MASSILLON, Ohio – A seventh-grader who died a day after shooting himself inside a middle school restroom had fireworks and extra ammunition in his backpack, police said Wednesday.
Investigators were reviewing cellphones and other electronics found at the boy’s home, but it was too early to know whether the shooting was intentional or if the 13-year-old had other plans, said Jackson Township Police Chief Mark Brink.
“We can make assumptions,” he said. “I’m not willing to do that.”
The boy shot himself Tuesday just before classes began at Jackson Middle School, near Massillon, police said. No other students were injured.
He died at a hospital Wednesday, according to the Summit County Medical Examiner’s Office.
The boy took the .22-caliber long gun from his mother’s house and managed to conceal it under his clothes while he rode a bus to school, Brink said. Others who saw him that morning didn’t notice he was hiding anything.
Investigators looked through his backpack after the shooting and found bottle rockets, batteries and ammunition, Brink said. He earlier described the items as devices meant to cause a distraction.
He also said the investigation so far has not uncovered any warning on social media.
Some parents complained they waited hours before they could take their children home, but Brink said authorities first needed to make sure the building was safe because “we didn’t know exactly what we were dealing with.”
Classes resumed Wednesday.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter
Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.