WEST LIBERTY – A West Liberty-Salem High School student was in critical but stable condition Friday afternoon after he was shot by another student at school in the morning.
West Liberty-Salem Schools Superintendent Kraig Hissong said on Friday afternoon that 16-year-old junior student Logan Cole was listed in critical but stable condition at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus.
Hissong delivered this information during a press conference with Champaign County Sheriff Matt Melvin and Champaign County Prosecutor Kevin Talebi.
“At this point they are encouraged …” Hissong said, relaying information about Cole’s condition from his family.
Melvin said at 7:36 a.m., county dispatch received a 911 call of an active shooter at West Liberty-Salem High School. Melvin said at 7:41 a.m., Champaign County Sheriff deputies along with other law enforcement agencies cleared the building. He added at that time they took a 17-year-old male suspect believed to be the shooter into custody.
Hissong said he believed the shooter was a WL-S senior.
“While the investigation is still ongoing, I can report that we are confident there is only one suspect shooter and that suspect is in custody,” Melvin said.
Melvin commended the efforts of school staff in neutralizing the threat and pinning the suspect on the ground. He stated the suspect used a shotgun and the shooting occurred in a common area.
Talebi said the juvenile suspect was being housed in a juvenile detention facility in Marysville and will appear in court for a juvenile detention hearing on Monday in Urbana.
Regarding the identity of the suspect, Talebi said he was not prepared to release his name.
Students were picked up by parents at West Liberty-Salem in the morning as a horde of regional media outlets descended on the school campus from the ground and the sky. Hissong said students were taken to Lions Park in West Liberty by grade level to be reunited with their parents at that location.
“Of all the students left in the building, they all seem under control and pretty calm,” he said.
The school district was placed under lockdown as soon as the shooting occurred, Hissong said.
“Our students and staff did a fantastic job. I think that’s what mitigated the situation.”
The West Liberty-Salem Local Schools board held an emergency executive session at 5:30 p.m. Friday to discuss security matters. No action was expected to be taken. The school does not have metal detectors at the entrance and is in the process of completing a major renovation and construction project.
During the press conference, Hissong said all evening and weekend activities were cancelled and said it would take time for the sheriff’s office to complete their investigation.
Officials will decide when school should resume.
Casey S. Elliott may be reached at 937-652-1331 ext. 1772 or on Twitter @UDCElliott.
Nick Walton may be reached at 937-652-1331 ext. 1777 or on Twitter @UDCWalton.