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CNN BREAKING NEWS
Students Shot at Ohio High School
Aired February 27, 2012 - 09:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks so much, Soledad.
Good morning, everyone. I'm Deborah Feyerick. We're going to continue to watch this as this unfolds.
(LOCAL NEWS COVERAGE STARTS)
CHRIS TYE, ANCHOR, CHANNEL 3 NEWS TODAY: When at least one, possibly two gunmen began shooting. We can tell you that two, possibly three students were injured. We can also tell you that the injured students were Medevaced off campus and taken for treatment. We don't know what level of injury they have sustained.
Stephanie Coueignoux there is talking with authorities and gaining all that information as she is doing just a terrific job bringing us up to date.
Stephanie, did you just learn something new you want to share with us if you can hear us?
STEPHANIE COUEIGNOUX, REPORTER, CHANNEL 3: Yes, I do. I just spoke with the superintendent. He has said he does believe that the shooter was in fact a student. They are now moving those high school students as we speak to Maple Elementary School, which is right across -- right across the way.
Sir, I see that you have your grandson here. Thoughts?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm just all mixed up right now. I -- you would never think that Chardon, something like that would happen. But then again, anything can happen anywhere. So I guess I'm just happy my little grandson is OK.
COUEIGNOUX: I see that you're holding on to him very tightly. I'm sure there must be an enormous sense of relief.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, yes. There is. When I heard, I kind of -- my emotions got to me already at home when I heard about all these events.
COUEIGNOUX: And how did you first hear the news?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My sister-in-law called me from Bedford to tell me that she heard on the news that there was a shooting at the high school. So I tried to get on the phone but the lines were busy. And I -- then they said something about don't come to the high school. And I said, well, you know, I --
COUEIGNOUX: And I have to ask you, as a student, what are your thoughts on all of this?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just can't believe anything that's happening. Why would this happen? I mean, life -- your life is worth everything you have.
COUEIGNOUX: I know this happened at the high school. But at the same time, there's still that sense of connection with students. Were you -- what were your thoughts as you were hearing about this? Any fear ever that something could happen at your own school?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, they said that the lockdown wasn't a drill. So I got worried thinking if something happened at the high school, could it happen at the middle school. So I was worried that something could happen at the middle school with all of our lives.
COUEIGNOUX: But I'm so glad that you were safely reunited. I'm sure there's a big sense of relief. Thank you so much.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thanks.
COUEIGNOUX: Thank you.
And, again, Chris and Erin, this seems to be the story of the -- of the morning really, just that enormous sense of relief. And again, just the confusion, the fear that all of these parents are having. Again, these are middle school students who are being released at this point in time. High school has just been -- the lockdown has just been lifted. Those students will be sent to Maple Elementary School, where they will be reunited with their parents at that point in time.
ERIN KENNEDY, ANCHOR, CHANNEL 3 NEWS TODAY: And Stephanie, again, we are kind of waiting on a news conference there. Can you tell us if you see any sort of officials preparing to tell us what's going on?
COUEIGNOUX: I'm sorry. I did not hear that, Erin. Can you repeat that please?
KENNEDY: Well, we've heard from Ellen Andre, who's a district community director, trying to tell us what's going on, but we were told to stand by for a news conference. Can you tell there -- if they're trying to set up any sort of a news conference to give these parents an update?
COUEIGNOUX: Well, at this point in time, as you can see, the parents now are leaving and really that seems to be the priority here right now, really, is to reunite the parents with their children. And then get them out of here really. Because as you can see, an incredible amount of parents, a lot of cars, and so they just want to slowly and steadily start reuniting parents with children. That does seem to be their priority. At this point in time, we do not have an ETA in terms of a press conference.
TYE: OK. But again, as we look at that imagery there that is at the school administration building where students are being released five at a time because not only is this a situation where there was a gunman on the loose, a number of students injured, the whole school day has been cancel for the whole district, which puts thousands of families' day in flux.
You know, if you know friends or family who live in Chardon, whose kids are in the school district there, this is going to change their day. We're going to let Stephanie Coueignoux kind of go and work and report the scene as we continue to watch this imagery of parents clearly rattled. Their kids weren't in that high school, but they are feeling the domino effects of what did happen in that high school earlier this morning.
KENNEDY: And what we're hoping went well, according to superintendent Joe Buergant, this school, all middle school, as every school in the district, has practiced drills in case there -- OK. We're looking at new video right now police.
TYE: Appears to be a SWAT team.
KENNEDY: It looks like SWAT team. SWAT teams do work in conjunction with schools for any kind of lockdown. If you're seeing this video, it shouldn't be necessarily alarming. This is protocol for when any school goes into a lockdown. We're told that everything went smoothly. As soon as they got word that there was a gunman in the school, the school did go into lockdown.
That is always practiced with the sheriff's department, with the SWAT team to make sure that students are in their classroom and they're safe.
TYE: Right. This morning, when this first happened, around 7:30, 7:40, we heard that young man say to Stephanie with his granddad a little while ago, that there was probably a little bit of a hope that this was a drill. That this was not the real thing.
