Two Years Later: Chardon Continues to Heal

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CHARDON, Ohio -- It has been two years to the day.

"It was a reflective morning, kids are grateful," said Andy Fetchik, principal of Chardon High School Thursday.

The Chardon School District and community was forever changed.

"I think that the culture of the school has changed. I think the class of 2012 and 2013 have been great leaders for us. Whether it was our shoe project or random acts of kindness, we want to give back," said Fetchik.

The school is still healing from the events of Feb. 27, 2012.

That is when Danny Parmertor, 16, Demetrius Hewlin, 16, and Russell King, Jr., 17, were shot to death by a gunman inside the high school's cafeteria.

"I think we need to respect the fact that different people are different places in the healing process. We've been able to bring in speakers in the recent weeks, counseling services that we've made available to students and staff," said Supt. Michael Hanlon.

And on the same day as the two-year marker, Thursday morning the father of one of the victims was found dead inside his home.

No foul play is suspected.

"We're deeply saddened to hear about the loss of Russell King, Sr. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this difficult time. We continue to extend any support that the Chardon school district can extend," said Hanlon.

Thursday, the students had an assembly where they listened to guest speaker, Bobby Petrocelli.

Thursday evening, the community gathered for a service of remembrance inside the school's cafeteria.

"We did it last year and had 800 people. So, we wanted to do it again this year. It helps the healing with prayers and the kids sharing, singing some songs," said Dean Carlo, youth pastor.

"Today, people are a lot sadder, on edge, you can feel it by walking in the school but there's a lot more kindness now," said Shelby McBride, a junior.

"For the people who were there and they are still in the school today, it can be emotional for some people," said junior Zach Gartner.

One heartbeat, together.

"As we heal, life gets in the way. It's not about February 27, 2012. It's about how we are going to be two years from now, four years from now, six years from now," said Fetchik.

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