A gunman opened fire in the cafeteria at Chardon High School in Ohio on Monday morning before the start of classes, killing two students, and shooting three others, according to CNN and WKYC. The alleged shooter is reportedly now in custody after being tracked by a K-9 unit “some distance from the school,” and is believed to be the only person responsible, despite earlier reports of two suspects. “My understanding is there is one gunman,” said superintendent Joseph Bergant. The shooter has since been identified as T.J. Lane (see updates below). Officials said the school, near Cleveland, was locked down and evacuated, with at least three of the injured students taken to the hospital via helicopter. The extent is their injuries is as of yet unknown.
Update, 11:57 a.m.: Chardon students are buzzing on social media about the identity of the suspect, with one telling local news that a student posted a message to Twitter on Sunday threatening to bring a gun to school, but that no one took it seriously.
Update, 12:17 p.m.: Police announced just after noon that one of the students shot this morning has died. A parent told the local affiliate WJW-TV that the gunman was “going for certain people.”
Update, 12:45 p.m.: The Cleveland Plain Dealer has identified the shooter as T.J. Lane. Junior Nick Mueller, whose right ear was grazed by a shot, said Lane approached his cafeteria table, where he was sitting with his friends Russell King, Nick Walczak and Demetrius Hewlin, and opened fire. “He was silent the whole time,” said Mueller. “That’s what made it so random.”
A Facebook page for “Tj Lane” includes both Mueller and Walczak in its “friends” list. A status update from December 30, 2011, on the Lane page reads in part, “How improper, how rude. However, they shall not mind the mud on my feet if there is blood on your sheet. Now! Feel death, not just mocking you. Not just stalking you but inside of you. Wriggle and writhe. Feel smaller beneath my might. Seizure in the Pestilence that is my scythe. Die, all of you.” Underneath, Lane writes, “much obliged to all who “liked” this. Wrote it myself in class one day…”
Update, 5:00 p.m.: Two of the wounded victims are in critical condition, one in serious condition, and another in stable condition, according to Chardon police.
Update, 9:55 p.m.: A second victim who was taken to MetroHealth Medical Center died at around 6:45 p.m. Monday evening. Another victim being treated at MetroHealth remains in critical condition.
The above Facebook page for Lane has been deleted.
Update, 8:00 a.m., Tuesday: A second wounded student has passed away. Daniel Parmertor died at the hospital after being shot on Monday, and Russell King, Jr. died just after midnight on Tuesday.
This post has been updated with additional information.