Logan Cole and his school continue to heal


WEST LIBERTY – West Liberty-Salem Local Schools student Logan Cole continues to recover, though it could be a long process, his family announced Thursday.

Cole, 16, was shot Jan. 20 at the school, allegedly by student Ely Serna. Serna faces 13 charges, including two counts of attempted murder and six counts of improperly discharging a firearm at or into a habitation or a school. Cole is being treated at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus.

A second student was struck by a part of the shot discharged from the firearm. Those wounds were described as minor.

Logan is listed as “stable” at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Ryan Cole, Logan’s father, posted publicly to Facebook on his son’s condition. He said tubes continue to be removed from his son’s body, and he is being taken off intravenous pain medication, which is the last thing being given to him by IV.

“There are still significant health risks,” he wrote. “We are more and more aware each day of the significant risk of infection. Particularly to the gunshot wound to Logan’s back.”

Ryan Cole said the shot penetrated to the spinal column. He also has some shot pellets in his body, specifically in the heart. Ryan Cole said the hope is they do not migrate into his vascular system. Doctors have not detected any leakage of the spinal fluid, and that is a good sign, he said.

Ryan Cole posted a video to the Facebook page thanking the people supporting the family and those who helped his son following the shooting. He continued to ask for prayers for Logan’s healing.

Students, staff continue their own healing

West Liberty-Salem Local Schools students and staff continue to process the shooting. School was out Friday for a previously scheduled teacher work day. School Superintendent Kraig Hissong expressed thanks for community and individual support of the schools.

“This week has been a very good, but difficult week, full of many emotions,” he said in a press release, also posted to the school’s website. “For many students, the events of last Friday will continue to impact how they feel during the school day for a long time. However, some students have stated that the fear they have about something like this happening again is outweighed by their desire to return to school, enjoy time with their friends, participate in school activities and go to class.”

Hissong said the school has had higher than average attendance in the past week. Classroom instruction has begun to focus more on instruction and getting back to normal.

The school board has begun reviewing the district’s safety plans and other building safety concerns. The district plans to identify ways to make the building safer and more prepared in the event of an active shooter, he said. Items of immediate focus are improving emergency window egress to make it easier to evacuate the building, and securing all interior rooms and corridors to the building, making sure all doors and locks are functional and easy to use in an emergency. There has been difficulty with this due to the ongoing school building construction and renovation.

The district plans to continue to work with local law enforcement, ALICE trainers and security experts to continue to improve security, Hissong said. ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) is the active shooter protocol the school follows.

Hissong said the district encourages the community to support upcoming sports events – the Varsity Girls Basketball team plays at 7 p.m. Saturday, and the Boys Basketball team plays at 4:45 p.m. Monday. This is the military appreciation game canceled last Friday. Current and former military members are invited for free admittance and to be honored prior to the game at 7 p.m.

The school district posted a collection of “Tiger Support” images in a video at https://youtu.be/uqNPsbCcbvk . Tiger Strong yard signs and T-shirts can be ordered from the West Liberty Athletic Association Facebook page, and Tiger flags can be ordered from Special Tee Sportswear at 937-465-7631.

https://www.urbanacitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/36/2017/01/web1_Logan-Cole-1.jpgCole Courtesy photo

By Casey S. Elliott

[email protected]

Casey S. Elliott may be reached at 937-652-1331 ext. 1772 or on Twitter @UDCElliott.

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Video Caption: Logan Cole’s family released this video discussing Logan’s condition following a school shooting Jan. 20.
Video Credit: The Cole family
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