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.

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