Chardon Ohio students knew shooter would bring gun to school

Anissa Ford's picture

The Ohio high school junior who shot four people today and killed one, had previously told others of plans to bring a gun to school via Twitter or text message.

UPDATE: T.J. Lane, identified as the Chardon High School shooter was not a student at Chardon. T.J. Lane attended an alternative school for students in the district with academic, emotional and behavioral.

But the shooter, who is described by peers as an "outcast", was ignored. Students who got hold of the text message that mentioned bringing a gun to school didn't take the threat seriously. But overall, several knew of the shooter's plans.

Today, the shooter opened fire in a high school cafeteria around 7:38 a.m. In all, the high school has 1,100 students. The Ohio town of Chardon has a population just over 5,000. Chardon is in the uppermost northeastern corner of the state. The community and its high school students are a demographic familiar with weapons as the town has an avid community of hunters who are well informed about guns.

Ideally, communities that hunt and and are pro-gun rights are careful communities opposed to gun violence except for cases of self-defense. Chardon High School is 97 percent white with an "excellent" state report card ranking. 15 percent of its student body is considered "economically disadvantaged." The shooter in this case is said to have used a handgun.

In reports this morning, the shootings are described as "targeted." A teacher chased the shooter and currently police have the shooter in custody. The suspect fled school grounds and was caught on a road inside of the Chardon township about one half mile away from the high school. The shooter was headed toward his car when police captured and cuffed him.

The photo of his arrest is here.

Three victims of the shootings are reported in "critical" condition. They were escorted via med-vac to the nearest hospital. 4 males and one female were injured in the incident this morning. The remaining injured were taken to a local hospital (Hillcrest).

Although students told MSNBC reporters that they don't consider the student a popular student or a student with the reputation of a "jock," the shooter had friends. Students witnessed the shootings and saw the shooter fire into the back of another student in the cafeteria. Students also told MSNBC that they'd head about a tweet or a text, but hadn't seen it.

Students also said the shootings were "definitely targeted" but didn't go into details about why they believed students were shot and whether or not the student, a junior, exhibited behaviors that indicated he was ever noticeably and inconsolably angry or unstable in any way.

An elementary school across from Chardon High was also evacuated. Many parents with students at Chardon were notified about the incident via text messages from their children.


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