TYE: And now as we see parents scurrying to get their kids home in their own arms, clearly not a drill. Clearly a day that will be probably etched in those young minds for a long, long time. That day, that February day, when a number of our friends at the high school were injured. And as I walk off with my school parking lot, men dressed like that are walking past me. Doesn't seem like something you'd see in the 21st century suburban rural Ohio.
KENNEDY: Certainly not in Chardon.
KENNEDY: And while there is a lot of good news for families this morning, everyone who's being reunited right now with their children, sadly we do have reports that there were three or four students who were shot. They were Medevaced out of the school, evacuated quickly from the school. But we do not know the extent of their injuries. So while we are looking at this and understanding that things did go smoothly, sadly, the way that we understand it, there were two gunmen. And there were shootings inside the school.
TYE: You know, we woke up this morning after a weekend of nice weather. Everybody was not sure what the day was going to hold. This is never something that we foresee happening. It became a panic moment as you can understand, because 1100 kids go to school at Chardon High School every day. So there's 1100 different stories of how this day unfolded.
And for parents and guardians, you can see them right there. I mean, does that picture tell this whole story? That poor, poor little girl who has to walk out of school with her dad, presumably, in tears because of what someone or two people decided to do this morning.
KENNEDY: Well, and sadly, according to the superintendent, the way that we understand it, is that the shooters were students. We have not confirmed that yet.
TYE: As we alluded to, the injured, the two or three or four, that number still fluid, unclear, they were Medevaced, Life-Flighted out of the Chardon area so they could be treated for their injuries. They landed at the Wal-Mart parking lot in nearby Chardon there, and that is where Channel 3's Amanda Baron is live for us this morning as we continue our live team coverage here.
Amanda, what do you know?
AMANDA BARON, REPORTER, CHANNEL 3: Hey, guys, I'm actually in the Wal-Mart Staples parking lot, the Home Depot area, a place that's normally packed on the weekends. It's very empty right now and slightly eerie because there were a host of Medevac helicopters, police cars, and ambulances, of course, working on some of the people who were brought to the scene.
This is kind of the staging area for all of those emergency crews. It's the least hectic area in town. I can certainly tell you that right now. As I was driving through town this morning, even some emergency vehicles from out of the area stopped me and asked me where the high school was. So it was really chaotic in town.
Up here on this hill in this plaza, though, things have calmed down. I can tell you that three juveniles were Life-Flighted to Metro Hope Medical Center. That's what I got from a member of the emergency team here. And then another helicopter just took off for UH. So as soon as we know more, we'll certainly pass it along to you.
I'm with one of the students from the high school. His name is Brandon. Brandon didn't go to school today, but certainly I have been watching him. He is in this parking lot watching everything that's going on.
Brandon, I know you're worried about your friends. How are you doing right now? This has got to be very scary for you.
BRANDON, STUDENT: I'm very nervous that everybody is OK. And I just hope they make it.
BARON: When you think about the fact that you weren't in school today, what's kind of going through your mind as you heard all this? Help me through your morning.
BRANDON: I think I'm very lucky, because I would have just been walking in the school. I'm sorry. I would have been walking into school when this happened.
BARON: Obviously, a tough morning for all of these students here. Everyone kind of just watching and waiting to see, Erin and Chris, what is going to happen next and what they'll learn next.
KENNEDY: You said that when you arrived at the parking lot, that the crews were working on the victims. Did you see the victims?
BARON: What it appeared, Erin, was that there was somebody who is in an ambulance that was taken to that helicopter. So he was in that -- he was in that ambulance. And I think Brandon just got word -- what did you just get word of?
BRANDON: That my cousin is OK.
BARON: OK. Well, that's certainly good news. So I think everyone kind of just watching and listening to hear who's OK and who's not. But again, Erin, just from very much being a witness up here, I saw them take someone from that ambulance and take them over to the helicopter that was labeled for UH. And then it took off from here.
TYE: Stephanie, Stephanie, this -- I'm sorry, Amanda, this is a -- this is obviously a fluid situation here, but the numbers are very murky. We don't know -- I mean we're hearing reports of two shooters and the superintendent seems to allude to one shooter. We've heard three injured, four injured, two injured. Can you clear up any of those numbers from what you're reporting is telling you?
BARON: If I'm being really honest with you right now, I'm in such an isolated spot.
BARON: Up here on the hill, like I said it's --
TYE: That's a fair answer.
BARON: Yes. It's not chaotic up here. So really it's emergency crews and media up here. And Brandon, who I'm with right now, who is shaking his head right now. His dad is also. You can just hear that in their voice, they are so relieved to find out that Brandon's cousin is OK.
TYE: Right. Now if you tried, if, let's say, you wanted to go to the high school right now, how close could you get?
BARON: You know, there are swarms of people. And I can't give you an exact distance, but I can tell you there are cars everywhere. It's not the intersection. There were sheriff's deputy cars as I came in.
