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There have been two rampages at educational facilities in Ohio within weeks of one another. A few weeks after the shooting at Chardon High School that left three students dead, there has been a stabbing incident at another educational facility in Columbus, Ohio. John Mallet, a 37-year-old man, stabbed four people at the Continental Centre.
The building houses a restaurant, offices of the Ohio Attorney General and a trade school, the Miami-Jacobs Career College. Mallet entered the downtown building through the admissions office, according to the local police authorities, armed with three knives that he had retrieved from his aunt’s kitchen.
Ronald Mallet, the father of the attacker who resides in New York City, said that he believes his son is schizophrenic and went off the deep end when John’s aunt asked him to move out of her Columbus home where he had only been living for a month.
John Mallet stabbed four people before being tasered and then shot by police officer, Deborah Ayers. Ayers has served as an officer for the Columbus Division of Police for fifteen years. Three of the victims were attacked inside the college while the last victim was caught outside before Ayers was able to stop Mallet.
The four victims have been identified as Gerald Dowe Jr., an employee of the college, Donte Dunnegan and John Desir, both students at the career college and the Ohio Assistant Attorney General, Jeff Maloon. Dowe was released from the hospital last week while Desir is currently in a stable condition as Dunnegan and Maloon remain in critical condition. Meanwhile, Mallet is in critical condition at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Mallet is currently facing four counts of felonious assault.
Several students ran into hiding while others witnessed the attack, including Miami-Jacobs student Renee Foster. Foster stated, “from the time he walked in, all the way to the time he walked out, he came out and started stabbing random people. He stabbed a guy right next to me.”
Stephen Gammill, Police Chief for the Columbus Division, made a statement to the press about Ayer’s actions. “There’s no other term for Officer Ayer’s actions other than heroic.”
Meanwhile, just north of this tragedy, the community of Chardon is continuing to raise money for the Chardon Healing Fund. After the tragic shooting that claimed the lives of three students and critically wounded two others, the Chardon Healing Fund has raised nearly $600,000.00 since the February 27th attack.
The Chardon Healing Fund and the Chardon Angels of Hope were soon formed after the shooting, and a majority of donations has come from the United Way in Geauga County. One member of the board overseeing the funds hopes to raise another $250,000.00 but points out that, “the community not only opened its hearts but also its wallets.”
Hopefully, the Miami-Jacobs Career College and the loved ones of the victims involved in the Columbus stabbing will come together and mimic how Chardon has coped with the tragedy, not just with their wallets, but also their hearts.