Death toll rises in Cleveland area shooting

Second student pronounced dead as a third is declared brain dead after fatal school attack in state of Ohio.

FBI at Ohio shooting scene
Federal agents stand outside the residence of TJ Lane, who allegedly shot one girl and four boys [Reuters]

Another student has died from wounds suffered in Monday’s shooting rampage at a high school in the state of Ohio, authorities say, as the shaken suburban Cleveland town prepares a vigil for the teenage victims.
Demetrius Hewlin was declared dead on Tuesday morning, a spokesman at a local hospital said.

With Hewlin’s passing, two students are now dead, another one has been listed as brain dead and two remain hospitalised from bullet wounds suffered in the attack at Chardon High School, east of Cleveland.

The suspect being held in the shootings is also a student.

Daniel Parmertor, 16, was declared dead on Monday. Russell King, 17, was declared brain dead on Tuesday but still has a heartbeat, according to the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s office.

Authorities said the suspect in the shootings will appear later on Tuesday for a hearing at Geauga County Juvenile Court and a vigil in the town was planned for Tuesday night.

Deadly school shootings

The incident is the latest fatal shooting at a US school, the deadliest of which was a 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech University that left 33 people dead.

The deadliest high school shooting claimed 12 students and a teacher in 1999 at Columbine High School in Colorado.

King, Parmertor and Hewlin were taken to MetroHealth Medical Center after the shooting.

MetroHealth released a statement on Tuesday confirming the death of Hewlin, whose family released a statement.

“Demetrius was a happy young man who loved life and his family and friends,” the statement read. “We will miss him very much but we are proud that he will be able to help others through organ donation.”

A 17-year-old male was in serious condition and an 18-year-old woman was stable at Hillcrest Hospital in suburban Cleveland, a spokeswoman said on Tuesday.

Police have not formally identified the suspected gunman.

But students, parents of students and local media identified him as TJ Lane, a student at a school for at-risk youth whose family said they were in shock over the events and asked for privacy. Lane was not immediately charged.

Meetings planned

The school district was closed on Monday and will not reopen fully for classes until Friday as the community grapples with the violence and waits for word on the wounded students.

Faculty and staff will return on Wednesday for meetings, and parents and students meet together on Thursday, Chardon schools Superintendent Joseph Bergant told a news conference on Tuesday.

Tim McKenna, Chardon police chief, did not disclose a motive on Tuesday morning for the shooting, which happened on Monday while students were studying and eating breakfast.

Fellow students told local media the suspect was a loner who may have been bullied.

Some witnesses told local media he appeared to deliberately target a table where a student who had started dating his former girlfriend was seated with friends.

Chardon, the seat of Geauga county, is a semi-rural, affluent town about 56km from Cleveland with a population of about 5,000.   

Source: News Agencies