CEDARVILLE, Ohio (WDTN) – More than five years after he survived a high school shooting, Logan Cole, a senior information technology management student from West Liberty, is preparing to graduate from Cedarville University.
As Cole walked into the bathroom before a mock trial competition on Jan. 20, 2017, at West Liberty-Salem High School, a shooter was there with a shotgun leveled at him. Cole was then shot in the chest and the back, causing him to fall and break his front teeth on the concrete floor.
A few minutes later, after the shooter continued to fire shots at classroom doorways from the bathroom, Cole got up and the two began talking to each other.
“I pretty much just looked at him. He came back in and sat in a stall so that we were facing each other. He was like, ‘You’re not dead?’. He saw me blinking, and that’s why he asked that question. I was like, “No, I’m not dead. You haven’t killed anybody yet. Please go get help’.”
Cole continued to plea with the shooter to not hurt anyone or himself until the principal and the assistant principal intervened. The shooter then gave up the gun to them.
Cole said sharing his story, and his faith, with others has helped him cope with the traumatic event.
“There are a lot of things that went just perfectly so that I am here right now,” Cole said. “If the shotgun had been aimed a fraction of an inch to the left or right, I wouldn’t be here. It was a God thing in the way that He worked.”
“I’m at the point where I’m thankful to God that He equipped me and made me in a way that the situation ended the way it did. Just the way I’ve been raised and my personality. He had design in that.”
Cole said that he recalls being prayed over in the bathroom.
“After the shooting, God showed me how he works through people, how he saves people and how he can make miracles work,” Cole said. “That really inspired me to pursue my faith and take it more seriously, but then coming to Cedarville gave me the tools to better pursue that passion.”
Cole said that he has forgiven the shooter, who has been sentenced to over 23 years in prison.
“Honestly, I want the shooter to come to see Christ if he hasn’t, and that he can live the best life possible given the situation that he’s in now,” Cole said. “It’s hard to have hard feelings for someone you’re praying for and genuinely want the best for.”
Both of Cole’s parents attended Cedarville University, as well as his sister, Leah, who graduated in 2020, and he said he is grateful to carry on the family tradition.
After graduation, Cole will begin work at his family’s packaging business, where he intends to stay long-term to help grow the business. And in the summer, he will marry his fiancée, Addy.
Cole’s biggest piece of advice for current and upcoming college students is to be content.
“One thing I’ve been trying to focus on is being content and happy where I am,” Cole said. “Cedarville is amazing, but I see myself in a transition phase where I’m looking ahead to the next stage. I’m really trying to be thankful for the time right now where I am that God’s given me, because there are a lot of things that I’m going to be leaving that I will miss.”