The Chardon High School shooting occurred on February 27, 2012, at Chardon High School in Chardon, Ohio, United States. Three male students died within the two days following the incident. Two other students were hospitalized: one of whom sustained several serious injuries requiring extensive rehabilitation, the other with a minor injury. The seriously injured victim will be in a wheelchair for life. A sixth student sustained a superficial wound.
While rumors of a warning of the event having been posted on the internet circulated, student witnesses identified the shooter as Thomas “T. J.” Lane. The police apprehended one suspect in the case. Although they were initially hesitant to release the identification of the juvenile, by the evening of February 28 authorities confirmed that the suspect was Lane.
The weapon Lane used in the shooting was a .22 caliber handgun. At an initial court hearing, the prosecutor revealed that he admitted to shooting 10 rounds of ammunition from the gun during the shooting, which began in the school cafeteria at approximately 7:30 a.m., shortly after school began. Although Lane told police that he did not know the victims and that they were chosen randomly, witnesses stated that it appeared he targeted a specific student and the group he was sitting with in the cafeteria.
After the shooting occurred, the gunman left the building. Witnesses said that he was chased from the building by a teacher, and was arrested a short time later in a location outside the school. Thomas M. Lane, III was indicted on three counts of aggravated murder, two counts of aggravated attempted murder, and one count of felonious assault. He was initially detained as a juvenile pending further court action.
Reaction to the event prompted a statement from Ohio Governor, John Kasich. Several prayer vigils were held and a fund for the victims was established. Thousands of people attended one of the vigils, at which the Governor spoke, the night after the attack. When the Westboro Baptist Church announced that they would demonstrate at the funeral of one of the victims, thousands more turned out to counter-protest. President Barack Obama gave his condolences to the school principal in a telephone call following the incident. Analysis of the crime and comparisons to similar attacks began immediately following the shooting.
Lane received three life sentences on March 19, 2013.
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