A press release from the West Virginia State Police said that a 14-year-old male student with a pistol had held “numerous students and a teacher hostage” in a second-floor classroom.
Students at the high school were gathered on the football field and sent home using school buses.
After negotiations, the suspect agreed to set free hostages and later surrendered himself, said the statement, adding that the motive remained unknown. After further negotiations, the suspect put the gun down and surrendered to law enforcement without further incident, State Police. The suspect, armed with an unspecified weapon, was taken into police custody Tuesday afternoon.
Barbour county schools superintendent, Jeffrey Woofter, credited the teacher for maintaining control when classes were about to change and praised the Philippi police chief for talking the suspect into giving up.
No injuries were reported.
Kayla Smith, 17, said initially no one in her classroom in another area of the school took a “code red” warning seriously.
Baylous says the incident began as a “hostage-type situation” at the school.
Lt. Michael Baylous said Tuesday that students at the school have been evacuated.
The school could not be immediately reached by phone.
According to WV State Police, students are not in danger at this time.
Students who were barred from entering the classroom then alerted another teacher who alerted school officials before authorities were called, Woofter said.
Philippi is a city of some 3,000 residents about 130 miles south of Pittsburgh.