CRIME

Student in custody after shooting and wounding classmate at Ohio high school

The person suspected of shooting and wounding a student at an Ohio high school Friday morning was a classmate of the victim, the superintendent confirmed.

Kraig Hissong, superintendent of the West Liberty-Salem Local School District, told reporters late Friday morning the shooting occurred as classes began at the school complex roughly 45 miles northwest of Columbus.

The shooter, a 17-year-old senior, used a shotgun and intended to harm more than the student who was hit, Champaign County Sheriff Matthew Melvin said.

A school official said the shooter had no significant disciplinary issues.

"As tragic as this situation is, we are very, very fortunate," prosecutor Kevin Talebi said. "It could have been much worse. I'm very, very thankful that, as bad as it is, it didn't escalate to a much more tragic incident."

Authorities reported that the suspect was in custody facing a preliminary charge of felonious assault. An initial hearing is scheduled for Monday.

The victim was identified as 16-year-old junior Logan Cole. He was in critical condition after being taken to a Columbus hospital. No other injuries were reported.

Hissong described Cole as a “great student and a real positive person to have in our school system."

"Our hearts are out with his family right now and with him as he's trying to recover from this," Hissong added.

The shooting happened around 8 a.m. EST on Friday.

Initial reports indicated that the shooter fired through a window at the high school and hit someone in the boys’ bathroom near the science wing.

Hissong said teachers and students followed their emergency training, including barricading themselves in classrooms.

"This is one of those things that you always see happen in places that aren't near you, and you don't think it's going to occur," Hissong said. "Of course when they happen closer, such as some of the shootings that occurred within the last year, it helps you take notice and remember that you need to be prepared for a moment like this."

He added: “I can’t say how pleased I am with how staff and students handled this today.”

Senior Ashley Rabenstein told local TV reporters that she was in class down the hall at the time, and when students first heard an odd noise, they weren't sure what it might be because construction has been occurring at the property.

She said her teacher checked the hallway, then ran back and said there was a shooter and threw desks against the door to block it. Students fled through the windows and ran through a cornfield to regroup at nearby houses, Rabenstein said.

"Especially in ... such a small town like this where you pretty much know everyone who lives in the town, you just never think that stuff like this is going to happen," she said.

Hissong said administrators would have to evaluate the situation further before deciding whether classes resume Monday. School activities have been cancelled through the weekend.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.