GREEN TOWNSHIP, OH (FOX19) –
A catholic school honors student is fighting for his life after shooting himself in a Cincinnati high school classroom Monday morning.
It happened around 9 a.m. at La Salle High School on Cincinnati’s west side.
According to a 911 call, the student, whose name is not being released due to a request by his parents, shot himself towards the end of his first period class with a semi automatic handgun.
Officials stressed that the boy fired one shot and didn’t threaten any of the 22 other students. The student was taken to UC Medical Center and is in critical condition.
Hospital officials released a statement on behalf of the family asking for everyone to respect their privacy and thanking UC Health officials.
Greg Tankersley, Director of Community Development at La Salle, says the student is “fighting for his life” and urged the community to pray for him and his family. The student has been working on his Eagle Scout designation and volunteered for several church and community organizations.
According to a 911 call, students were running through the halls screaming after the shooting.
The students were put into the cafeteria to shelter in place until officers could make sure there weren’t any other threats.
Authorities from Green Township and Hamilton County arrived within a few minutes.
Authorities say it was an isolated incident. They did not have an answer as to how the student got the gun into the building. School officials notified parents via an e-mail from principal Thomas Luebbe.
The e-mail reads: “We had a tragedy today at La Salle High School!
One of our students shot himself and has been transported to the hospital. All other students at OK and presently assembled in our gymnasium.
Plans are being mad (sic) for dismissal of students.
More to follow.”
The school was placed on lock down for an hour after the shooting. Shortly thereafter, students were released to the dozens of parents that flooded the school. Students who drove themselves were released after that.
La Salle’s baseball game with Purcell Marian and the tennis match with Summit Country Day were both canceled.
School will resume Tuesday morning and will start with a prayer service. A second service open to the public is planned for Tuesday evening. Tankersley says counselors are available through the school and the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. He said the other students are doing well.
“We are saddened to learn about the suicide attempt of a student at La Salle High School. We are hopeful that he survives his injuries and recovers quickly. Our thoughts are with him and his family, friends and peers,” said Deb Clancy, chair of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) – Cincinnati Chapter.
AFSP officials say early recognition, evaluation and treatment is one of the best ways to prevent suicide. Several resources are available to help students and school personnel at www.afsp.org.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, help is available by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255).
Article and Picture Courtesy of WXIX Fox 19 News Cincinnati and WOIO 19 Action News Cleveland