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Six high school seniors, all with promising futures, had their lives taken away from them in an instant. Seventeen year-old T.J. Lane has been confirmed as the Ohio shooting suspect and as of Wednesday will be tried as an adult for shooting five classmates. But these six are not the only ones affected. The entire community is working together as they grieve over this horrific tragedy. Hundreds of members of the community held a candlelight vigil at St. Mary’s Church in Chardon, Ohio on Wednesday evening.
As of Thursday, three have died, one has been released from the hospital while another remains in critical condition. Daniel Parametor was the first victim to die on Monday, just hours after being shot. Two of the other victims, Russell King and Demetrius Hewlin died Wednesday morning while Nick Walczak is still in the hospital. The last victim, Joy Rickers, was released on Wednesday.
According to Lane’s prosecutor, Lane stated that “he chose his victims randomly.” While conducting his deadly shooting spree, he was carrying a knife and a .22 caliber handgun. Following his first appearance in juvenile court on Tuesday, Judge Timothy Grendell said that Lane will remain in a detention facility during the upcoming proceedings. While Lane has not yet been charged, Prosecutor David Joyce said that Lane is expected to be charged with three counts of aggravated murder.
The attorney representing Lane, Robert N. Farinacci, disclosed in a statement that this incident is “something that could never have been predicted.” However many disagree. One fellow high school student said that Lane had posted pictures of guns on his Twitter page recently. Additionally, last December he posted a disturbing quote on his Facebook page that read, “He longed for only one thing; The world to bow at his feet.” The quote ended with the words, “Die all of you.”
Many members of the community are questioning if Lane’s troublesome childhood had anything to do with his shooting rampage and acts of rage and anger. Growing up, Lane witnessed a lot of violence in his family home. In 2002, his father was charged with felonious assault after strangling Lane’s mother as well as pushing her into a wall and holding her head over a washing machine while spraying a hose over her face so she couldn’t breathe.
Lane’s family is asking for privacy at this time, but have stated that their thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to all those affected by the shooting, especially the friends and families of the victims
Classes for Chardon Local Schools will resume on Friday.
The community has created what is being called the “Chardon Healing Fund.” As of Thursday, donations have escalated to $150,000 and continue to rapidly grow. Donations can also be sent to the United Way in Chardon, Ohio for those that have been so tragically affected by this incident.