Suspect in custody after 1 student killed, 4 wounded in shooting at ohio high school
Witnesses say the alleged gunman who opened fire Monday at an Ohio high school, killing one student and wounding four others, was a bullied loner who may have posted threatening messages to his Twitter account.
Civil deputy Erin Knife with the Geauga County Sheriff's Office said the shooting was reported around 7:30 a.m. Monday at Chardon High School.
The suspected gunman, who authorities identified as a student at the school, was chased out of the school by a teacher and later apprehended about a half mile away. Authorities have not released the juvenile's name because he has not been charged yet.
Two of the male victims are in critical condition, another male is in serious condition and one female is in stable condition, according to the Geauga County Sheriff's Office.
Joe Bergant, superintendent of schools in Chardon, a town of about 5,100 people, said school was canceled Tuesday and grief counselors would be available to students and families.
"If you haven't hugged or kissed your kid in the last couple of days, take that time," he said.
The deceased student was identified by a hospital spokeswoman as Daniel Parmertor. His family released a statement through MetroHealth System spokeswoman Shannon Mortland that said: "We are shocked by this senseless tragedy. Danny was a bright young boy who had a bright future ahead of him. The family is torn by this loss. We ask that you respect our privacy during this difficult time."
Nate Mueller, a high school junior who was hit in the right ear, told the newspaper that he and his friends were sitting in the cafeteria when the shooter approached them at around 7:30 a.m.
Mueller said he turned around after hearing a gunshot behind him and was struck on his ear, the newspaper reported.
"My friends were crawling on the floor, and one of my friends was bent over the table, and he was shot," he told the newspaper. "It was almost like a firecracker went off. I turned around and saw him standing with a gun and I saw him take a shot."
Another witness, freshman Danny Komertz, said he was just about to leave for his first-period health class when he heard a loud popping sound and then saw the gunman open fire.
The 15-year-old Komertz says that there were at least 100 students in the cafeteria at the time and that most fled immediately as shots were fired.
He said one student who authorities say was killed was trying to get under a table to protect himself and shield his face.
Komertz said the alleged shooter was known as an outcast who had apparently been bullied.
Teacher Joe Ricci had just begun class when he heard shots and slammed the door to his classroom, yelling, "Lock down!" to students, according to Karli Sensibello, a student whose sister was in Ricci's classroom.
A few minutes later, Ricci heard a student moaning outside, opened the door and pulled in student Nick Walczak who had been shot several times, Sensibello said in an email. Ricci comforted Walczak and let him use his cellphone to call his girlfriend and parents, Sensibello said. She said her sister was too upset to talk.
Student Heather Ziska, who was just feet away when the gunman opened fire, said a normal morning was interrupted by strange sounds in a hallway, then the sight of the gunman beginning to shoot.
The 17-year-old junior said she and other students began hearing popping noises in a nearby hallway. Ziska said she then saw a boy with a gun who she recognized as a fellow student come into the cafeteria and start shooting.
She said she and several others immediately ran outside, while other friends ran into a middle school and others locked themselves in a teachers' lounge.
The wounded students were reportedly airlifted to local hospitals.
The 1,100-student high school is about 30 miles east of Cleveland.
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another cruse ship incident
NAIROBI, Kenya – An Italian cruise liner carrying more than 1,000 people was adrift without power in the pirate-infested Indian Ocean on Monday after a fire erupted in its generator room. The blaze was extinguished without causing any injuries, officials said.
Two tug boats from the island nation of Seychelles were steaming toward the drifting Costa Allegra, which had 636 passengers and 413 crew members on board, but they were not expected to arrive until Tuesday afternoon at the earliest.
Italian coast guard officials said a large French fishing boat could be the first vessel to reach the stricken cruise liner.
Monday's fire on the Costa Allegra immediately raised fears, since it occurred only six weeks after one of its sister ships, the Costa Concordia, hit a reef and capsized off Italy, killing 25 people and leaving seven missing and presumed dead. Both ships are operated by Costa Crociere SpA, which is owned by the Florida-based Carnival Corp.
However, company officials rushed to play down concerns.
The Costa Allegra is adrift "and being pushed by the current. It is stable and upright," Giorgio Moretti, the director of nautical operations for Costa Crociere SpA, told reporters in a conference call late Monday from company headquarters in Genoa, Italy.
No one was injured in the fire in the generator room and the cause of the fire was under investigation, Moretti said. The fire knocked out power to the ship's engines as well as to its lights and air conditioning.
Italian Coast Guard officials said emergency generators were keeping the ship's control room illuminated and communications equipment such as radios running. Officials said the cruise liner was holding steady, despite 5-foot waves in the area and passengers were being kept in the ship's big communal rooms, not in their cabins.
Moretti, a longtime Costa captain, said he expected the 636 passengers aboard would spend the night on outside decks. Among them were 212 Italian, 31 British and eight U.S. passengers, he said. Four of the passengers were children ages three or younger.
Costa Crociere SpA said in a statement the ship was about 20 miles from Alphonse Island, one of the atolls in the Seychelles, a nation of islands and atolls that is a popular tourist destination.
The Allegra, whose Italian name means "merry," or "happy," had left northern Madagascar, off Africa's southeast coast, on Saturday and was cruising toward the port of Victoria, Seychelles' capital, when the fire erupted. Costa said the Allegra had been due in Victoria on Tuesday.
The general region where the cruise ship was adrift -- off the coast of Tanzania -- has seen a rash of attacks by Somali pirates. In 2009, an Italian cruise ship with 1,500 people aboard fended off a pirate attack in the Indian Ocean far off the coast of Somalia.
Moretti said an armed nine-member Italian military team on anti-pirate duty was aboard the Allegra, but he insisted the maritime region where the ship was now "isn't a high risk area for pirates."
"If pirates attack, the armed guards on board will respond. But as far as I am aware, no pirates have been sighted in the area," said Seychelles presidential spokeswoman Srdjana Janosevic.
A cargo ship was due to reach the Costa Allegra early Tuesday, and Moretti said it would bring batteries and otherwise help with communications. On Tuesday morning, a helicopter is expected to arrive, ferrying in "fresh food, cell phones and walkie talkies."
Tugs from the Seychelles island of Mahe, the largest island in the Indian Ocean archipelago, will arrive Tuesday afternoon.
"Once they arrive, they will decide which port" to take the Allegra to, Moretti said. "It depends on sea conditions."
Moretti said one possibility was evacuating passengers from the Allegra on lifeboats to Alphonse Island, then having them fly from its small airport to Mahe island. He also said 15 Costa engineers, technicians and other officials were flying to Mahe in hope of reaching the Allegra by air to repair its generators.
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