Hundreds Attend Wisconsin Hostage Taker's Memorial

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

MENOMINEE, Mich. (AP) -- A Wisconsin teenager who held his social studies class hostage before shooting himself last week is being remembered as a quiet, helpful leader who loved the outdoors.

Hundreds of people showed up Sunday for a memorial to 15-year-old Sam Hengel. It was held in a school auditorium in Michigan, just across the river from the Wisconsin town where the hostage drama took place.

A minister told the crowd he wondered why Hengel did it as he held the boy's hand in the hospital, but said he'll never know.
A bugler closed the ceremony with "Taps." Dozens of Hengel's fellow Boy Scouts filed into the auditorium's aisles and saluted.

Flurries fell under an overcast sky Sunday afternoon, adding to a feeling of gloom. The line to greet the teen's parents and two younger brothers stretched out of the auditorium and into the lobby. There mourners gazed at collages of photos depicting Hengel as a small child, holding a string of fish and paddling along on a canoe trip with his family.

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