Chardon Shooting Suspect Wears Bullet-Proof Vest in Court

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The accused gunman in the deadly shooting at Chardon High School made his first court appearance Tuesday.

Prosecutors said it now appears he chose his victims at random.

Under very tight security, deputies lead Thomas "T.J." Lane into the Geauga County Courthouse Annex.

He wore a bullet-proof vest.

"For the safety of this juvenile and for the safety of this community, we'd ask that this court entertain a motion to detain him," requested Geauga County prosecutor David Joyce.

T.J. Lane, 17, is suspected of shooting five people inside Chardon High School Monday morning, killing three of them.

A 911 call from the principal indicates people identified him right away.

"Do you have any description of clothing?" a dispatcher asked.

"We have white T-shirt, shaggy dark hair, tall, skinny...we have a name that we think," responded the principal.

"Is that Thomas?" said the dispatcher.

"Yes," confirmed the principal.

In court, Geauga County Juvenile Judge Timothy Grendell ordered the media not to show Lane's face.

The teen was in the courtroom with two of his aunts and his grandfather.

"You understand, T.J., that you have the right to remain silent with respect to any of the allegations pending in this court at all times, you understand that?" asked the judge.

"Yes, I do," Lane responded.

Geauga County prosecutor David Joyce told the judge Lane confessed to taking a .22-caliber pistol and a knife to school, and admitted to firing ten rounds into a group of students, whom he did not know, sitting at a cafeteria table.

"This was the effect of one lone gunman, as I stated earlier in court today, he chose his victims at random, this is not about bullying, this is not about drugs.  This is someone who's not well," Joyce later told reporters at a news conference.

Joyce would not confirm reports that Lane stole the gun from his uncle.

"There will be a time and place for this and we're gonna try this case, I guarantee you, and we're gonna show you the bottom of it, but this next week is about getting these kids back to school and getting our community back on its feet," he said.

Lane has not been charged.

Prosecutors said charges against him will include at least three counts of aggravated murder.

They also say he will be tried as an adult.

Judge Grendell ordered him to remain at the Juvenile Portage-Geauga Detention Center.

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