Ohio archbishop offers support over class shooting

CINCINNATI (AP) — The Roman Catholic archbishop of Cincinnati is expressing sadness and offering prayers for a wounded student, his family and those in the school community in the aftermath of a classroom suicide attempt.

The student remained in critical condition in a hospital Tuesday as classes resumed at La Salle High School, an all-male Catholic school west of Cincinnati.

Archbishop Dennis Schnurr says there are prayers for the youth’s recovery, both from the self-inflicted gunshot wound and from the personal challenges that led to his action.

The Cincinnati archdiocese covers 19 counties, including 114 Catholic primary and secondary schools.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

Other students began yelling as a 17-year-old boy sitting in the front of a classroom pulled out a handgun and shot himself in the head, according to a police report.

The student remained in critical condition in a hospital Tuesday as classes resumed at the all-male Catholic school west of Cincinnati.

Green Township police said there were at least 21 other students in the first-period classroom Monday morning at the all-male Catholic school west of Cincinnati. They said no other students or staff were threatened in the apparent suicide attempt.

He “discharged one round into his head,” the police report stated.

The student is a junior and an honors student. He made the top honor roll on the most recent academic report and has been active in Boy Scouts. School spokesman Greg Tankersley said he has an extensive record of community service, and has been “highly involved” in school life.

Holman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. He is an English teacher and the school’s director of the Lasallian Scholars Institute, a program for high-performing students.

Tankersley said an all-school prayer service and discussion was planned Tuesday, with grief counselors on hand. He said school officials felt it was important to bring students back together to talk about what happened.

Green Township police said they would review security at the school, but Chief Bart West said school officials reacted according to their safety plan Monday. The school was put in lockdown, and students were later dismissed to parents.

Improving school security has been a high priority around the state in the aftermath of last year’s fatal shooting of three students at Chardon High School in northeast Ohio and the December shooting rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut. Officials say the FBI and U.S. Secret Service have gotten involved in a bomb-threat investigation at Cuyahoga Falls in northeast Ohio, which was closed Monday as a precaution. There was a similar threat there in March.

Green Township police were investigating how the boy obtained what they described only as a semi-automatic handgun.

His family has requested privacy while they focus on efforts to save his life by the University of Cincinnati Medical Center doctors and staff.

Source: Associated Press