Police couldn’t force their way into a barricaded Amish schoolhouse in Pennsylvania last year until 2 1/2 minutes after a gunman began shooting 10 girls inside, say newly released details about the siege reported by the Associated Press. That case and the Virginia Tech massacre demonstrate that police dealing with barricaded gunmen need better training and equipment, such as battering rams, said Pennsylvania state police Sgt. Douglas Burig. Schoolhouse gunman Charles C. Roberts IV acted so quickly — shooting his 10 victims in about eight seconds and killing five — that even faster entry into the building might not have prevented the tragedy, said Burig.
“It just highlights the need for equipment like this (to be) available for the first responders,” Burig said. “Ultimately it would not have made a difference in this incident, but perhaps it will in a future incident.” Roberts, 32, a milk truck driver and father of three, apparently planned to sexually assault the children. Police used shields, rifle butts, and batons to beat through the doors and windows. Roberts shot himself fatally in the head as the first troopers entered.