Ohio Student Shoots 2 Classmates in Cafeteria

Two students were shot and two others sustained injuries from shrapnel in the shooting. All of the victims are expected to make full recoveries.

A 14-year-old student at an Ohio school brandished a weapon and shot two students before being arrested Feb 29.

Neither of the students shot sustained life threatening injuries and the shooter, who has been identified as James Austin Hancock, was arrested near the school shortly after the incident, according to ABC News. Two other students were injured from shrapnel.

Hancock has been charged with two counts of attempted murder, two counts of felonious assault, inducing panic and making terroristic threats. Hancock has denied those charges, and the prosecution is deciding whether or not to try him as an adult.

The shooting occurred around 11:30 a.m. local time at Madison Jr./Sr. High School in southwestern Ohio. Hancock is believed to have used a .380 caliber firearm.

“[The suspect] ran from the school, threw the weapon down and we retrieved the weapon,” Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones said. Jones said police are not releasing a motive at this time and do not know where the weapon came from.

The two students that were shot are 14 and 15 years old, while the two shrapnel victims are both 14 years old. All four victims were immediately taken to the hospital.

At least 10 sheriff’s cruisers and two medical helicopters arrived at the scene shortly after the shooting.

The school, which enrolls about 250 junior high students and 500 high school students, immediately went into lockdown. A school official initiated the lockdown over the school’s intercom.

A sheriff’s deputy stationed at the school had been in the cafeteria shortly before the shooting but was not present at the time shots were fired. Students said they were grateful to have school resource officers in the building as the school went into lockdown. The officers also helped evacuate the school.

District Coordinator of School and Community Relations A.J. Huff said parents were notified of the emergency twice by automated phone calls. The school also posted a message on its website and on its social media channels, according to wcpo.com.

Huff said the district had “extensive training” for incidents like this and described staff members’ reactions as “calm, collected, quiet.”

Frightened parents lined up in cars just off campus to get more information and wait for their children. Students were released around 1 p.m.

The entire school district was closed March 1 as police continued to investigate.

About the Author

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Zach Winn is a journalist living in the Boston area. He was previously a reporter for Wicked Local and graduated from Keene State College in 2014, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in journalism and minoring in political science.

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