Jump to content
Washington Football Team Logo

Armed Man Claiming Al Qaeda Membership Holds Classroom Hostage


Recommended Posts


DYERSBURG, Tenn. — A gunman who left a note saying he "wanted to kill some people and die today" took at least a dozen people hostage in a college classroom Wednesday afternoon, releasing three students several hours later, authorities said.

No injuries or gunshots were reported in the standoff at Dyersburg State Community College (search), about 75 miles northeast of Memphis. The gunman, believed to have a 9mm pistol and what looks like a butcher knife, had not made any demands -- aside from water to drink -- but said he will kill himself, Police Chief Bobby Williamson said.

The gunman claimed to be a member of Al Qaeda (search), and Williamson said that although authorities have no reason to believe the claim, the FBI (search) had been called in. Justice Department officials in Washington also said they had no evidence that the gunman was a member of the terrorist organization.

Police identified the gunman as Harold Kilpatrick Jr., a 26-year-old Memphis man who was staying in Dyersburg with his sister. In the suicide note, left at his sister's house, he also said he didn't like Americans and had spoken with Al Qaeda leader Usama bin Laden, Dyersburg Police Chief Bobby Williamson said.

Williamson said there were 12 to 16 people in the classroom when the standoff began. The three students Kilpatrick released were all women, one of whom was pregnant. The teacher remained in the classroom.

Officers were communicating to the gunman through student hostages on their cell phones, "but he won't talk directly to us," Williamson said.

Police said Kilpatrick is not a student or college employee. They were talking to his sister at the scene, but the gunman wouldn't talk to her, Williamson said.

"I think eventually he'll surrender," Williamson said.

A SWAT team and about five hostage negotiators were among the officers called to the scene.

Athletic director Alan Barnett said that authorities cleared the campus of other students.

"Police ordered all students to evacuate, but employees could stay," Barnett said in a telephone interview. "We had students coming in since it happened, but everyone is gone now."

From his office, Ken Teutsch, a media specialist at the campus Learning Resource Center, could see police cars near where the building where the standoff occurred.

"It's obviously very disturbing, very shocking, but on the other hand, we're not completely unprepared. There have been training and drills and that sort of thing," he said.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...