An Ohio school shooting left two students shot and two students injured by shrapnel at Madison Junior/Senior High School in Butler County. James Austin Hancock was arrested and charged as the shooter.
Austin Hancock, as the 14-year-old eighth grader prefers to be called, allegedly walked into the Madison High School cafeteria and opened fire on Monday morning at around 11:30 a.m. The school shooting began moments after a Butler County Sheriff’s Deputy stationed at the school walked out of the cafeteria, the New York Daily News reports.
According to the Butler County Sheriff’s Office, James Austin Hancock shot Cameron Smith, 15, and Cooper Caffrey, 14, with a.380 handgun and then fled the scene. Both shooting victims were transported from Madison High School to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries, the Heavy reports.
Brant Murray, 14, and Katherine Doucette, 14, sustained injuries caused by shrapnel that flew at them during the Ohio School shooting in Middletown. The Butler County town is located about 50 miles north of Cincinnati.
— Ruth Marie Sylte (@rmsylte) March 1, 2016
The accused shooter, who is being tried as a juvenile at this time, was not a part of the lunch group who was eating in the cafeteria at the time of the shooting. Students fled out multiple doors and abandoned their lunch trays when their peer opened fire on them. Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones said students helped one another run out of the cafeteria through emergency exits and through the door to the gym when the school shooting began.
“I’m at Madison High School, there’s a shooting,” a young male student told the 911 dispatcher while breathing quickly into the phone. “A kid brought a gun and he started shooting people. He just pulled out a gun and started shooting.”
James Austin Hancock reportedly used a.380 caliber handgun in the Madison Junior/Senior High School shooting. He dropped the gun as he ran away from the school building. He was apprehended and arrested shortly later by Middletown law enforcement officers. He has been charged with felony attempted murder. Although he was initially charged as a minor, county prosecutors can amend those charges and elect instead to try him as an adult.
As soon as word of a school shooting got out, terrified parents understandably flocked to Madison High School to check on their children.
Stephanie Doucette, the mother of victim Katherine Doucette, said, “The most horrifying thing is how to get to your children fast enough,” during an interview with local news outlet WLWT-TV.
The mother went on to say that she knew all the students involved, including the accused shooter.
Austin Hancock and at least one of the victims were on the junior high wrestling team together. Butler County police officials stated that they have an idea about what motivated the school shooting but are not yet prepared to release the details about the possible reason behind the tragedy.
“We were actually pretty good friends,” fellow wrestling team member Jordan Eslick said to local reporters. “It didn’t seem like anything was wrong. He [Austin Hancock] got along with everyone. I was really shocked when I heard it was him. He’s real nice. He’s friendly with everyone. Everyone on the wrestling team is really close, we’re actually pretty much family… we share everything with each other.”
The police also declined to answer whether or not the accused school shooter targeted specific students. Exactly how Hancock got his hands on a gun is also still under investigation.
Madison Junior/Senior High School has a student population of about 500 high school students and 250 junior high students.
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