CHARDON, Ohio — A gunman opened fire inside a high school cafeteria at the start of the school day today, wounding five students, authorities said. A suspect — believed to be a student — was arrested a short distance away.
The suspect was taken into custody near his car about half a mile from the suburban Cleveland school, said FBI agent Vicki Anderson. The condition of the victims was not immediately disclosed.
Students screamed and ran in panic through the halls when gunfire broke out around 7:30 a.m. at the 1,100-student Chardon High School.
Heather Ziska, 17, said she was in the cafeteria when she and other students heard popping noises in the hall. She said she saw a boy she recognized as a fellow student come into the cafeteria and start shooting.
She said she and several others immediately ran outside, while other friends ran into a middle school and others locked themselves in a teachers’ lounge.
“Everybody just started running,” said 17-year-old Megan Hennessy, who was in class when she heard loud noises. “Everyone was running and screaming down the hallway.”
Television news footage showed anxious parents escorting children away from a school building, and ambulances could be seen outside.
Five students were taken to Cleveland-area hospitals, hospital spokeswomen said.
Students at the high school and a middle school had already started their day when the shooting happened, but bus runs for elementary school children were stopped. All classes in the district were canceled.
Parents of high school students were told to go to an elementary school to pick up their children.
Chardon, a city of about 5,100 people, is about 30 miles east of Cleveland.