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Ohio school suspect confesses shooting rampage

Updated: 2012-02-29 11:08
( Agencies)

CHARDON, Ohio - The 17-year-old boy held in a shooting rampage at an Ohio high school has confessed to opening fire on fellow students he picked at random, prosecutors said on Tuesday, as two more teenagers died, bringing the death toll to three.

Prosecutors identified the suspect as T.J. Lane and said he has admitted to taking a knife and a 22-caliber pistol into the cafeteria at Chardon High School in a town 35 miles (56 km) east of Cleveland on Monday and firing 10 rounds.

Students Demetrius Hewlin and Russell King Jr., 17, were both declared dead on Tuesday from wounds suffered in the incident, according medical examiners. Another student, Daniel Parmertor, 16, died on Monday.

Ohio school suspect confesses shooting rampage

Alleged gunman TJ Lane (C) is escorted out of the Geauga County Courthouse Annex by Sheriff deputies in Chardon, Ohio February 28, 2012.[Photo/Agencies]

Prosecutors told a judge in Geauga County Juvenile Court that Lane told them he had selected his victims randomly. In his court appearance, Lane was ordered held in detention pending the filing of formal charges. The judge gave prosecutors until Thursday to file charges.

Lane will be bound over for trial as an adult if probable cause is found, said Geauga County Prosecuting Attorney David Joyce.

"As was stated earlier in court today, he chose his victims at random," Joyce said. "This is not about bullying, this is not about drugs, this is someone who is not well."  

The judge ordered restrictions on what prosecutors and defense attorneys could disclose publicly in the case.

One student remained hospitalized with wounds from the attack while another was released from a hospital as the town prepared to hold a vigil to honor the victims later on Tuesday. At the high school, students spent the day huddling, talking and placing red ribbons around the grounds.

The incident marked the latest shooting at a US school. The deadliest school shooting in the United States was a 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech University in which 33 people were killed. The deadliest high school shooting claimed the lives of 12 students and a teacher in 1999 at Columbine High School in Colorado.

Chardon, the seat of Geauga County, is an affluent, semi-rural town with a population of about 5,000, according to the US Census Bureau.

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