Ohio students mark 1-year anniversary of fatal school shooting
CHARDON, Ohio — One day after a teen gunman pleaded guilty in the deadly school shooting in northeast Ohio, students marked its one-year anniversary on Wednesday with hugs, supportive messages and a somber march through town.
The march by Chardon High School students, walking arm-in-arm in the damp cold from the school to the town square, was an emotional highlight during the day's commemoration.
Photos of the three slain students were displayed, onlookers applauded marchers and firefighters hung a large American flag from an aerial ladder.
The march ended at the courthouse where the shooter, T.J. Lane, 18, had pleaded guilty Tuesday to all charges. Lane could face life in prison at his sentencing March 19.
The observance honored Daniel Parmertor and Demetrius Hewlin, both 16, and Russell King Jr., 17, who were killed in the Feb. 27, 2012, rampage. Three others were injured.
Students arriving for classes passed an outdoor school sign with the names of the victims and the message: “2-27 A Day of Remembrance.” Across the street, a heart-shaped sign in the school colors of red and black had the message: “One Heartbeat.”
The slain students' relatives on Wednesday sued Lane and his family, seeking damages and alleging negligent supervision by his parents and grandparents. Attorneys who filed the case said the families want to ensure Lane never profits from his crimes.
“Hopefully this lawsuit will help answer a lot of questions that still remain and help bring closure for the families and the community,” attorneys Peter Marmaros and W. Craig Bashein said.
In Columbus, the Ohio House observed a moment of silence. Rep. John Patterson, who represents Chardon, said he planned to introduce a bill to designate highways in the names of the three victims.
Patterson told his colleagues that they couldn't control tragedies or fully prevent them. The Jefferson Democrat encouraged parents to tell their children they love them.