Home Madison Police kill 14-year-old school shooting suspect in Mt. Horeb

Police kill 14-year-old school shooting suspect in Mt. Horeb


A Mt. Horeb Middle School student was killed by police Wednesday after attempting to break through a window with a long gun, authorities and witnesses said.

A student told Madison365 that he saw a fellow eighth grader attempting to break through a window to the cafeteria during the eighth grade lunch time, around 11:15 am Wednesday, using the butt of a long gun. When he was unable to break through the window, he began shooting at the window, the student said.

Another student said he heard about 12 gunshots in total. The Wisconsin Department of Justice, which has taken the lead in investigating the incident, said Mt. Horeb Police officers engaged the assailant and “used deadly force.” Attorney General Josh Kaul confirmed in a press conference that the assailant was deceased.

A physical education class was rollerblading outside when the shooting began. Abandoned rollerblades could be seen behind the middle school.

No other students, teachers or police officers were injured.

The assailant posted cryptic messages to Snapchat earlier Wednesday, with the phrases “Break free from the chains of slavery, cheers to the blood” in Finnish and “My dad is a war criminal” in Bosnian. The latter is the title of a Serbian war song.


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Authorities did not reveal any specific motive believed to be behind the attempted attack.

All schools in the district were placed on hard lockdown for the remainder of the day. Elementary aged students were released to parents around 5 pm, while Intermediate Center (IC) students, in grades 3 through 5, were bused to a relocation site arounf 6:15 pm. The IC is next door to the Middle School, and some IC students were able to hear the gunshots. Those who heard the shots were interviewed by police, though their parents were not contacted regarding those interviews.

Parents await their children at the reunification point in Mount Horeb. Photo by Robert Chappell.

Middle school students who had remained in the school were reunited with parents around 6:45 p.m., and high school students around 7:30 p.m.

Classes are canceled for Thursday, and district officials said they would announce a care plan for students and staff Thursday morning.

We will continue to update this story as more information becomes available.

Robert Chappell’s son is an eighth-grade student at Mt. Horeb Middle School, and is one of the students cited in this story.