CINCINNATI (AP) — An honors student at an all-male Catholic high school tried to commit suicide in his first-period classroom Monday, police said, critically wounding himself with a gunshot and sending other students scrambling for cover.
La Salle High School west of Cincinnati was locked down until after police arrived and determined there was no threat to other students or staff. A University of Cincinnati Medical Center spokeswoman reported the student’s condition as critical Monday afternoon, about six hours after the shooting.
Green Township Police Chief Bart West described the weapon as a semi-automatic handgun. He said police were investigating how the student obtained the gun and how he brought it into the school.
West said there were 22 other students in the classroom, and the episode was over “in a matter of seconds” with no other students injured or apparently threatened. Several students called 911 dispatchers.
“There’s a guy with a gun,” said a student who called on his cellphone from inside a nearby locked room. “We just need police here ….”
“We’re huddled in a corner,” another student said in a call.
There was conflicting information on precisely what time the shooting took place, but school officials said it was during the first class period of the day.
Hospital spokeswoman Diana Maria Lara released a statement from the boy’s parents thanking people for their thoughts and prayers while asking for privacy “so that we can do what we need to for our son and family.” They praised the hospital medical staff’s “heroic efforts.”
West said the student apparently was trying to kill himself, but he had no information on why. School officials described him as an honors student and didn’t know of any threats to school or any other students. The Hamilton County sheriff’s office said it would search the building with dogs as a precaution against explosives, but said they had no indication there were any other weapons.
Students, some in tears, gathered in the school gym after the shooting. The school’s website said all students were safe, and were being released to parents “due to an attempted suicide involving one student.” Grief counselors from the Roman Catholic archdiocese joined the school’s counselors in meeting with students and staff, and Monday evening school activities were canceled.
School officials said classes would resume Tuesday, with the school day beginning in a prayer service.
“We just ask that you pray for him and his family,” said Greg Tankersley, La Salle’s director of community development. “It’s a tragic situation for this young man.”
He said the youth was “fighting for his life.”
A priest went to the hospital where the student was taken. Tankersley said the boy’s parents asked that his name not be released, and said he wouldn’t release other information about the student other than to say he had a strong academic and community service record.
In the aftermath of last year’s fatal shootings of three students in Chardon High School in northeast Ohio and December’s Sandy Hook Elementary shooting rampage in Connecticut, most schools have taken steps to increase security. In Ohio, that’s included taking shooting prevention and response training courses offered by the state attorney general and updating safety procedures with police.
“We always have concerns about school security,” West said, but he added that La Salle “did an excellent job” in responding Monday. He said township police had met recently with school officials to review their safety plan.
“We’re going to go back and look at everything,” Tankersley replied when asked at a news conference about a gun getting into the school. But he added that Monday’s top priority was the condition of the wounded student and the well-being of the others.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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