2 Injured in Ohio School Shooting Before Staff Members Intervene

Faculty and staff members' response to the shooting is being praised.
Published: January 23, 2017

An Ohio teen has been arrested after he opened fire on classmates in the hallway of his high school Jan. 20.

Two students were injured in the incident, although police say things could have been much worse if staff members at the school hadn’t acted quickly to detain the shooter, reports ABC News.

Ely Ray Serna, 17, faces charges including two counts of attempted murder, three counts of felonious assault, six counts of improperly discharging a firearm, inducing panic and illegal conveyance of a deadly weapon in a school.

Prosecutors are seeking to try Serna as an adult and the suspect is scheduled to appear in Champaign County Juvenile Court this morning.

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Police say Serna began randomly shooting students with a 12-guage shotgun in a common hallway of West Liberty High School just as classes began Friday. Serna, who is a senior at the school, fired four shots in the attack.

The shooting left one student, 16-year-old Logan Cole, critically wounded and another student with non-life threatening injuries. Cole was recently released from the ICU in Children’s Hospital in Columbus, which is about an hour away from the small, rural community where the shooting occurred.

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District Superintendent Kraig Hissong said faculty and staff members at the school followed their emergency training, which included ALICE training, when the shooting began, barricading doors and fleeing the school when possible.

“I can’t say how pleased I am with how staff and students handled this today,” Hissong said.

One female student at the school says her teacher went into the hallway to investigate a gunshot noise and quickly returned to instruct students to flee out of the classroom windows. Staff members also cleared hallways and classroom doors were barricaded with desks.

Multiple staff members were able to stop the shooter and had him pinned down when police arrived, according to the Sandusky Register.

“As tragic as this situation is, we are very, very fortunate,” Prosecutor Kevin Talebi said. “It could have been much worse. I’m very, very thankful that, as bad as it is, it didn’t escalate to a much more tragic incident.”

Once outside of the school building, many students ran across muddy cornfields and into nearby homes where neighbors had volunteered to take in students.

The school was fully evacuated by police using school buses after the suspect had been detained.

Hissong also told media outlets that Serna had no disciplinary issues prior to the shooting.

Classes will resume at the school on Tuesday.

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