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School Shooting in Ohio Leaves 1 Dead and 4 Wounded
David Maxwell/European Pressphoto Agency
Samantha Kimball consoled her younger brother Daniel after a fatal shooting at a high school in Chardon, Ohio.
By JESS BIDGOOD and SABRINA TAVERNISE
Published: February 27, 2012
A teenager walked into a cafeteria in a high school outside Cleveland around breakfast time on Monday and opened fire on a group of students, a shooting rampage that the authorities said left one student dead and four others wounded.
SWAT team members leaving the school. Students described a scene of confusion inside immediately after the shooting.
The local police in Chardon, a town of 5,000, said they had apprehended a suspect on Monday afternoon, but Tim McKenna, the police chief, said they could not identify him publicly because he was a juvenile.
Students at Chardon High School said they heard screams around 7:40 a.m., the time the authorities said the shooting took place, and described spreading panic as teachers locked down classrooms and students started sending text messages to friends. One teacher was said to have dragged a wounded student into his classroom for protection.
“I saw two girls running away screaming, and I heard an administrator come on saying we’re in lockdown,” said Brady Lawrence, a 17-year-old senior who was in his English class, near the cafeteria, when the shooting began.
The classroom collapsed in confusion, he said in an interview, as students tried to figure out the gunman’s location. “We just didn’t know where he was,” he said. “They were saying he was loose, and we were scared.”
The authorities identified the dead student as Daniel Parmertor, a 16-year-old junior. They said two students were in critical condition, while two others appeared to be stable.
According to The Associated Press, Daniel, an aspiring computer repairman, was shot while waiting in the cafeteria for a bus for his daily 15-minute ride to a vocational center. “We are shocked by this senseless tragedy,” his family said in a statement. “Danny was a bright young boy who had a bright future ahead of him. The family is torn by this loss.”
Danny Komertz, a student, told The Associated Press that the gunman appeared to have focused on a group of students in the cafeteria. “I looked up and this kid was pointing a gun about 10 feet away from me to a group of four kids sitting at a table,” he said.
He said that the gunman fired two shots quickly and that the students scrambled for safety. One of them was “trying to get underneath the table, trying to hide, protecting his face.”
WKYC-TV, a station in the Cleveland area, broadcast an interview with Nate Mueller, a student at the school, who said he was sitting at a table with a group of friends when the gunman opened fire. “We were just talking like a normal day, and then we heard the first shot, and that’s where it started,” he said. “I was turning away from the gunman, he caught me right on the ear.”
Brady Lawrence, from the English class, said students tried to call their friends and families, but phone calls failed because the network was overloaded. He said Daniel Parmertor was his neighbor. “I feel so bad for the family,” Brady said. “They’re good people. I’m still kind of in shock. I really can’t believe he’s dead right now.”
WTAM-AM, a news radio station in Cleveland, bumped Rush Limbaugh’s program on Monday, giving the local host Mike Trivisonno seven hours to discuss the shootings on the air. Mr. Trivisonno said callers were lined up all day, with listeners weighing in on the roles that bullying, social media, gun laws and parenting might have played in the shooting.
“It can happen anywhere, and does,” Mr. Trivisonno said on the air in response to a caller who wondered if a divide between the area’s rural and suburban populations might have contributed to the shootings. “It can happen anywhere.”
School Shootings in the United States
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