A convicted killer who murdered three Ohio high school students has escaped from a prison in the town of Lima, Ohio. The killer, 19-year-old T.J. Lane, escaped Thursday with two other inmates, according to the Associated Press. One of the inmates has been captured, but Lane remains at large.
As of late Thursday night, it was not known how the men managed to escape.
The men were inmates at Allen Oakwood prison in Lima, Ohio. The mostly minimum and medium security prison has just over 1,600 inmates. As of 2013, the prison–which opened in 1994–had zero instances of escaped inmates.
Police are searching the woods and a residential area near the prison for the two men who are still at large, and said they don’t think they are armed. The escaped inmate has been identified as Clifford E. Opperud, 45. Opperud is was convicted and jailed at the prison for charges of aggravated robbery, burglary, and kidnapping.
The men are considered dangerous.
Lane is serving three life sentences for shooting three students in 2012 with a.22-caliber pistol at a high school near Cleveland. Though he pleaded guilty, he said he didn’t know why he killed the students. His victims were Daniel Parmertor and Demetrius Hewlin, both 16, and Russell King Jr., 17.
Cleveland’s ABC affiliate reported that the escaped inmates are wearing their prison blues, and police are asking area residents not to open their door to strangers or give hitchhikers a ride. Police also asked that area residents not tweet the location of Lima police officers or post information about what they are doing on social media sites. Police are canvassing the area for the inmates.
The request came just a couple of hours after police posted a notice on Facebook that the men had escaped.
Lane is a white male who is described as five feet, eight inches and 125 lbs with brown hair and brown eyes. The other escaped inmate, Opperud, is also a white male, five feet, ten inches and 175 pounds with blonde hair and blue eyes.
Chardon High School student Lexi Joy had earlier described the day that T.J. Lane shot and killed three students at her school.
“He didn’t seem any different,” said Joy. “He seemed just how he would be on a normal day. He didn’t show any expression on his face. He was just TJ.” It was mere minutes later that Lane fired shots in the school cafeteria.
Lane’s father, Thomas M. Lane Jr., was indicted in 2002 for numerous crimes including felonious assault, kidnapping, and disrupting public service. He was charged with attempted murder a different occasion.