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Wittenberg gripped by hostage standoff
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There were some tense moments at a Wittenberg convenience store Tuesday.

An armed gunman, a 28-year-old man from Gillett, was taken into custody without incident after he held a worker captive for about one hour before surrendering himself to authorities.

Just what sparked his actions, which occurred inside a Shell service station which also houses a McDonald’s restaurant, remains unknown.

“We know that he pointed a weapon at people,” Shawano County Sheriff Randall Wright told the Wausau Daily Herald. “And we know that this had something to do with his depression. He’s going to be evaluated for that, and we’ll see how things progress...but we still have more interviews to do before we know exactly what happened, and what he should be charged with.”

Officials said the suspect entered the fast food restaurant shortly before 2 p.m. He brandished a firearm and according to authorities, he threatened law enforcement but did not demand money.

Officials said the man permitted all individuals to leave the building except a lone McDonald’s worker. The employee was later allowed to leave, unharmed, shortly after 3 p.m.

“He was well-composed. He kept his calm throughout the incident,” Wright said of the employee. “I would say he did very well.”

Authorities said a store employee pushed a panic button and several calls were received by the sheriff’s department 911 dispatch center, triggering a flood of law officers, including those occupying an armored military-type vehicle, to the scene.

Highway 45 was shut down for about two hours during the incident and the Wittenberg-Birnamwood elementary and high schools which are near the location were put into lockdown for approximately 45 minutes as a precautionary measure.

The sheriff explained that a hostage negotiator was able to establish telephone contact with the suspect, eventually allowing for his surrender.
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Onlookers were kept far away from the scene of a standoff in Wittenberg Tuesday afternoon.
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