Gunman, not police, wounded hostages

Tuesday, September 30, 2003

DYERSBURG, Tenn. -- Two hostages seriously wounded when police stormed a college classroom to end a standoff were shot by their captor, not police, authorities said Monday.

Harold Kilpatrick Jr., 26, held as many as 14 hostages for up to nine hours at Dyersburg State Community College Sept. 17 before he was killed by a police SWAT team. The two people who were wounded have been discharged from hospitals and are recovering.

John Mehr of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said tests showed the bullets that hit the hostages came from Kilpatrick's .32-caliber semiautomatic pistol.

Mehr said the hostages had dropped to the floor when the shooting started and their wounds indicated they were crouching when hit. He declined to say if police believe Kilpatrick meant to shoot the hostages. No police officer was struck.

Kilpatrick had been treated for mental problems in the past and was facing aggravated assault charges in Memphis when he came to the community college armed with a gun and a large knife.

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