the same name, said spokesman Tom Wronski, but he declined to give further information.
Police in Madison, Wis., said they had been in contact with Winnetka police about a woman named Laurie Dann, and said they had once arrested the 31-year- old woman.
Four children were taken by ambulance to Evanston Hospital, and two children and one adult were being treated at Highland Park Hospital, officials said.
″We have two girls and two boys. They’re all critical, between the ages of 7 and 9,″ said Evanston Hospital spokeswoman Mary Harris. ″Three are in the operating room and one is in the emergency room.″
Three of the children suffered chest wounds and a fourth suffered a neck wound, Evanston Hospital officials said.
One 8-year-old boy died at Highland Park Hospital, said hospital spokeswoman Sue Masaracchia. One other boy and a 22-year-old man were in critical condition, according to spokesman Mark Newton.
Police cars were ″everywhere,″ said Anne Belmont, who lives nearby. ″There’ve been fire trucks, ambulances.″
The kindergarten through fifth-grade school is located in a residential neighborhood, said Bobbi Eilers, a Winnetka resident. The neighborhood is ″incredibly quiet ... a family neighborhood,″ Belmont said.