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Entries in Ohio Shootings (2)

Friday
Mar022012

Friends Say Ohio Shooter Knew Victims

David Dermer/Getty Images(CHARDON, Ohio) -- One of the teenagers killed by alleged school shooter T.J. Lane was dating Lane's ex-girlfriend, students at the school told ABC News.

A group of friends close to Lane's former girlfriend told ABC News that the girl had dated Lane, and that after they broke up, she began seeing one of the victims, Russell King Jr.  Lane felt forgotten after the couple broke up, one of the students said.

"She saw something she liked in him [Lane] that others didn't see," one student told ABC News. After dating Lane, she and King started to date on and off, but the relationship became more serious in recent months, the friends said.

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

Another wounded student, Joy Rickers, 18, has been released from the hospital and Nick Walczak, 17, remains hospitalized. The group of friends told ABC News that Lane also knew these students.

The version of events offered by the students suggest a motive behind the lethal shooting spree and contrasts with what the prosecutor has said.

Prosecutor David Joyce alleged at Lane's first court appearance that Lane "did not know the students, but chose them randomly." The prosecutor added, "This is not about bullying. This is not about drugs. This is someone who is not well."

A group of Chardon High School students close to Lane's ex-girlfriend said that King was the girl's current boyfriend and that Lane went right for him when he opened fire in the school's cafeteria.

The friends said they do not believe the shooting victims were chosen "randomly," as investigators have said.

King often told his friends that he loved the girl and was crazy about her, the group told ABC News. He allegedly made derogatory jokes about Lane, calling him names and threatening to beat him up, they said.

Lane reportedly said he was going to learn how to fight so that he could take on King. He was a thin, small teenager, but had been building up over the past year by lifting weights. Facebook photos showed a shirtless and muscular Lane posing for the camera.

Nate Mueller, who was sitting at the table with the victims the day of the shooting, told ABC News that when the firing began he turned to see Lane standing at his table and saw him take his second shot.

"That shot I saw TJ take had hit Russell [King] and he was over the table in a pool of blood, and Demetrius [Hewlin] was on the floor in a puddle of blood next to him," Mueller said. "Nick [Walczak] had not been hit yet as I jumped over him."

Mueller said Walczak, who was later determined to have been shot several times, was on the floor trying to crawl away and that he felt a bullet graze his ear. He did not get seriously injured, but has a small red mark on his ear.

The friends of the girlfriend told ABC News that the students all knew each other, which contradicts what family members of the victims have said.

"Danny had no relationship with that kid," victim Daniel Parmertor's father Ron Parmertor said at a news conference on Thursday.

Lane has been charged with three counts of aggravated murder, two counts of attempted aggravated murder and one count of felonious assault.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Aug082011

Ohio Gunman's Final Victim Was 11-Year-Old Child He Hunted Down

Comstock/Thinkstock(COPLEY, Ohio) -- The final victim of the rampaging Ohio gunman who killed seven people was an 11-year-old boy he hunted down, killing him in a neighbor's basement where he was hiding.

The gunman was identified Monday as Michael Hance, 51.

All but one of the victims' identities were released Monday with most of them being relatives of his girlfriend, Rebecca Dieter, who were in town from Kentucky for a family reunion they were planning on attending later in the day.

Rebecca Dieter was the only survivor of Sunday's shooting rampage. Police said she suffered multiple gunshot wounds.

Hance became the eighth casualty when he was killed by police officer.

Copley Police Chief Michael Mier told ABC News that police are baffled by the shooting spree which has stunned the town of 17,000 people, about 40 miles south of Cleveland.

"I don't think we can tell you with any degree of certainty yet why this happened," Mier said.

The most troubling part of the carnage, however, was Hance's apparent determination to kill Scott Dieter, his girlfriend's 11-year-old nephew.

What police have determined so far is that Hance shot his girlfriend at her home where he was also living. He shot five people outside an adjacent house: Rebecca Dieter's brother Craig Dieter, 51, Russell and Gudrun Johnson, their granddaughter Autumn Johnson, 16, and a teenager whose identity wasn't released because his family wasn't yet notified.

It appears the gunman then pursued at least two people through neighboring backyards: Bryan Johnson, 44, and little Scott Dieter.

Police said the two split up and ran in different directions. Hance chose to keep pursuing Bryan Johnson, who he quickly shot and killed. Hance then doubled back and went hunting for the boy, who had sought protection in a neighbor's house.

A woman had let Scott Dieter into her house and hid with him in her basement along with her own children and boyfriend, in an effort to protect him. Police say Hance forced his way into the basement and shot the child, but did not attempt to hurt anyone else.

While Hance was forcing his way into the home, a 911 call from the woman recorded the family's terror. In the call, a child can be heard crying in the background and the woman cries, "We are so scared," as the shooter enters her house.

After shooting Scott Dieter, Hance exited the house where he was confronted by a police officer and a civilian who was a former police officer. Mier said the officer asked Hance to drop his weapon, but shot him when Hance refused to comply.

Mier said that everything indicates that it was the police officer who shot and killed the gunman. 

Rebecca Dieter, the lone survivor, is in the hospital but police said her condition has not been released and they have not been able to interview her yet.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio