Around 7:30 this morning, a high school in Chardon, Ohio went into immediate lockdown when shooting broke out in the busy cafeteria. Five students (four male and one female) were shot; sadly, one of these students was killed. The alleged shooter fled from the school while being chased by a teacher. Law enforcement was immediately on the scene to secure the perimeter and prevent the suspect from re-entering. The alleged gunman is now in custody. BBC News reported that he turned himself in to two bystanders.
The immediate and surrounding area was flurried by activity. SWAT teams, K-9 units, sheriff’s deputies and police officers secured the area and began investigating the crime scene. Parents hurried to the high school to make sure their children were safe. Traffic jams formed on all routes going towards Chardon High School. The school’s students were evacuated to the elementary school across the street until they could be reunited with their families.
ABC News reported that the suspect posted on Twitter that he was bringing a gun to school. It is believed that he acted alone. Some students, who were in the cafeteria, identified TJ Lane, also a student at the school, as the suspect, according to CNN. The FBI confirmed the 17-year-old’s identity later this afternoon. “He just came from a really broken down home and he was living with his grandparents. He was more of a quiet type of kid. He was really nice, though, if you did talk to him,” Chardon High School senior, Evan Erasmus, told CNN. Danny Komertz, another student, stated Lane was frequently bullied and that he appeared to intentionally target a group of four students sitting together at a cafeteria table.
Later this afternoon, the name of the student killed, Daniel Parmertor, was released. Chardon Police Chief Timothy McKenna also issued a statement describing that one of the victims was stable, one was in serious condition and the other two were in critical condition.
When a school shooting happens, it seems to affect everyone, whether they live in the immediate vicinity or on the other side of the country. People think, “That could have been my son or daughter shot” or ask, “What motivated this student carry out the shootings?”
Level-headed, skilled and highly trained individuals are required to deal with such critical situations. Perhaps this is your calling. Prior experience as a police officer or federal agent plus a criminal justice or law enforcement degree can prepare you to be a part of a K-9 unit, SWAT team, hostage negotiator or a detective. You may also want to take an emergency management degree to learn how to effectively deal with man-made or natural crises, before, during and after the fact.