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Chardon students returned to school today for the first time since a student gunman opened fire in the school cafeteria and fatally shot three students.

Students from neighboring schools gathered outside the entrance to ‘clap-in’ Chardon students as they entered the building.

“We just want to come and support them, show that other schools care, ” said Kirtland student Samantha Hopkins. “We know what they are going through.”

“I keep telling myself that I’m going to get through this, but honestly, I’ll break down a couple of times,” said Chardon student Katie Williams.

On Thursday, students marched in solidarity back to the high school. Parents accompanied their children for the walk from Chardon Square to the high school, many linked arms and held hands.

Thursday was the first day students returned to the building since 17-year-old TJ Lane reportedly opened fire, shooting five students.

The shootings occurred just before the start of classes Monday morning around 7:40AM.

During Lane’s shooting rampage, teacher Frank Hall chased the teen away from the building. He later surrendered to innocent bystanders about one hour later. 

Three of the shooting victims, 17-year-old Russell King, Jr., 16-year-old Daniel Parmertor and 16-yera-old Demetrius Hewlin, all died at MetroHealth Medical Center.

At Hillcrest Hospital, 17-year-old Nick Walczak remains in serious condition after being shot several times. 18-year-old Joy Rickers was released from Hillcrest Hospital.

Lane is reportedly cooperating with police and made his first court appearance Tuesday afternoon. Wearing a bullet proof vest, Lane was rushed through a back door of the courthouse. Prosecutors said Lane admitted to being the shooter and that he is “not well.”

The Geauga County Prosecutor announced the first charges handed down in juvenile court against Lane on Thursday.  Lane has been charged with three counts of aggravated murder, two counts of attempted aggravated murder and one count of felonious assault for the student snipped in the ear.

Article Courtesy of WOIO 19 Action News

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