Monday, May 16, 2022 |
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A deadly shooting at an Ohio high school Monday reached across the Pacific Ocean to touch a Kaua‘i family.
Jack Yatsko of Kapa‘a, a strong parent advocate for schools, said his best friend’s children attend the school in Chardon where the shooting occurred.
His daughter Cassidy, a 10th grade student at Kapa‘a High School, texted the Ohio students, both 11th grade students, throughout Monday morning.
A teenager opened fire in the cafeteria at the suburban Cleveland high school Monday, killing one student and wounding four others before he was chased from the building by a teacher and captured by officials a short distance away, The Associated Press reported.
A student who saw the attack up close said it appeared the gunman targeted a group of students sitting together and the one who was killed was gunned down while trying to duck under the cafeteria table, AP reported.
“This is a fear everyone has,” Yatsko said in an email. “It is always shocking when a tragedy like this occurs. Unfortunately, I don’t think there is any school immune from this kind of thing happening. The details of the Chardon shooting haven’t been fully researched and disclosed, but I know the community a bit from previously living in the nearby area and having friends who have their children attending the school.”
Federal Bureau of Investigation officials would not comment on a motive and Police Chief Tim McKenna said authorities “have a lot of homework to do yet” in an investigation of the shooting at the 1,100-student school, AP reported.
Teachers locked down their classrooms as they had been trained to do during drills and students took cover while waiting for the all-clear in the town of 5,100 people located 30 miles from Cleveland, AP reported.
One teacher was said to have dragged a wounded student into his classroom for protection, and another chased the gunman out of the building, according to police.
The suspect, whose name was not released because he is a juvenile, was arrested near his car a half-mile away, the FBI said. He was not immediately charged.
Long before official word came of the attack, parents learned of the bloodshed from students via text message and cell phone.
“Our advances in social media also create more opportunities for kids’ struggles to be illuminated, for better or for worse,” Yatsko said.
AP reported that two of the wounded students were listed in critical condition, and another was in serious condition. The slain student was identified as Daniel Parmetor, an aspiring computer repairman.
Text messages started flying inside and outside the school, spreading information about what was happening.
“We all have cell phones so people were constantly giving people updates about what was going on, who the victims were, how they were doing,” Moser said.
Joe Bergant, Chardon school superintendent, said school was canceled Tuesday.
On Kaua‘i, Yatsko said his heart goes out to the victims, their families and to everyone affected by shooting.
“This kind of tragedy can happen in our schools, too,” Yatsko said.
“Every day we all have opportunities to make a difference in someone’s life, whether it’s letting someone into traffic, allowing someone else to sit on the bus, or by just being kind. These little things are often big things, especially in the lives of kids who are struggling.”
• Dennis Fujimoto can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@ thegardenisland.com.
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