Chardon Superintendent to Community: ‘Ask for Help’

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CHARDON, Ohio --

Criminal charges were filed Thursday against suspected Chardon High School shooter, 17-year-old Thomas (T.J.) Lane III.

"Thomas M. Lane III was charged with three counts of aggravated murder for killing three of our children, two counts of attempted murder for seriously injuring two of our students," Geauga County Prosecutor David Joyce told reporters at an afternoon news briefing.

Lane was also charged with felonious assault for firing a bullet that grazed the ear of student Nate Mueller.

Prosecutors say T.J. Lane confessed to bringing a 22-caliber pistol and a knife to school Monday morning, and firing 10 shots, striking five students.

Demetrius Hewlin, Russell King, Jr., and Daniel Parmertor died. Joy Rickers and Nicklaus Walczak were injured. Walczak remains in the hospital. Prosecutors say Lane picked his students at random, beginning in the cafeteria.

"Our community; you're never alone ... not here in Chardon. You need only to ask for help," said Chardon Local Schools Superintendent Joseph Bergant II.

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"Many people will experience over and over again what has occurred through flashbacks or bad dreams. Many will have a very heightened state of fear, be hyper-vigilant about watching out for themselves," said Kate Biddle, with the Beechbrook Behavioral Health Agency.

Psychologists say as people in Chardon struggle to return to a normal life, they should focus on their health, talk about their feelings and keep in perspective that the horror of what happened Monday is a rare event.

"Reach out and spend time with each other. It's through community that people really heal. Do things that feel good and are good for you," Biddle said.

Police say there will be an increased police presence at the school indefinitely.

"We know they're safe tomorrow," said Geauga County Sheriff Dan McClelland.

"Send them off to school each day, with a hug and a kiss, and the message to do their best," Bergant said, speaking to parents.

Lane will appear in court to face the charges on Tuesday. A bindover hearing is scheduled for March 19 to determine if he will be tried as an adult.

Lane is being held at the Juvenile Portage-Geauga Detention Center.

*Click here for’s extended coverage on the tragedy in Chardon.

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