HAMILTON, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio sheriff says the 14-year-old suspect in a school shooting apparently was carrying a handgun all morning before he jumped up in the cafeteria and opened fire.
Sheriff Richard Jones says it’s believed that the youth obtained a .380-caliber gun from a family member, but the investigation is continuing. He also repeated that authorities also believe they know a motive in the Monday lunchtime shooting, but aren’t releasing any details to avoid jeopardizing the case.
Jones says as terrifying as the shooting was, it’s a relief that no lives were lost. He says it’s the first school shooting in memory in Butler County in southwest Ohio, although there have been repeated school lockdowns because of threats in recent months.
He calls on school officials throughout the counties to recognize that such shootings can happen anywhere, and to take action to be sure their schools are protected.
The youth’s attorney denied the charges Tuesday in juvenile court.
‘Send a message’
Jones wants the 14-year-old suspect prosecuted in adult court. He tells The Associated Press that while that might sound harsh, he believes it’s important to “send a message” to students that using guns isn’t like playing a video game.
He says he is making the recommendation to the prosecutor’s office, which hasn’t indicated whether it will seek to move the case from juvenile court. The youth’s attorney entered a denial of charges for him Tuesday morning and he remains in juvenile detention in Hamilton.
Jones says besides the students who were wounded or otherwise injured, many students have likely been traumatized by Monday’s shootings.
He also is renewing his call for all schools to have police resource officers, as Madison Local Schools do, and for allowing specially trained school staff to be armed.
Classes to resume
Officials at an Ohio school where two students were shot say classes will resume Wednesday, and that students and parents can walk through the school Tuesday evening in preparation for their return.
Madison Local Schools Superintendent Curtis Philpot says crisis counselors will be available and that school staff including bus drivers and teachers will pay extra attention to make students feel comfortable about going back to school, two days after Monday’s lunchtime shooting that resulted in four students being hurt.
He says there will be extra staff available Wednesday in the cafeteria where the shooting took place.
Philpot says the “No. 1 priority” is to make students feel safe and comfortable.