Wisconsin Gunman, 14, Posted Disturbing Snapchat Messages Before Trying to Smash School Window: Report

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Mount Horeb PD Mount Horeb Police Department.

The rifle-carrying “active shooter” who was “neutralized” near a Wisconsin middle school in Mount Horeb on May 1 was a 14-year-old student who posted disturbing messages to Snapchat and tried to break into the cafeteria through a window.

That’s according to Madison365, which interviewed another student who witnessed the incident.

That student told Madison365 that the gunman was a “fellow eighth grader.”

The suspect has been named by multiple media outlets as Damian Haglund.

Authorities have released few details about the gunman, although the state Department of Justice confirmed in a news release that the suspect was a student at Mount Horeb Middle School. “Police officers from Mount Horeb Police Department responded to a report of someone with a weapon outside the middle school. Police officers responded to the threat and used deadly force,” the press release says. The suspect was not named.

Here’s what you need to know:

The Snapchat Messages Left by the 14-Year-Old Gunman Contained the Title of a Serbian War Song, Reports Say

According to Madison365 journalist Robert Chappell, the teen suspect “posted cryptic messages to Snapchat” before the shooting including the phrases, “Break free from the chains of slavery, cheers to the blood” in Finnish and “My dad is a war criminal” in Bosnian, which Madison 365 reported is a “Serbian war song” title.

ABC News also reported that the suspect was 14 years old. The state Department of Justice has not confirmed whether the suspect ever opened fire.

“This incident took place outdoors. The subject in this case never gained entry to the school buildings during the incident and was a student from the Mount Horeb School District. While the investigation into the details remains ongoing, other than the subject, no other people were physically injured during this incident,” the DOJ’s press release says.

A Witness Says the Armed Teen Tried to ‘Break Through a Window to the Cafeteria’

The witness told Madison365 that the armed teen tried to “break through a window to the cafeteria during the eighth grade lunch time,” which was around 11:15 a.m., by “using the butt of a long gun.”

The student was not successful at breaking the window and began shooting at it, according to Madison365, which reported that, according to another student, there were about 12 gunshots heard.

The Mount Horeb Area School District in Wisconsin confirmed that there was an “active shooter near our middle school” on May 1, 2024, but the gunman did not enter the school.

WISN 1130 AM talk show host Dan O’Donnell wrote on X, “Law enforcement sources say the gunman in Mt. Horeb is a 14-year-old armed with a rifle who stole his grandfather’s car, drove to his middle school.” Authorities have not confirmed those details.

Mount Horeb Area School District wrote in a statement posted to Facebook, “Community members, there has been an active shooter near our middle school this morning. The individual did not breach entryway. Police department is helping to scope out our building to ensure the safety of our students and staff. I will keep you posted.” Photos and videos from the scene showed a massive law enforcement response.

The district wrote that the “alleged assailant” was injured, but no one else was harmed. Further details on the suspect were not released, including age or motive. Congressman Mark Pocan wrote on X, “My office is aware of reports that an active shooter situation near Mt. Horeb Middle School has been neutralized. I’m grateful for the quick response from first responders. My office has been in touch with local law enforcement, and we will continue to monitor the situation.”

Governor Tony Evers wrote on X, “I have been briefed on the incident at the Mount Horeb Area School District and am closely monitoring the situation. I am praying for the health and safety of our kids, educators, and staff and grateful for the first responders who are working quickly to respond.”

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