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Court: Teen to be tried as adult in Chardon school shooting

Aaron Josefczyk / AP

T.J. Lane, 17, appears in juvenile court in Chardon, Ohio, on Thursday.


The 17-year-old charged with fatally shooting three students and injuring two others at a high school in Chardon, Ohio, will be tried as an adult, a judge ruled Thursday.

T.J. Lane has confessed to the massacre, officers said in court Thursday. And he allegedly told police he purposely fired at his victims' heads so "they wouldn't suffer," reported NBC affiliate WKYC.

When Lane was arrested on Feb. 27, the day of the shootings, he was wearing a T-shirt with the word "killer" on it, officers testified, according to WKYC.

Read original story on WKYC.com

The decision to charge Lane as an adult came after a hearing in juvenile court. Judge Timothy Grendell cleared the courtroom briefly Thursday morning to play security camera footage from the shootings for the court. An officer who saw it described it as "horrible and gruesome," according to WKYC.

Lane was declared competent to stand trial in a previous hearing. Being tried as an adult means he could face life in prison, reported WKYC.

He's currently being held without bail in the Portage County juvenile facility, NBC reported. He is scheduled to be transferred to the Geauga County Jail, an adult facility, sometime after June 7, unless his attorneys get a waiver.

The fact that Lane admitted shooting students in the head so they wouldn't suffer shows prior calculation and that Lane was lucid during the massacre, Geauga County Prosecutor David Joyce said, according to The Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Geauga County Deputy Jon Bilicic told the court he found Lane about a mile from the school where the shots had been fired. He was sitting on the side of the road, wet from the waist down, and shivering. A knife was laying next to him in the street. He said Lane told him he had just "killed a bunch of people," reported NBC. Bilicic said he asked Lane why, and he responded, "I don't know." Later in the investigation, Lane added, "I don't really understand myself."

Bilicic pressed Lane about his victims, asking if he had shot female or male students, and how many he had shot. Lane replied, "I have no idea," reported The Plain Dealer.

Students Demitrius Hewlin, Russell King and Daniel Parmertor died from gunshot wounds sustained that day. Students Nick Walczak and Joy Rickers were wounded, but survived.

Bilicic said he then questioned Lane about his motive, asking if he was depressed, suicidal or on drugs. Lane answered "no" to everything, the paper reported. He hadn't been bullied and wasn't upset with anyone at the school.

"I don't get angry. I have no problems with people; they don't even talk to me," Lane allegedly said. He said he got the gun from an uncle's house the day before, and said he had been thinking about the shooting for about a month, according to The Plain Dealer.

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