UPDATED: Third Student In Ohio School Shooting Dies

Feb 28, 2012
Originally published on March 1, 2012 2:00 pm

Update at 12:58 p.m. ET. Third Student Dies:

The death toll from yesterday's shooting rampage at a Chardon, Ohio school has climbed to three.

The AP reports that a hospital confirmed the death of Demetrius Hewlin. WOIO, a local station, reports that his family said 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," the family said.

Two other students remain hospitalized.

Our Original Post:

A second student has died as a result of injuries he received during yesterday's shooting rampage at a Chardon, Ohio school.

Russell King Jr., 17, was pronounced dead early this morning. The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports:

"Russell was described by students as a sociable kid who got along well with people.

"Enrolled at both Chardon High School and at the Auburn Career Center in Concord Township, the junior studied technologies of alternative energies like solar and wind power while at the career center.

"Auburn Superintendent Maggie Lynch described Russell as a good student, polite and cooperative. Lynch also characterized Russell as 'a very social kid, quick with a smile.'"

Daniel Parmertor died yesterday from his injuries and three others remain hospitalized.

"We are shocked by this senseless tragedy," Parmertor's family said in a statement according to local station WKYC. "Danny was a bright young boy who had a bright future ahead of him. The family is torn by this loss."

The schools at Chardon remain closed today. Our friends at State Impact Ohio report that District Superintendent Joseph Bergant said teachers and staff should stay home and "spend some time reflecting on family."

"If you haven't hugged or kissed your kid in the past couple days, take that time," he said at a news conference yesterday.

Police said that a suspected gunman is in custody.

Update at 4:16 p.m. ET. Prosecutor Says Suspect Did Not Know Victims:

A juvenile court judge has ruled that T.J. Lane will remain in custody for at least 15 days.

At the hearing, a prosecutor also told the judge that after Lane was apprehended, he confessed to bringing a gun to school and of firing 10 rounds into the cafeteria.

The prosecutor said he did not "know the victims and chose them randomly."

The prosecution has until March 1 to file charges.

Update at 11:18 a.m. ET. Suspect To Appear In Court:

The Geauga County Juvenile Court, who identified the suspect as T.J. Lane, says he is scheduled to appear at at a 3:30 p.m. hearing today.

During a press conference, authorities said they had still not established a motive.

Chardon Schools Superintendent Joseph Bergant said schools would reopen on Friday and parents, students and faculty will be invited to attend counseling sessions.

Bergant repeated his missive from yesterday — that everyone should go hug their kids today.

"We're not just any old place, Chardon, this is every place," Bergant said.

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From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.


And I'm Robert Siegel.

A third student has died in Chardon, Ohio, that's after another student opened fire yesterday at the local high school. As Bill Rice of member station WCPN reports, the rural town is reeling from the violence.

BILL RICE, BYLINE: Kristen Shenker is a 2007 graduate of Chardon High School. She and her friend Amanda Nelson are raising funds to benefit the families of the victims in Monday's shootings. She says the residents of her small town are shocked.

KRISTEN SHENKER: I don't think it's really hit. I mean, I just noticed in the community walking through just Walmart, you know, everyone is just like at an awe, like no one knows what to say. No one knows what to do.

RICE: Amanda Nelson says Russell King, the second victim to die of his gunshot wounds, was a family friend.

AMANDA NELSON: He was a true gentleman. He was always nice to me. And I just - you know, its not fair. Not at all.

RICE: At a press conference held earlier today, Geauga County Sheriff David McClelland said he also is personally affected by what happened.

SHERIFF DAVID MCCLELLAND: I happen to be a graduate of Chardon High School. I met my wife here. The most eerie feeling in the world was walking down the halls yesterday – running down them in response to the incident we had.

RICE: Nate Mueller, a student at Chardon High, told a local television station he was at the table with several of the students who were shot and was himself grazed in the ear by a bullet.

NATE MUELLER: He didn't say anything the entire time. He took one shot, and then that's when we looked to see what was happening, because it sounded like a firecracker almost. And at that point, I looked back, I saw him shoot that which hit one of my other friends that was sitting at the table with us. And then, as I was turning around, that's when he hit me.

RICE: Authorities have identified 17-year-old T.J. Lane as the alleged gunman. He was apparently there waiting for a bus to an alternative school for at-risk youth where he was enrolled. Witnesses say he appeared to be shooting at a specific group of students, but he's denied targeting any one in particular.

Several students described Lane as a quiet person who kept to himself. Mueller, who was acquainted with him, says he never suspected Lane was capable of that kind of violence.

MUELLER: I was actually friends with him up until eighth grade, and he kind of silenced himself from his friends. But, I mean, he still had friends. He was still a nice kid. Like, we really - I don't think anybody really ever expected it to be him, you know?

RICE: All three critically wounded victims have died, another remains hospitalized and a fifth has gone home. Right this afternoon, T.J. Lane made his first appearance in court. Prosecutor David Joyce says the county expects to charge him with three counts of aggravated murder, and that if the judge finds probable cause the 17-year-old will be tried as an adult. For NPR News, I'm Bill Rice in Cleveland. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.