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Commissioner: Gunman tied children's feet together

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PARADISE, Pennsylvania (CNN) -- Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Jeffrey Miller briefed reporters Monday on the shooting at an Amish school. Highlights from his briefing follow:

Miller: The call came in from a school teacher, stating a male entered a school and had taken hostages. Now this school is a small one-room schoolhouse, it's an Amish school, there were approximately 15 males between the ages of 6 and 13 attending school there, as well as somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 to 12 females also attending school between the ages of 6 and 13.

(State police were outside the school and trying to establish communication with the suspect when they got a call from the local 911 dispatcher.)

Miller: They had spoken to the actor, the suspect, who had told them that if the state police don't remove themselves from the premises in 10 seconds he's going to -- he's going to begin shooting people. (Full story)

That information gave us the cell phone that he was using. One of our negotiators at the scene ... immediately tried to make a call to the cell phone at the same time as the information was being relayed to our troopers on the perimeter. ... Within a few seconds of that information being put out to the perimeter, and the trooper who was the negotiator trying to call the suspect on the cell phone, they heard shots. Multiple shots in quick succession.

(The troopers stormed the school.)

Miller: Now, it's a one-room schoolhouse. All of the doors were blocked. He had taken with him 2 x 6's and 2 x 4's. He had blocked all the exits from the building. We couldn't get in through the doors.

We had to break the windows. The troopers broke the windows and were able to get in, found the suspect dead on the floor of the schoolhouse. He's still in there now. In addition, we found three -- we had three other students, female students between the ages of 6 and 13, that were shot and killed at the scene.

It appears that the suspect entered the school with the intention of taking hostages. Like I said, he came with 2 x 6's, 2 x 4's and these weapons.

When he initially went into the school, he apparently displayed a handgun. And he was -- he was having some discussion with the class. He was talking about what he had in his hand.

At that time he apparently told the kids to line up in front of the blackboard. At that -- at that moment, he began to -- he had ties with him like wire ties, as well as flex cuffs. He began to tie the females, the children's, feet together.

He then took the boys -- there was exactly 15 boys there between 6 and 13. He let them leave. He also allowed one female, adult female who was pregnant with a child, to leave. He also allowed three other adult females who had infant children with them to leave.

At the time he let them leave, the teacher was able to get out at that time. And that's why she was able to go and get a phone and dial 911 and alert us of the situation.

As we said, two -- one shotgun and one handgun were found next to the suspect by our troopers who responded into the school. We have, as I said, three students are confirmed dead. There were seven that we know of right now -- there were seven injured victims taken to the following hospitals: Lehigh General Hospital, Hershey Medical Center, Christian Hospital in Delaware, Redding Hospital, and Children's Hospital in Philadelphia.

We know that the individuals that were removed from the school suffered from gunshot wounds. It appears that when he began shooting the victims, these victims were shot execution style in the head.

(Miller identified the suspect as Charles Carl Roberts IV, a 32-year-old truck driver who worked nights. He said Roberts took his children to the school bus stop Monday morning as usual. That was the last time his wife saw him.)

Miller: She had left the residence, she came back home and discovered that there were several notes there that were along the lines of suicide notes to each of the kids. So she read these notes and she tried to contact him right away and was unable to reach him.

At approximately 11:00, he called her. He did not tell her where he was, but he stated that he wasn't coming home and that he had left notes for her and the children to explain his actions. And he said that "the police are here, but I'm not coming home." He told her he loved her, and that was it. And shortly thereafter is when the shooting commenced.

(Miller said the letters Roberts left behind were rambling and didn't seem to make much sense.)

Miller: Apparently, he did make a statement to his wife on the phone that he was acting out in a way to achieve revenge for something that happened 20 years ago. And I think that the location, the school, was probably chosen because it provided a close opportunist -- you know, an opportunity to attack where he knew he had young kids. For some reason I believe just based on what we know now at this point -- I mean, we've got a lot of work to do, but from what we know at this point, it seems as though he wanted to -- to attack young female victims, and this is close to his residence. That's the only reason we can figure that he went to the school.

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The gunman wanted some sort of revenge, Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Jeffrey Miller said.



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