Officials: ‘More would have been wounded’ in school shooting if not for staff, deputies

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WEST LIBERTY, Ohio (WDTN) — The victim of a school shooting was not the intended target, officials say Friday afternoon.

Logan Cole, 16, was shot multiple times by the suspect, who has not yet been named. The suspect, a 17-year-old student at West Liberty-Salem High School, fired a shotgun at the victim.

The shooting happened at 7:36 a.m. Friday as students were preparing to begin classes for the day.

Investigators told the media that Cole was a random victim and that the shooter’s intent was to harm more people. No one else was injured in the incident.

Cole, is listed as in critical but stable condition and that his parents are “encouraged by where he’s at at this point,” said superintendent Kraig Hissong. Cole is being treated at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus.

Students and staff followed A.L.I.C.E. protocol Friday and school officials are pleased with the outcome of today’s response, despite Cole’s injuries.

A student told 2 NEWS that other students used chairs to break windows and escape after shots rang out.

West Liberty-Salem Superintendent Kraig Hissong says students and teachers used the ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) method to evacuate the school. Hissong said all students and staff did a good job of following the method to get out safely.

Hissong said staff and students used desks, brooms and other items to block the doors, before evacuating through windows.

It’s unclear when classes will resume for the school, Hissong said. Counseling will also be offered to students, but it’s currently unclear when those sessions would begin.

The Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s crime scene unit is on scene helping law enforcement. The Champaign County Sheriff’s Office requested BCI to assist with the investigation, and detectives will assist the sheriff’s office with interviews in the investigation.

The Attorney General’s Office also confirms they are sending an agent from their cyber crimes unit and an officer from Criminal Intelligence.

It took the school two-and-a-half hours to reunite students with their families, something that school officials admit is a long time. Parents were advised to go to the IGA in West Liberty and later to Lions Club Ballpark to pick up their children.

According to the Ohio Department of Education, the West Liberty-Salem School District has 1,189 students on it’s K-12 campus. There are over 600 that attend the middle and high school.

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2 NEWS has obtained video from Lilly Keller, a student at West-Liberty Salem when the incident occurred. The video shows students fleeing from the school after the attack.

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A student who was evacuated to Lions Club ballpark tells 2 NEWS she heard the gunshots. At first, the student, Avery Seymour, thought it was a drill or a nail gun because of nearby construction.

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