Police: Former student held NY principal hostage - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Police: Former student held NY principal hostage

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PINE PLAINS, N.Y. – Police say a former student sneaked a disassembled shotgun into an upstate New York middle school, put the gun together in a bathroom and held the principal hostage for more than two hours before surrendering without firing a shot.

No one was injured during the standoff Tuesday morning at Stissing Mountain Middle School.

Dutchess County Sheriff Adrian Anderson says 42-year-old Christopher Craft Sr. of Pine Plains walked into the main office and held Principal Bob Hess hostage while students and staff were locked down in other parts of the building.

The middle school, which shares a campus with the high school, is 90 miles north of New York City.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

PINE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) — A former student held a school administrator hostage for more than two hours Tuesday morning, then surrendered to police without firing a shot, officials said. No one was injured.

Pine Plains Town Supervisor Gregg Pulver said the man in custody is Christopher Craft of Pine Plains and the hostage was Stissing Mountain Middle School Principal Bob Hess.

The Stissing Mountain middle and high schools share a campus.

Trooper Tom Jones Jr. said police are going room by room through the combined middle and senior high schools as a precaution, evacuating students as they go.

"Evidently, there is some speculation that he (the gunman) had a loved one in the military and somehow this is some contrived scheme on his part to do something about that," Pulver told The Associated Press Radio.

Pulver said the gunman was in his 40s. Police were in contact with the suspect throughout the standoff, he said.

Dutchess County Deputy Sheriff T.J. Hanlon said the suspect used a long gun in the standoff that started about 7:45 a.m. and ended about 10 a.m. Police would not discuss motives.

Police were still going through the school evacuating students as of 12:30 p.m.

Pulver said counseling will made available to students. The students are being loaded onto buses and taken to a highway garage to be accounted for before being sent back to school, according to Lt. Tom Lasher of the Dutchess County Sheriff's Office.

The school about 90 miles north of New York City was on lockdown just after school began Tuesday with the gunman and his hostage contained to one room. Students and other faculty members were locked in other rooms.

After the man surrendered, armed officers could be seen standing guard at the front door of the school. The handcuffed man was led to an ambulance, where he was checked by paramedics.

The high school has about 500 students, while the middle school has about 300 students.

Parents were told to gather in a parking lot at a restaurant a couple of blocks from school. Hundreds of people, including parents and other townspeople, were milling around an intersection near the school, which sits in a rural valley amid rolling hills.

Lisa Pusello, whose son is a sixth grader at the school, said she heard about the incident by phone from a girlfriend.

"I'm thinking the whole time, 'How can this happen in our little town?'" she said as she waited for her child.

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