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Archive for Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Death toll rises to 3 in Ohio school shooting

February 28, 2012, 12:06 p.m. Updated February 29, 2012, 12:19 a.m.

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— The Ohio teenager accused of killing three students in a shooting rampage in a high school cafeteria chose his victims at random and is “someone who’s not well,” a prosecutor said Tuesday as the slightly built young man appeared in juvenile court.

T.J. Lane, 17, admitted taking a .22-caliber pistol and a knife to Chardon High and firing 10 shots at a group of students sitting at a cafeteria table Monday morning, Prosecutor David Joyce said. He said Lane didn’t know the victims.

Lane will probably be charged with three counts of aggravated murder and other offenses, the prosecutor said.

Lane seemed small next to the sheriff’s deputies who led him into court and said little more than “yes, sir” in response to questions from the judge.

The hearing came hours after the death toll rose to three and as schoolmates and townspeople grappled with the tragedy and wondered what could have set off Lane, described by other students as extremely quiet, with few if any friends.

The court appearance did little to solve the mystery. Afterward, though, the prosecutor appeared to rule out rumors and speculation that the gunman lashed out after being bullied or that the shooting had something to do with drug-dealing.

“He chose his victims at random. This is not about bullying. This is not about drugs,” Joyce said. “This is someone who’s not well, and I’m sure in our court case we’ll prove that to all of your desires and we’ll make sure justice is done here in this county.”

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