At 7:45 EST Monday morning, a 17-year-old gunman opened fire at Chardon High School in Chardon, Ohio — killing one student and injuring four others. The suspect was recognized to be a student at the school by his peers.
The first shot was fired in the cafeteria while some students were having breakfast, shortly after the school day had already started. Students were sent into a state of panic, but faculty and staff at the high school reacted swiftly and led students to safety. It was reported that one teacher chased the gunman out of the building.
The suspect turned himself in to authorities two hours later a half mile away from the shooting scene. The Los Angeles Times reported that the identity of the suspect is being withheld because he is a minor. Officials have not disclosed any possible motives.
In the small town approximately 30 miles from Cleveland, all classes in the school district were cancelled and students were sent home.
Crimes like this are not unheard of, as most can recall the Columbine High School shooting in 1999 (which killed 12 students, one teacher, and injured 21 others) and the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007 (which killed 33 people and injured 25). It is imperative that students know what to do in this scenario and prevent such incidents and other dangers from happening again.
On a college campus, the student population is vastly greater than high schools and the campus is open for anyone to step onto. Students must always be aware of their surroundings and wary about trusting strangers. If one overhears someone talking about planning any kind of attack, the wise decision would be to immediately notify authorities. Don’t assume it is a joke. It is much better to be on the safe side rather than regretting not taking action.
According to College of the Canyons’ Campus Safety, the moment gunfire is heard, one must take cover before doing anything else. In an office or classroom, students must immediately fall to the floor and hide. Be sure to lock and barricade doorways, turn off all lights, and close all window shades and curtains. When outside, hide behind a tree or wall, lie down, and wait for rescue. In a parking lot, one should hide behind the front wheel or engine section of the closest car. Only shout/call out for help if you hear or see the police or rescue teams in your vicinity. Once hidden from sight, dial 911 or call the Santa Clarita Sheriff’s Department and disclose your name, location, and any whereabouts and descriptions of the shooter.
It is important to know the safety plans for various emergencies that can occur on campus, including evacuation plans, violence, natural disasters, and many other situations. This information can be found at College of the Canyon’s Campus Safety office webpage at http://www.canyons.edu/Offices/CampusSafety/.