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COLUMBUS, Ohio (CGE) – UPDATE: Less than 24-hours since T.J. Lane brought a 22 caliber hand-gun to Chardon High School with him Monday, which he used to shoot five of his fellow students, two more students, Russell King Jr. and Demetrius Hewlin, have died, according to local law enforcement and an AP reports Tuesday.
The first death, Daniel Parmertor, occurred shortly after Lane opened fire on his classmates in the school cafeteria early Monday morning. King and Hewlin died Tuesday.
Lane, who was chased from the high school by a coach and who was subsequently taken into custody by police, had already shot and killed. Mr. Lane is expected to be in court later today.
Mr. Thomas “T.J” Lane came from a violent family, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Reports based on court records say his father was arrested many times for abusing women, among them, Lane’s mother. Students said that Lane was shy and targeted by bullies.
Media reports said the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office received the word about Mr. King just before 1 a.m. Tuesday, according to office administrator Hugh Shannon.
“The cause and manner of death of this case are under on-going investigation and will be released upon completion,” Shannon said in a statement.
Meanwhile, 3 students remain hospitalized.
Chardon School Superintendent Joe Bergant told media that the high school would be closed today and that grief counselors would be available.
He said students and parents would be invited to come back to the school Thursday, adding, “You will be safe when entering the school.” He said classes will resume on Friday.
One student at the scene told media today that while he didn’t know Lane very well, he rode the bus with him yesterday.
Jonathan Sylak told national media that he rode the bus with Lane, who he said looked very grim yesterday. “I sat on the bus with someone who had the intend to kill someone, and that’s just freighting, ” he told one cable news show host.
Sylak said the community needs to come together, and believes he and his classmates will be ready to go back to school by Friday.
School Superintendent Joseph Bergant said today, “Our prayers go out to the five victims and their families. It’s a horrible tragedy.”
Bergant said today that Chardon High School is just any high school, but that it’s “everywhere.”
Ohio State School Superintendent Stan Heffner expressed his feelings for the Chardon community, which has now lost three students.
“My heart is broken for the families of these students lost as a result of this tragedy,” he said in prepared remarks. “My thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of Daniel Parmertor, Russell King Jr. and Demetrius Hewlin. These students should be remembered not as victims but as special members of the Chardon community and the Auburn Career Center. Please keep these students and their families, staff and teachers of the Chardon School District and the Auburn Career Center and the Chardon community in your thoughts today.”
Multiple law enforcement agencies worked to tie up loose ends, local police said. Another media event is scheduled for later this afternoon.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich expressed his sympathy for the victims, their families and the community.
In an email reflecting on yesterday’s tragic day, Gov. Kasich asked all to stand together to mourn the lives that have been lost. “Please join me in praying for the families who lost loved ones or were injured and for the community as it begins to try to heal from this terrible day,” he said in his statement. “We should recognize the Chardon Police, the sheriff’s office, the Chardon High School administrators and staff for quickly getting this situation under control.”
He drew attention to Coach Frank Hall, math teacher Joseph Ricci and the other teachers who he said “deserve special recognition for their heroism.” As he did yesterday, Ohio’s governor pledged full support to law enforcement, the school and the local community in this difficult time.
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