Thursday, October 11, 2007

Asa Coon Shooting

Yesterday there was another shooting at a high school. The shooting occurred about an hour from us. We were actually in the area yesterday for Isaiah's appointment.

I am going to show a few of the pics and include an artcle from a local paper and then I am going to make some comments. If you see bold, the bold is my emphasis not the newspaper.

Here is a picture of individuals on the phone hoping to hear that their child is alright.

Here is a pic of the teacher who was willing to risk his life to protect some of the students. It is thought that the teach might have been a target because of him disciplining the boy.

I can not imagine what is racing through their minds as they are waiting for news of the event.

The police prepared to handle the situation.

Here is the article ...

CLEVELAND - A 14-year-old suspended student, dressed in black, opened fire in his downtown high school today, wounding four people as terrified schoolmates hid in closets and bathrooms and huddled under laboratory desks. He then killed himself.

A fellow student at SuccessTech Academy alternative school said the shooter, who was suspended for fighting two days earlier, had made threats in front of students and teachers last week.
"He's crazy. He threatened to blow up our school. He threatened to stab everybody," Doneisha LeVert said. "We didn't think nothing of it."

Police Chief Michael McGrath said it appeared that the shooter used two weapons, but added that the coroner's office will need to finish its work to confirm that. Parents were angry that firearms got into a school equipped with metal detectors.

Mayor Frank Jackson said two adults and three teens were injured, including a 14-year-old girl who fell and hurt her knee while running out of the school.

Witnesses said the black-clad shooter moved through the converted five-story downtown office building, working his way up through the first two floors of administrative offices to the third floor of classrooms.

Antonio Deberry, 17, said he and his classmates hid under laboratory tables and watched the shooter move down the hallway. "I saw him walking past. He didn't see us, we saw him." Deberry said the shooter swore and shot several times.

The shooter was identified by an official close to the investigation as Asa H. Coon. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because Coon's family was being notified.

LeVert said she hid in a closet with two other students after she heard a "Code Blue" alert over the loudspeaker. She said she heard about 10 shots.

Ronnell Jackson, 15, said he saw the shooter running down a school hallway.

"He was about to shoot me, but I got out just in time," he said. "He was aiming at me I got out just in time."

Coon had been suspended since Monday for fighting, said Charles Blackwell, president of SuccessTech's student-parent organization. He did not know how Coon got into the building today.

LeVert, the student, said Coon was a "gothic" who usually wore a trench coat, black boots and a dog collar.

Blackwell said there was a security guard on the first floor, but that the position of another guard on the third floor had been eliminated sometime earlier.

Students stood outside the building, many in tears, hugging each other and on cell phones. Others shouted at reporters with TV cameras to leave them alone. Family members also stood outside, anxiously waiting for their children to be released.

Tammy Mundy, 38, who has a son and daughter at the school, told The Plain Dealer that her daughter called when the shooting started.

"She said, 'Mom they're shooting in here, kids are running out, I'm hiding in the closet,'" Mundy told the newspaper.

Then she called her 18-year-old son, Darnell Rodgers, on his cell phone, and he told her he had been shot in the arm.

"He said, 'Mom, I got shot,'" Mundy told the newspaper.

A hospital spokeswoman said Rodgers was listed in stable condition. David Kachadourian, 57, was in good condition, and a 42-year-old man was in surgery and his condition unavailable. The other two injured teens were taken to a children's hospital, which would not release their names, ages or conditions.

Deberry's mother, Lakisha Deberry, said she was upset that metal detectors at the school were not always in use.

"You never know what's going on in someone's mind," said Deberry, who said she was required to go through a metal detector and present an identification card whenever she wanted to drop off something at school for her children.

The shooting occurred across the street from the FBI office in downtown Cleveland, and students were being sent to the FBI site.

All schools in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District will be canceled Thursday, said Eugene Sanders, chief executive officer of the district. Counseling will be available Thursday for students at recreation centers throughout the city, Sanders said.

SuccessTech Academy is an alternative high school in the Cleveland city school district that emphasizes technology and entrepreneurship. It is housed on several floors of the district's downtown Cleveland Lakeside Avenue administration building.

"It's a shining beacon for the Cleveland Metropolitan School System," said John Zitzner, founder and president of E City Cleveland, a nonprofit group aimed at teaching business skills to inner-city teens. "It's orderly, it's disciplined, it's calm, it's focused."

The school has about 240 mainly black students with a small number of white and Hispanic students.

The school, opened five years ago, ranks in the middle of the state's ratings for student performance. Its graduation rate is 94 percent, well above the district's rate of 55 percent.

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Here are some of my thoughts and takes.

1. It still amazes me that people still do not think (take) threats seriously.

2. I hope and pray that students like Ronnell can get help. They must be hurting
from what they witnessed and saw.

3. My heart aches for Tammy as she received the phone call from her daughter and
then called her son and heard those words. Nightmare situation.

4. I want to applaude the school for a graduation rate of 94%. This may lead to my
next post. How is it acceptable for a distrinct in the United States to only have
a graduation rate of 55%. I know that I do not live in inner-city area but this
is not acceptable and we must do something !!

Finally, not in the article but on the news. This 14 year old had a horrendous life. A terrible family situation and had so much to overcome. Unfortunately, he was unable to overcome and because of that; there were consequences that occurred and ended him in losing his life way too early. WE MUST HELP !!

1 comment:

Inkling said...

Jeff, check this idea out. That website is a place that some acquaintances of mine run. They house a few boys during the school year, along with their own one year old. From what I read and hear on a regular basis, this might just be a workable solution in a more widespread fashion than just one place in STL.