Wednesday, February 29, 2012

'We need to get out of here!' 911 tapes of school shooting detail fear, uncertainty

By Lateef Mungin, CNN
February 29, 2012 -- Updated 1030 GMT (1830 HKT)
Ohio school shooting 911 tapes released
  • Three students died from the Monday attack in Chardon, Ohio
  • "They were laying on the ground in blood," a caller says
  • Suspect T.J. Lane has admitted to the shootings, prosecutor says
  • He is likely to be tried as an adult, a prosecutor says
(CNN) -- The high-pitched breathless appeal from a young girl to a 911 dispatcher poignantly captures the panicked uncertainty students felt as a teenager roamed Chardon High School, picking off students.
"We just had a shooting at our school. We need to get out of here! Oh my God!" the girl screams, her voice trembling.
The dispatcher asks the girl if she saw the shooter.
"No," the girl says beginning to cry. "No. I didn't. I just saw the gun."

The girl's sob-filled plea is among 911 tapes authorities released Tuesday as they continued their investigation into the shooting at the suburban Cleveland school that left three dead, two wounded and a close-knit Ohio community reeling.
Sophomore T.J. Lane has confessed to taking a .22-caliber gun and a knife to the school Monday morning and firing 10 rounds, said Geauga County Prosecutor David Joyce.
After a preliminary hearing Tuesday, Joyce told reporters the 17-year-old will most likely be tried as an adult.
"Absolutely," Joyce said. "It's a matter of law in the state of Ohio. At 17 years old, committing an act like this."
Joyce predicted Lane will be charged with three counts of aggravated murder "as well as other counts."
Lane will continue to be held in detention, and charges must be filed by Thursday, the judge at the hearing ordered.
Police have said the motive behind the shooting remains unclear, and Joyce added that the teen picked his victims indiscriminately.
"I guarantee that this was an aberration, this does not represent our community," he said. "He chose his victims at random. This is not about bullying. This is not about drugs. This is someone who is not well."
Lane told authorities he stole the gun from his uncle, a source told CNN on Tuesday.
Then, just before class started Monday, witnesses say Lane silently walked up to a table of students in the school cafeteria.

The 911 tapes detail the uneasy moments that followed as the school went on lockdown and police feverishly searched for the gunman.
In one call, a student who fled the school tells a dispatcher he saw the shooter.
"His name is Thomas Lane," the boy says, his calmness belying the situation. "He's somewhere in the building. As soon as I saw him pull the gun and start shooting, I ran outside because I didn't want to get in the way of it."
He tells a dispatcher that he saw a few students get sprayed by bullets.
"They were laying on the ground in blood," the boy says.
Another call follows, from someone hiding in a teacher's lounge. Alarmed voices buzz in the background.
"We just need somebody down here as fast as possible," the caller begs. "I want to go home. I want to go home so bad."
The voices in the room rise as the group realizes the door to the lounge won't lock.
"Everybody quiet down. He could be out there," the caller says, his voice dropping to a whisper.
By the time the carnage ended, the gunman had shot five people, three of them fatally: Daniel Parmertor, 16, who died Monday; Demetrius Hewlin, 16, who died Tuesday morning; and Russell King Jr., 17, who was declared brain dead early Tuesday.
Shooting suspect went to other school

Another student wounded in the shooting remained hospitalized Tuesday. A fifth victim was released, officials said.
Monday's death toll might have been higher had it not been for the actions of assistant football coach and study hall teacher Frank Hall. Students said Hall chased the gunman out of the school, and police arrested the suspect nearby a short time later.
"I wish I could have done more," Hall told CNN affiliate WEWS.
Classes in the tight-knit community of 5,100, about 30 miles east of Cleveland near Lake Erie, are to resume Friday. But staff, students and parents will be encouraged to return to district schools for visits and counseling on Wednesday and Thursday, Superintendent Joe Bergant said.
Geauga County Sheriff Daniel McClelland said the community has a long way to go before it can put the shooting behind it.
"Now we move to another important phase," he said. "And while the investigation continues and we still look for the why and what and who, we now deal with a community looking to heal."

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