CHARDON, Ohio- It’s been three and a half years since three students were shot and killed at Chardon High School.
Now, a memorial is in the works to remember the lives lost and help bring closure to the entire community.
“Never forget it. It’s probably the biggest case in my 37 years of being a police officer,” said retired Police Chief Tim McKenna.
In February 2012, he was one of the first to respond when TJ Lane went into the school cafeteria, and shot and killed Demterius Hewlin, Russell King and Daniel Parmertor. McKenna knows first hand how hard the victims’ families and the community were hurt.
“It’s not just the city, it’s the community of Chardon. When you hear Chardon, you hear about Chardon city. There are four townships, another village and the city that all of our children have gone to that school,” McKenna said.
Now, in an attempt to heal, a new memorial park is being planned that will honor the three students. The proposed park will include a walking trail, workout facilities and a playground.
Chardon City Manager Randall Sharpe told FOX 8 these elements have meaning.
“There are different facets of it all wrapped up together which appealed to each of the different boys who were killed that day. As far as physical fitness, fishing, being out on the paths and being a runner each one had their own interests that way,” Sharpe said.
The new park will be located next to the high school and connected by a bike path.
“The students were the primary push for getting this park done. They wanted to see something happen in the community that represented the healing and the moving forward from the tragedy that took place,” fundraising committee member Jennifer Seaman said.
“I think the park will put a cap on everything. We finally will have something we can go to. It’s a place to contemplate, workout, talk over your feelings with anybody you want to, and I think four years post shooting will be the appropriate time,” McKenna said.