Yesterday, there was a high school shooting in Chardon, Ohio, about 20 minutes from where I live. One student took out a handgun and started shooting others in the cafeteria as they were having breakfast. One died and a few others got hurt. Today, two succumbed to their injuries bringing the death toll to 3.Chardon school shooting.
The toll in the Chardon High School shooting grew today with the death of a third shooting victim.
Russell King and Demetrius Hewlin, students wounded in Monday's shooting, died this morning, officials said today.
"We are very saddened by the loss of our son and others in our Chardon community," Hewlin's family said in a statement. "Demetrius was a happy young man who loved life and his family and friends. We will miss him very much but we are proud that he will be able to help others through organ donation."
They added, "We ask that you respect our privacy during this difficult time."
Earlier today, King, 17, was pronounced brain dead at 12:42 a.m. at Ohio's MetroHealth Medical Center, according to the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office. At 4:49 a.m., police were informed that King had "passed."
Another victim, identified by MetroHealth Hospital as Daniel Parmertor died from the wounds on Monday, hours after being shot.
As the Ohio town coped with the carnage, the focus turned to alleged shooter T.J. Lane who a fellow student and witness identified as the person who shot up his school cafeteria Monday. Two other students remain hospitalized.
Lane, a juvenile, is expected to appear in court this afternoon.
Nate Mueller, a student who was sitting with three friends who were shot, described Lane to ABC News as "a quiet kid. Freshman year he got into a 'goth' phase and didn't talk to that many people anymore. He never egged anybody on. He just went about his business."
Some classmates described Lane as an outcast who'd been bullied. In late December, he posted a poem on his Facebook page that read: "He longed for only one thing, the world to bow at his feet," and ended ominously: "Die, all of you."
But other classmates say Lane had friends and wasn't bullied.
"He had friends. He was quiet," Chardon High School student Tyler Lillash said. "From what I heard he posted some pictures on Twitter of, like, some dude holding guns. But other than that I don't really know. I don't think he was bullied, though."
Lillash was a good friend of Parmertor, one of the teens who died, and said he "started crying uncontrollably" when he heard the news of his friend's death.
Another student, Lexi Joy, passed Lane in the hallway right before the shooting, saying they exchanged a smile and a nod, like usual.
"He didn't seem any different. He seemed just like he'd be on a normal day," Joy said. "He didn't show any expression on his face. He was just TJ."
Lane's family life had been disrupted by divorce and violence, ABC News affiliate WEWS reported. His parents divorced in 2002, and his father later served time in jail on assault and other charges, according to the station.
Attorney Robert N. Farinacci is representing Lane released a statement on behalf of the family Monday night, according to WEWS, calling the incident "something that could never have been predicted."
"The family is devastated by this recent event. They want to express their most heartfelt and sincere condolences to the family of the young man who passed and their continuing prayers are with all those who were injured," Farinacci wrote. "TJ's family has asked for some privacy while they try to understand how such a tragedy could have occurred and while they mourn this terrible loss for their community."
Lane allegedly opened fire with a handgun just before 8 a.m. in the school cafeteria where students were eating breakfast, authorities and witnesses said.
The shooter was chased out of the building by a teacher and was arrested half a mile away near his car.
The suspect is in custody at Geauga County Safety Center.
The attack left "friends laying all over the place" in puddles of blood, Mueller said.
A friend yelled, "Duck" and Mueller told ABC News he turned to see fellow student Lane standing by his table. Mueller said Lane took a second shot and saw a friend get hit.
"He was over the table in a pool of blood," Mueller said, and another pal "was on the floor in a puddle of blood next to him."
A third friend "had not been hit yet as I jumped over him," Mueller said.
Mueller got on the floor and was trying to crawl away when a shot rang out and he felt a bullet graze his ear. He was not badly injured, he said, with just a small red mark left on his ear.
"It was terror. Everything had just gone tunnel vision, like, I need to get out of here," Mueller said. "You see glances of your friends laying all over the place. There's blood, there's people screaming, everybody's just running in different directions and you're just trying to get out. That's all you can do, get out of the school and not look back even though your friends are back there."
Classes were canceled for all schools in the district today.
Chardon is a village in Geauga County, about 35 miles east of Cleveland.