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Wounded Teen Dies Day After Police Shots Ended Hostage Incident

December 4, 1985

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) _ A 16-year-old dropout who was shot by police after he took two students hostage at Concord High School died at a hospital Wednesday.

Louis Cartier died of head and chest wounds and an autopsy is planned, the state attorney general’s office said.

Cartier, described as a loner who had been teased by classmates because of his appearance and clothing, walked into the school Tuesday morning with a shotgun and ammunition, encountered an assistant principal after roaming the halls briefly, then took two boys hostage.

One escaped by promising to get Cartier a ride, and the other jumped out a window when the shooting started.

Officers fired when Cartier aimed the shotgun at a teacher who was trying to talk him into surrendering.

Neither hostage was hurt. One police officer was hit in the chin by buckshot.

John Dukette, a 16-year-old neighbor and close friend of Cartier, said they fooled around with guns from Cartier’s father’s gun collection at the Cartier home the night before the shooting.

He said they took out some guns and ″sort of aimed them.″

About 1,200 students began school Wednesday with an assembly where school officials explained what happened, and discussed counseling for students troubled by the incident.

Students talked about the shooting in class and were encouraged to seek the help from 14 counselors and psychologists at the school for the day.

″Some of you may feel nothing or may show inappropriate humor,″ guidance director Julie Burnham told the students. ″Be accepting of others’ reactions to this and don’t blow things out of proportion.″

Cartier’s motive remained a mystery.

″It is really hard to figure out,″ said Edward Zehnder, Cartier’s guidance counselor. ″I am honestly pounding my head. I talked to him quite a lot. He came in two weeks ago. All (Tuesday) night I was asking myself why. I don’t think anyone knows the reasons.

″The kid standing there with a shotgun pointed at two hostages wasn’t the Louis I knew,″ said Zehnder. ″He was quiet and reserved, and had no tendency to violence and aggressive behavior.″

He said Cartier could have been upset about his girlfriend moving away, but also had problems with ″his life, his job - he was turned off by school.″

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