One Year Later: Chardon principal talks arming teachers, what he - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

One Year Later: Chardon principal talks arming teachers, what he'd say to shooter

CHARDON, Ohio - Nearly a year after a student walked through his school near Cleveland killing three classmates and injuring others, Chardon High School principal Andy Fetchik recounts the fateful moment he realized what had happened.

"I grabbed a student that was running out of the cafeteria and she screamed 'There's a shooting in the cafeteria, there's a shooting in the cafeteria,'" he recalls.

The alleged gunman, TJ Lane entered the school through the front doors and entered the cafeteria at which time witnesses say he picked out his targets then began firing. Within seconds the school entered a lock down mode.

"They knew where everyone was saying 'hey, so-and-so went to the bathroom a few minutes ago' then another one would follow saying 'I got her,'" Fetchik says. "We were able to account for all of the 1110 students that were here."

All the students except 16-year-old Daniel Parmetor, 17-year-old Russell King, and 16-year-old Demetrius Hewlin. The three were shot an killed with two more students seriously injured. All five were wheeled out by emergency personnel.

"We did end up venturing out into the hallway," Fetchik says. "We saw a few of the first responders coming into the building, saw a few of the children leave. That still stings."

"They're great kids, this is a great place," he says. "Real strong families, conservative community with good morals; they have high standards from the kids and high standards from us."

Since the shooting, things have changed for the school through an Increased effort to find troubled students and a police presence in the building, but the basic plan remains the same with no metal detectors and the same lock down plan that was practiced just a couple years before.

"Based on what we had planned for that day and what we had practiced, I don't think it could have gone any better than the way it did," Fetchik says. "Obviously, children's lives were lost, but considering the circumstances of a gunman in the building, it went as well as can be expected."

Now comes the question of guns in the schools. For the police, or someone trained, Fetchik is okay with that.

As for the faculty?

"I think arming a teacher that studied biology and learned to student teach and had been teaching the last 20 years, isn't a great idea," Fetchik says. "I don't think arming a custodian or any school employee is a great idea."

Meanwhile, Fetchik and the school moves on helping other communities like Newtown, Conn. with their support.

But not being able to support Lane before this tragedy will always bother them.

21 News asked Fetchik what he'd say if he got to talk to Lane today.

"Huh, that's funny. For as many interviews as we've had, no one's ever asked me that," he says. "I don't know. I think the first obvious question would be 'Why?'"

"I think I'd like to know, was there someone for this guy and, if there wasn't, why not?"

Part #2 of this interview will air Thursday at six and eleven.

  • More NewsMore>>

  • East Palestine football players raise awareness about ALS

    East Palestine football players raise awareness about ALS

    One local high school football team took the ALS ice bucket challenge to new heights Thursday night.More >>
    One local high school football team took the ALS ice bucket challenge to new heights Thursday night.More >>
  • A helping hand for local veterans

    A helping hand for local veterans

    Saturday, August 23 2014 12:02 PM EDT2014-08-23 16:02:15 GMT
    VIENNA, Ohio- Members of the community are raising money to help meet the needs of wounded soldiers and disabled veterans locally. The first annual Freedom Warrior Golf Outing drew hundreds of people together for the cause Friday.More >>
    VIENNA, Ohio- Members of the community are raising money to help meet the needs of wounded soldiers and disabled veterans locally. The first annual Freedom Warrior Golf Outing drew hundreds of people together for the cause Friday.More >>
  • Youngstown residents gather to stop cycle of violence

    Youngstown residents gather to stop cycle of violence

    Saturday, August 23 2014 11:30 AM EDT2014-08-23 15:30:05 GMT
    Youngstown's latest homicide, the shooting death of 17 year old Shawn Cortez, has residents gathering to take back their city from violence.On Friday members of the Food 4 Your Soul ministries offered up prayers for peace while serving up food. They are reaching out to young people, in an effort to stop the cycle of violence in Youngstown."I don't want our children to be fearful when they go to school. They just need to know that there's good resources.. There's good people who are hear for t...More >>
    Youngstown's latest homicide, the shooting death of 17 year old Shawn Cortez, has residents gathering to take back their city from violence.On Friday members of the Food 4 Your Soul ministries offered up prayers for peace while serving up food. They are reaching out to young people, in an effort to stop the cycle of violence in Youngstown."I don't want our children to be fearful when they go to school. They just need to know that there's good resources.. There's good people who are hear for t...More >>
  • More From wfmj.comMore>>

  • Police: Couple used dog to lure 2 Amish girls

    Police: Couple used dog to lure 2 Amish girls

    Thursday, August 21 2014 10:04 PM EDT2014-08-22 02:04:19 GMT
    A woman accused along with her boyfriend of abducting and sexually abusing two young Amish sisters is due in court for a preliminary hearing.More >>
    A northern New York couple used a dog to lure two Amish sisters from their family farm stand with a plan to turn them into slaves, an investigator said Thursday.More >>
  • State won't sell naming rights for Ohio Turnpike

    State won't sell naming rights for Ohio Turnpike

    Thursday, August 21 2014 9:30 PM EDT2014-08-22 01:30:13 GMT
    Ohio will pursue opportunities to collect revenue through sponsorships along the state turnpike but will not sell naming rights for the 241-mile toll road.More >>
    Ohio will pursue opportunities to collect revenue through sponsorships along the state turnpike but will not sell naming rights for the 241-mile toll road.
    More >>
  • Ohio State president meets with band leaders

    Ohio State president meets with band leaders

    Thursday, August 21 2014 9:23 PM EDT2014-08-22 01:23:42 GMT
    Courtesy:  NBC NewsCourtesy: NBC News
    Student and staff leaders of the Ohio State marching band have met with the university's president to share concerns over the firing of a popular band directorMore >>
    Student and staff leaders of the Ohio State marching band have met with the university's president to share concerns over the firing of a popular band directorMore >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms