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Entries in Chardon (4)

Friday
Mar022012

Ohio School Shooting Survivor Has Bullets in Cheek and Neck

ABC News(CHARDON, Ohio) -- Ohio school shooting survivor Nick Walczak is partially paralyzed with bullets lodged in his cheek and neck, but doctors are "cautiously optimistic" that he will walk again, the teen's mother said Thursday.

Walczak, 17, was one of five high school students shot in a rampage at Chardon High School on Monday by accused shooter T.J. Lane, who has been charged with murder.  Three students -- Demetrius Hewlin, Russell King Jr. and Daniel Parmertor -- died from their wounds.

Another wounded student, Joy Rickers, has been released from the hospital.  Walczak remains hospitalized.

Walczak's mother Holly Walczak told a news conference that she believes her son was shot four times: twice in the neck, through the arm and in the back.  His brother previously told ABC News that Nick Walczak had no feeling below his chest.

"He has a bullet still in his cheek and his neck," Holly Walczak said.  "He's just getting feeling back in his legs.  It's going to be a really slow process, they said.  He's going to need spine therapy.  The surgeon said they're cautiously optimistic."

Nick Walczak went into spinal shock after the shooting, but doctor's hope he will be able to walk again.

"He's strong, he's brave and his age really makes a big difference.  I know he can do it," his mother said.

She said her son has been conscious throughout the ordeal and knows that his friends have died.

"We really try not to talk about it at this point.  It's a little too traumatic for him," she said.  "It's kind of a blur, at this point."

Holly Walczak spoke at a news conference along with the families of Hewlin and Parmertor and mentioned the guilt she feels since her son survived the attack.

"The families that have had the losses...it's a guilty [feeling] for me because they lost and my son was saved.  I think that's the hardest part for me.  I feel for them every minute, every hour," she said.

The mom credits teacher Joseph Ricci for saving her son's life by dragging him into another room after he was shot and caring for him until paramedics arrived.

"He is the person that saved my son's life.  He pulled him from the hallway into a room.  He is forever our hero," Walczak said.  "He's remarkable.  I can't believe it.  Nick would be the fourth victim, otherwise."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Mar012012

Ohio School Shooting Suspect Charged With Murder

Jeff Swensen/Getty Images(CHARDON, Ohio) -- Suspected Ohio school shooter T.J. Lane was officially charged Thursday with three counts of aggravated murder, two counts of attempted aggravated murder and one count of felonious assault.

Five high school students were shot in a rampage at Chardon High School on Monday. Three students -- Demetrius Hewlin, Russell King Jr. and Daniel Parmertor -- died from their wounds.

Students and parents gathered in the center of Chardon on Thursday to march through the community and back into the school together. On Friday, school will be back in session.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Mar012012

Ohio School Shooting: Slain Student's Parents Forgive Suspected Shooter

ABC News(CHARDON, Ohio) -- The parents of Ohio school shooting victim Demetrius Hewlin said on Wednesday they forgive suspected gunman T.J. Lane for shooting their son.

"I don't know what [his] final moments were like, but I can't worry about it," Hewlin's mother Phyllis Ferguson told ABC News in an exclusive interview.  "You have to accept things done and move on."

When asked what she would say to the suspected shooter, Ferguson said, "I would tell him I forgive him because, a lot of times, they don't know what they're doing.  That's all I'd say."

"I taught Demetrius not to live in the past, to live in today and forgiveness is divine.  You have to forgive everything.  God's grace is new each and every day," she said.  "Until you've walked in another person's shoes, you don't know what made him come to this point."

Hewlin was one of three teens killed following a deadly shooting rampage at Chardon High School on Monday.

Ferguson described her son as a "huggy, kissy boy" who was a "computer nerd," liked to read and did not like getting up early.  Hewlin was good friends with Russell King Jr., 17, and Daniel Parmertor, 16, the other two teens who died after the shooting spree.  His stepfather Tim Ferguson remembered playing pee-wee football with the boys.

"He wasn't a morning person and he was late for school.  But that one day he wasn't late," Hewlin's mom said.  "We were running a little late, but we weren't late enough.  But it's okay.  It's in God's hands.  Let his will be done."

The parents said they are honoring Hewlin's wishes by having his organs donated.

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The other two teen victims of the shooting are similarly being remembered and mourned.  Hundreds of people attended a candlelight vigil in the tight-knit town of Chardon on Wednesday night to remember the three teenagers who died and to pray for the other two students who were injured.

Nick Walczak, 17, is still at Hillcrest Hospital and student Joy Rickers, 18, has been sent home.

Walczak's brother, Josh, told ABC News that Nick is paralyzed from the chest down, but the family hopes that is a temporary condition.

"My brother, he's still in serious condition, still no feeling from the mid chest down although he said he felt a twitch in his left calf the other night which is clearly a good sign," Josh Walczak said.

He said his brother is "suffering from spinal shock, which isn't complete damage, but you know he's recovering."

Nick Walczak will be released from the hospital, but Josh said, "He pretty much has to relearn how to walk."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Feb282012

Ohio School Shooting Death Toll Rises to Three

David Dermer/Getty Images(CHARDON, Ohio) -- The toll in the Chardon High School shooting grew Tuesday with the death of a third shooting victim.

Russell King and Demetrius Hewlin, students wounded in Monday's shooting, died Tuesday morning, officials said.

"We are very saddened by the loss of our son and others in our Chardon community," Hewlin's family said in a statement. "Demetrius was a happy young man who loved life and his family and friends. We will miss him very much but we are proud that he will be able to help others through organ donation."

They added, "We ask that you respect our privacy during this difficult time." 

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Earlier, King, 17, was pronounced brain dead at 12:42 a.m. at Ohio's MetroHealth Medical Center, according to the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office. At 4:49 a.m., police were informed that King had "passed."

Another victim, identified by MetroHealth Hospital as Daniel Parmertor died from the wounds on Monday, hours after being shot.

As the Ohio town coped with the losses, the focus turned to alleged shooter T.J. Lane who a fellow student and witness identified as the person who shot up his school cafeteria Monday. Two other students remain hospitalized.

Lane, a juvenile, was expected to appear in court Tuesday afternoon.

Lane allegedly opened fire with a handgun just before 8 a.m. in the school cafeteria where students were eating breakfast, authorities and witnesses said.

The shooter was chased out of the building by a teacher and was arrested half a mile away near his car.

The suspect is in custody at Geauga County Safety Center.

Chardon is a village in Geauga County about 35 miles east of Cleveland.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio