CHARDON, Ohio (AP) — The death toll rose to three Tuesday in the shooting rampage in an Ohio high school cafeteria as schoolmates and townspeople grappled with the tragedy and wondered what could have set the teenage gunman off.
The teenager under arrest in Monday's attack, T.J. Lane, faced an afternoon hearing in juvenile court.
residents offered condolences and prayers to the families of those
killed and wounded at 1,100-student Chardon High School in suburban
Cleveland. All three of the dead were students, as are the two people
"This gets more tragic, the whole area is suffering, our
prayers go up to God to give all strength, healing and closure," said
one of hundreds of Facebook postings on a memorial page.
The community offered grief counseling to students, staff and others at area schools.
not just any old place, Chardon," Chardon School Superintendent Joseph
Bergant II said. "This is every place. As you've seen in the past, this
can happen anywhere, proof of what we had yesterday."
hospital said Demetrius Hewlin, who had been in critical condition,
died Tuesday morning. The news came shortly after Police Chief Tim
McKenna said 17-year-old Russell King Jr. had died.
student, Daniel Parmertor, died hours after the shooting, which sent
students screaming through the halls and led teachers to lock down their
classrooms as they had practiced doing so many times during drills.
King and Parmertor were students at the Auburn Career Center, a
vocational school, and were waiting in the Chardon High cafeteria for a
bus for their daily 15-minute ride when they were shot.
The police chief would shed no light on a motive.
feel sorry not only for that family but all the families that are
affected by this," McKenna said. Characterizing himself as a "hometown
boy," he added: "Chardon will take care of Chardon."
who saw the attack up close said it appeared that the gunman targeted a
group of students sitting together and that one of the dead was shot
while trying to duck under the cafeteria table.
Lane's family is mourning "this terrible loss for their community," attorney Robert Farnacci said in a statement.
did not go to Chardon High, instead attending nearby Lake Academy,
which is for students with academic or behavioral problems.
Danny Komertz, who witnessed the shooting, said Lane was known as an
outcast who had apparently been bullied. But others disputed that.
"Even though he was quiet, he still had friends," said Tyler Lillash, 16
Before she slipped into a state of unconsciousness from which she would never wake up, Long Beach fifth grader Joanna Ramos told her mother she'd been punched in the head by another girl at school.
"I said, what happened, and she said, 'a girl punched my head,' and I
said why, and she said, 'I don't know Mom. We are enemies,'" Cecilia Villanueva told The Associated Press on Tuesday,
four days after her daughter's sudden death following a fistfight at
school. "I asked her, you don't have any enemies. Why, Joanna? She told
me, 'I don't want to talk, I'm tired and I want to go to sleep.'"
It's the latest detail to emerge in the case of Ramos' unexpected death, which was ruled a homicide Monday.
The ten-year-old girl was apparently hit while engaging in a scheduled
brawl with a classmate over a boy, friends told local media outlets.
GIRL'S DEATH IN SCHOOL ALLEY FIGHT RULED HOMICIDE
Police have said no weapons were used in the altercation, which was held in an alley next to the school, and that the fight lasted less than a minute.
Afterwards, according to police, Ramos appeared to show no signs of
visible injury - but a friend said she had blood on her hands after
wiping a bloody nose from the fight.
Following the incident, Ramos was picked up from her after-school
program early when she complained she wasn't feeling well, and her
mother says her condition only got worse when she got home.
"I could see her lips turning purple and I got so scared. I tried to do
CPR," Villanueva told the AP. "I tried my best, but when we got to the
hospital they said her heart was stopped. They tried, they tried so
Police have said Ramos died of blunt force trauma to the head. No arrests have been made.
Though some doctors said it is possible one punch could have been
enough to prove fatal, Villanueva suspects her daughter may not have
told her all the details of what happened.
"I told the doctor what happened and he said, 'One punch is not enough,
the way that she is right now,'" Villanueva told the AP. "My daughter
told me one punch, only, just one. And the doctor said, 'Hmmm, I don't
think so. One wouldn't cause too much damage.'"
A doctor who tried to save Ramos' life when she arrived at the hospital
recounted the harrowing experience in a column Tuesday for the Press
"Joanna arrived on our doorstop," Dr. Mauricio Heilbron Jr.
wrote. "Her heart was not working at all...Her eyes were 'fixated and
dilated,' the worst sign possible. To a layperson, they look like the
lifeless eyes of a little child's doll."
Heilebron said he and his fellow doctors tried "everything" but
ultimately had to "give up" when the little girl proved impossible to
Forced to deliver the tragic news to Ramos' mother, the doctor said
Villanueva was "pleading for Joanna to talk to her, begging her not to
"Violence between young children is unimaginable," Heilebron wrote.
“After Joanna is buried, and the investigation complete, what do we do