Troubled Ohio Shooting Suspect Fired at Random

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The 17-year-old suspected of opening fire at an Ohio high school, killing three of his peers, was described by prosecutors Tuesday as "someone who's not well."

At a court hearing, T.J. Lane admitted to taking a gun and knife to Chardon High School Monday, then randomly firing on a group of students sitting at a cafeteria table.

Five students were shot. One was pronounced dead at the scene and two others died Tuesday. The two remaining teenagers are seriously wounded.

"He chose his victims at random. This is not about bullying. This is not about drugs," prosecutor David Joyce said. "This is someone who's not well, and I'm sure in our court case we'll prove that to all of your desires and we'll make sure justice is done here in this county."

Lane was not a student at Chardon High, but attended an alternative school for troubled students. He was apparently at the high school Monday to wait for his bus.

The teenager is still considered a juvenile and will remain in custody. A gag order has also been put in place for those on both sides of the case.

Friends, family and members of the community held a candlelight vigil Monday night to pray for those affected.

"You never think of him doing this. Like he's so shy and quiet," 10th grader Jordan Derry said. "He's one of those people that's not talkative around other people."

Details Unfold

While the community grieves, investigators are learning more about what happened.

At 7:30 a.m. ET Monday, a gunman walked into the local high school cafeteria and opened fire.

"We have an active shooter at the high school. Repeat we have active gun shots at the high school," the police dispatcher told officers.

Students in the school's cafeteria said they heard a loud pop and then chaos ensued.

"It was terror. Everything had just gone tunnel vision. You see glances of your friends lying all over the place. There's blood. There's people screaming," Nate Mueller, a student who witnessed the shooting, described.

"Everybody's just running in different directions and you're just trying to get out," he said.

Prompt Action

The school's assistant football coach jumped into action and chased the suspect from the building. He was captured by police about a half mile from the high school.  

"I can't say I understand, because I don't on any level," Chardon resident Tabitha Johnson said.

"This is one thing Chardon doesn't want to be known for and it has to stop today," Dean Carlo, youth minister at the Chardon Assembly Church of God, said.

Local authorities say the school administration's quick reaction to the gun shots actually saved lives.

Teachers immediately locked their doors as they had been trained to do in drills, instructing students to take cover.

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CBN News
Efrem Graham

Efrem Graham

News Anchor & Reporter

Efrem Graham is an award-winning journalist, who comes to CBN News from the ABC owned and operated station in Toledo, Ohio.  He received his master's degree from the Columbia University Journalism School. He also holds a bachelor's degree in English Literature from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.  Follow Efrem on Twitter @EfremGraham and "like" him at