COLUMBUS, Ohio (CGE) – (UPDATE) – Early Monday morning, five students, one of which has now died, were the victims of a lone gunman who was later apprehended by local law enforcement officials after he was chased from the building by a football coach.
The Chardon Local School District, located thirty miles east of Cleveland, Ohio, in Geauga County, was the scene of the early morning incident that involved three female and two male students.
The shooter, whose name has been witheld because he’s a juvenile, has not been charged yet, according to local law enforcement.
Jonathan Sylake, a student at the school, spoke to national media afterwards, saying he thought the victims were not random but were targeted. Sylake also suggested that there were two shooters instead of just one, as police are reporting.
Several of the students and some of their parents arrived at the Cleveland Clinic soon after the incident, according Heather Phillips, a clinic worker, who spoke by phone with media.
According to information in the public arena, at approximately 7:45 am, it’s believed a student stood up and started firing. Lt. John Hiscox of the local sheriff’s department said county law enforcement, FBI, Lake County Swat and local chardon police have all been called into the case. Police have the hand-gun involved and according to other information said the location of the incident was in or near the cafeteria.
Three students were taken to metro and two students were taken to Hillcrest Hospital, part of the Cleveland Clinic. Other students are being reunited with their parents at close-by schools.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich released a statement expressing his condolences and offering the full support of the state. Gov. Kasich has also signed into law last year a bill that permits concealed carry guns into bars. Meanwhile, the Ohio General Assembly is considering a bill that would permit guns to be carried on campuses and into churches.
Ohio State Superintendent Stan Heffner issued the following statement on today’s incident.
“My deepest sympathies are with the students and their families, staff and teachers of the Chardon School District and the Chardon community as they work through the tragic incident on their school campus this morning. Please keep them in your thoughts today. I appreciate the quick response to this situation by Superintendent Bergandt and law enforcement and first responders to protect the students and to quickly apprehend the persons responsible for this horrific act.”
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said of the incident today, “Today’s shooting is a terrible tragedy and our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families as well as the entire student body and staff at Chardon High School.
“The Attorney General’s Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) is on the scene and will be assisting local law enforcement in processing the crime scene. BCI and our office will do all we can to help in this investigation.”
The incident today happened as news that the number of Ohioans who have licenses to legally carry concealed firearms has more than doubled in the past three years.
The Ohio Attorney General’s Office said that approximately 265,000 Ohioans now have permits making them eligible to carry their firearms hidden in their clothing or vehicles, according to one published report.
Chardon High School serves the residents of approximately 88 square miles, including the City of Chardon, population of about 5,000, Aquilla Village, Chardon, Hambden and Munson Townships and parts of Claridon Township.
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