Ohio High School Shooting: Student Suspect to Be Tried as Adult

Hundreds gather to mourn the victims of the random shooting.

February 29, 2012, 3:48 AM

Feb. 29, 2012— -- Hundreds of people gathered at a church in Chardon, Ohio, last night to mourn and pray for the victims of the shooting at Chardon High School where three students have died of their injuries and two remain hospitalized.

Prosecutors told ABC News that they plan to charge the alleged shooter T.J. Lane as an adult. The 17-year-old now stands accused of murdering the three students that he "chose randomly," according to a prosecutor.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich attended the church gathering Tuesday, where he spoke to the mourners about standing together after a horrible tragedy.

"It's all about love. It's about reaching out to people who you never thought about reaching out to before. It's about making everyone feel special for who they are," Kasich told the mourners.

One of Lane's own friends who witnessed the shooting, ABC News has learned, posted a message on Facebook about his friend.

"I wanted so bad to try and help you but i could see in your eyes you didn't care anymore. I'm sorry buddy," the posting read.

Russell King and Demetrius Hewlin, students wounded in Monday's shooting, died Wednesday morning, officials said, while Nick Walczak remains in the hospital and Joy Rickers has been released from the hospital.

Another victim, identified by MetroHealth Hospital as Daniel Parmertor, died from the wounds on Monday, hours after being shot.

Lane made his first appearance in juvenile court Tuesday. The judge did not allow the accused to be shown on camera, and the prosecutor did not provide a motive for the lethal shooting spree. However, at a news conference shortly after the court hearing, prosecutor David Joyce said, "This is not about bullying. This is not about drugs. This is someone who is not well."

"[Lane] confessed to taking the pistol and admitted he went into the cafeteria and shot 10 rounds," Joyce said. "[He said he] did not know the students, but chose them randomly."

The prosecutor alleged that Lane went to Chardon High School with a .22 caliber handgun and a knife. He shot four students in the cafeteria and one in the hallway before leaving the school. He was detained by police within a mile of the school.

In court Lane appeared shy, saying only "yes, sir" in answer to a judge's questions as his eyes darted back to the floor.

Lane has not yet been charged, but Joyce said he expected Lane to be charged with three counts of aggravated murder. Joyce also said that he will "absolutely" want to try Lane as an adult.

Lane's grandfather and two aunts sat beside him in court. Joyce asked that Lane be kept in detention and his attorney did not object, so the judge ordered Lane to be taken to a detention facility.

"TJ Lane will remain in detention during proceedings due to serious nature of allegations and charges," Judge Timothy Grendell said.

9-1-1calls relating to the shooting released by the Chardon Police Department paint a picture of the chilling, chaotic moment as Lane allegedly murdered his victims.

"Chardon High School calling. We are in lockdown. We need assistance right now. There's a student with a gun," a woman says in one call.

A man tells the dispatcher, "Three down in the cafeteria. Students down. We need an ambulance."

The school's principal described the shooter's appearance to the dispatcher as, "white t-shirt, shaggy dark hair, tall, skinny."

Nate Mueller, a student who was sitting with three friends who were shot, described Lane to ABC News as "a quiet kid. Freshman year he got into a 'goth' phase and didn't talk to that many people anymore. He never egged anybody on. He just went about his business."

Some classmates described Lane as an outcast who'd been bullied. In late December, he posted a poem on his Facebook page that read: "He longed for only one thing, the world to bow at his feet," and ended ominously: "Die, all of you."

But other classmates say Lane had friends and wasn't bullied.

"He had friends. He was quiet," Chardon High School student Tyler Lillash said. "From what I heard he posted some pictures on Twitter of, like, some dude holding guns. But other than that I don't really know. I don't think he was bullied, though."

Did T.J. Lane Have a Troubled Home Life?

Lane's family life had been disrupted by divorce and violence, ABC News affiliate WEWS reported. His parents divorced in 2002, and his father later served time in jail on assault and other charges, according to the station.

In 2002, Lane's father Thomas M. Lane pleaded guilty to a charge of felonious assault for pushing his ex-wife's head into a wall and strangling her until she lost consciousness for several seconds, according to court documents.

"[Thomas M. Lane] held victim's head over washing machine and poured cold water from a utility hose over her nose and mouth preventing free breathing," Deputy Charlene Sulak wrote in a complaint.

Attorney Robert N. Farinacci, who is representing Lane, released a statement on behalf of the family Monday night, according to WEWS, calling the incident "something that could never have been predicted."

"The family is devastated by this recent event. They want to express their most heartfelt and sincere condolences to the family of the young man who passed and their continuing prayers are with all those who were injured," Farinacci wrote. "TJ's family has asked for some privacy while they try to understand how such a tragedy could have occurred and while they mourn this terrible loss for their community."

Classes were canceled for all schools in the district today.

The school superintendent announced today that a Chardon Healing Fund has been started and that all money donated will be used to help those that have been impacted. A total of $150,000 has already been donated to the fund.

Chardon is a village in Geauga County, about 35 miles east of Cleveland.

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