Missed Warning Signs: Cleveland School Shooter Had History of Mental Illness

A 14-year-old Cleveland student, who shot and wounded four people before killing himself Wednesday, had been suspended for fighting two days earlier and was not supposed to be on campus, school officials say.

Classmates say he warned of retaliation after the suspension, but no one took him seriously.

The student, identified as Asa H. Coon, had a history of mental problems and was known for using profanity when speaking to teachers and bickering with students.

It's not clear why he was allowed into the school.

"When he got suspended, he was like 'I got something for you all,'" classmate Frances Henderson said. "I guess this is what he had."

Classes at all Cleveland public schools were canceled today.

At a morning press conference, Cleveland Police Chief Michael McGrath provided some details about how the shooting occurred. Coon entered the school and went to a fourth floor bathroom, McGrath said, where he changed clothes and likely retrieved .22-caliber and .38-caliber revolvers from a duffel bag. Police later found the bag and a change of cloths in the bathroom.

Coon then went to a specific fourth floor classroom where he shot a targeted teacher, McGrath said. He continued in search of a second teacher, McGrath said, and instead shot at another teacher who confronted him in the hallway, as well as fellow students.

The shooting victims were identified as two male teachers and two male students. Three of the victims were taken to the Metro Health Hospital. Already, one of the teachers and one of the student victims have been released. The other teacher, shot in the chest, underwent surgery and is expected to recover.


The other student -- a 14-year-old male -- was shot in the side and transported to Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital, where he was in stable condition, Jackson said. A 14-year-old female student injured her knee trying to flee from the shooter. Both reportedly are in good condition.

While Coon may have shot specific teachers, it was unclear if the two students were targeted victims or random bystanders. Student Jeremy Rivers told ABC News that it appeared Coon "didn't care who he was shooting. He was crazy."

The Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper reported that Coon had been in juvenile detention facilities two times and had threatened to commit suicide. McGrath said today that police had been to Coon's house five times since 2006 to respond to a range of incidents. Coon was arrested in 2006 after a "domestic disturbance" at his home.

McGrath said that Coon's older brother and mother will be interviewed and will specifically be asked about the guns used in the shooting, which the chief described as "older" weapons.

'A Real Angry Kid'

David Kachadourian, 57, the math teacher shot by Coon in the hallway, told ABC News that he did not realize at first that he had been shot, and he took some students and hid in a closet, before realizing he was bleeding.

Kachadourian, who had Coon as a student, said he saw him waving two guns and yelling just before he was shot. He knew Coon was troubled. "He did behave in a way that suggested he was angry, yes. He seemed like a real angry kid," he said.

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