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Hostage-taker killed by police, two hostages wounded

Harold Kilpatrick, Jr.
Harold Kilpatrick, Jr.

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Police Chief Bob Williamson says the man who took a group of community college students and their teacher hostage was shot and killed by officers (September 18)
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Memphis (Tennesse)

(CNN) -- The man who took a group of Dyersburg State Community College students and their teacher hostage Wednesday was killed by police after he began firing a gun in the classroom, Dyersburg Police Chief Bob Williamson said.

"The hostage-taker began to fire rounds in the room that he was holding the hostages in. Our team went in and fired and had to kill the man," Williamson said.

Two hostages were injured in the shooting, but it's not clear if they were wounded by police gunfire or the hostage-taker's shooting.

Harold Kilpatrick, Jr., 26, took about 15 people hostage at about 12:50 p.m. CST, but then released four of them, said Lisa McDowell, Dyersburg Police spokeswoman. He was holding them in a second-floor classroom of the Eller building, McDowell said.

Kilpatrick is from Memphis but had recently been staying with his sister in Dyersburg, McDowell said. He was neither a student at the community college, nor did he work there, she said.

The Dyersburg Police Special Operations Response Team and hostage negotiation team were addressing the man through the classroom wall, she said. Kilpatrick told police he wanted to commit suicide and left a suicide note, Williamson said.

He said the man was believed to have a 9 mm handgun and barricaded the classroom's doors.

Earlier, Kilpatrick was refusing to negotiate with authorities and would only talk to them using his hostages as intermediaries on cell phones, Williamson said.

Later in the evening, though, McDowell said the suspect began talking with police and even ordered pizzas and sodas to share with his hostages.

The chief said the man claimed to be a member of al Qaeda, and the FBI had been informed of the claim.

"I don't know about that, but that's his story," Williamson said, shaking his head.

Dyersburg is about 80 miles northeast of Memphis.

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