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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Ohio high school shooting suspect described as ‘not well’

The teenage suspect in the shooting rampage that killed three students and seriously wounded two others at an Ohio high school randomly fired 10 shots, said a prosecutor, who described him during a court hearing Tuesday as “someone who’s not well.”

Prosecutor David Joyce said in court that T.J. Lane had admitted firing a .22-caliber handgun Monday morning inside Chardon High School’s cafeteria and hallways. He said Lane did not know the victims, countering earlier reports that the suspect appeared to be targeting some students.

“This is not about bullying. This is not about drugs,” Joyce said Tuesday. “This is about someone who is not well.”

Lane, 17, was taken into custody about half a mile from the high school, approximately an hour after the shooting.

Judge Timothy J. Grendell gave prosecutors until Thursday to file charges against the boy and set additional court dates for later in March.

Lane will probably face at least three counts of aggravated murder, Joyce said in a news conference after the hearing.

The court proceedings were filmed, but the camera was focused only on the judge. Grendell told the media not to photograph Lane’s face and imposed a gag order on the attorneys at the prosecutor’s request. The order went into effect after Tuesday’s news conference.

Lane’s face twitched slightly while the prosecutor recounted the attack, and the teenager sniffled and half-closed his eyes as he walked out of the room with deputies, according to an Associated Press report of the hearing.

Neither Lane’s attorney, Robert Farinacci, nor relatives opposed Grendell’s decision to keep the boy in custody. Grendell said the boy remained a danger to the community and to himself. Lane’s grandfather, who has custody of him, and two aunts attended the proceeding.

Lane’s court appearance came hours after the death toll in the attack climbed to three.

A Cleveland hospital said Demetrius Hewlin, 16, who had been in critical condition, died Tuesday morning. The news came shortly after Chardon Police Chief Tim McKenna told reporters that 17-year-old Russell King Jr. had died overnight.

Another student, Daniel Parmertor, 16, died hours after the shooting. He suffered skull and brain injuries from a gunshot wound to the head, according to a coroner’s report.

One student remained hospitalized and another was released Tuesday.

Moments after the shooting began, panicked calls were placed to 911, according to tapes released Tuesday.

“We just had a shooting at our school,” a woman’s voice is heard telling a dispatcher. “We need to get out of here.”

Chardon is a city of about 5,100 people some 30 miles from Cleveland. Memorials have been held, and a candlelight ceremony was scheduled for Tuesday night.

Schools are scheduled to reopen this week, and grief counselors will be on the high school campus, Chardon schools Superintendent Joseph Bergant II said during a televised news conference.

“We’re not just any old place, Chardon,” Bergant said. “This is every place. As you’ve seen in the past, this can happen anywhere.”

McKenna alluded to the city’s resilience at the news conference. “Chardon will take care of Chardon,” he said.

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