BARON: In front of a church, there was just a strangest scene in front of a church, there was the SWAT team all out in front. So really, this was a community effort. Everyone looking at these parents who rushed to the scene.
BARON: You could just see them, you could see the angst on everyone (INAUDIBLE).
KENNEDY: Amanda, speaking of those parents, we have some parents standing by. Thank you very much, Amanda. We'll keep checking back in with you.
She's at the Wal-Mart parking lot right now in Chardon where those Medevac helicopters landed. Three took off with juveniles.
TYE: Those parents that she's alluded to are talking right now with Channel 3's Stephanie Coueignoux, who's live with our live view technology.
Stephanie, what is that gentleman having to say?
COUEIGNOUX: Well, Chris, this is Willie Ikely. He has a daughter, Shea, who's in seventh grade. He just picked her up, but he also has another daughter, Casey, who is still at the high school.
Willie, what can you tell us at this point?
WILLIE IKELY, PARENT: Not real much. I mean, there was, I guess, a couple of shooters, we've heard, and they are both, they're both in the hands of the authorities. And just the school is doing a great job in getting everybody out of the middle school. That's what we just did. We are heading over to Maple to get our daughter, Casey, which is fine. And this stuff doesn't happen here in Chardon normally. So everybody is a little upset.
COUEIGNOUX: No, this is -- absolutely. When you first heard the news, how did you hear it? And what were your -- what were your initial -- what was your initial reaction?
IKELY: Well, we just got bombarded with e-mails and text messages and phone calls at home. And people heard it all the way from Chicago actually. And just raced up here, and trying to get our way through it.
COUEIGNOUX: What grade is Casey in?
IKELY: Casey is a sophomore, 10th grade.
COUEIGNOUX: OK. So have you been communicating with her at all during this?
IKELY: Yes. She was able to send some text messages. It seemed like the texting was a little backed up. Things weren't coming through as quickly as they were being sent, but yes, we were -- she told us she was fine right away.
COUEIGNOUX: Now in terms of the procedure at the high school, metal detectors, we're hearing that there isn't any. I mean -- as a parent of a high schooler what can you tell us in terms of the safety procedures?
IKELY: To be honest, I can't -- I can't speak with that. I feel like they do a great job. I don't know about the metal detectors. They were on the phone immediately this morning, sending out voicemails, recorded voicemails what to do, where to go. They have done a very job here at the middle school, and I assume they are doing the same over at the high school so.
COUEIGNOUX: I can only imagine a huge sense of relief at this point in time.
IKELY: Absolutely. Absolutely.
COUEIGNOUX: Well, thank you so much for your time. All right. Go get your daughter. I'm glad you'll be --
IKELY: OK. Thank you.
COUEIGNOUX: -- happy to be reunited.
So again, it seems that (INAUDIBLE) their way over to Maple Elementary where they are being reunited with their high school children. But again here where we are, parents still waiting to pick up their middle school students.
TYE: At some point here, Stephanie, it's clear that the high schoolers will be bussed, I guessing, over to Maple Elementary, and the scene that we see unfolding behind you will be duplicated again so that the high schoolers can be released to their parent or guardian.
Is that the sense you get?
COUEIGNOUX: Yes. And Maple Elementary is right across from the high school. So a short trip for the students. But again, as you can see, just so many parents here, that they really want to split everything up so there isn't a bottle neck situation. You can actually see there's a huge line of cars on the road already. So they just want to make everything as smooth as possible. Emotions again running so high. And these are middle school students. But again, breaking down in tears. Both the children and their parents just incredibly relieved to be reunited at this point in time.
TYE: Right. And you know the -- can you kind of give me an idea, Stephanie, the camera can only capture so much in any frame. How many people are there? How many -- how many -- give me a headcount. Are we talking hundreds, a thousand? Let me know of that.
COUEIGNOUX: Yes. I mean, you know, it seems like there are hundreds. The line has certainly grown in the last 40 minutes. Snaking around this building. And there's also a long line of cars, of parents, waiting, waiting to stand in line. So at this point in time, I can tell you with confidence that there are hundreds of parents here.
KENNEDY: All right, Stephanie Coueignoux. Thank you very much. That's the latest with the middle school students who were evacuated. But we do have more this morning.
TYE: Our team coverage continues. Channel 3's Eric Mansfield (ph) is joining us now. He is at Maple Elementary School, where the high schoolers will be released to kind of go out in a piecemeal fashion sort of like at the other school.
Eric, what are you seeing where you're at? What can you report?
ERIC MANSFIELD, CHANNEL 3 REPORTER: Well, I'm right on Chardon Road here, which leads right to the elementary school. I'm looking at the front of the school. There's not a parking space to be had. Parents are backed up probably 1/3 of a mile to 1/2 a mile in each direction.
Some parents were parking on the side of the road and getting out of their cars and just running up to the school. Others are trying to wait patiently. All of them appear to be on cell phones, trying to text their children. A few of them have just gone left of center.
So, it's still very emotional here because of course these are the high school students that were involved. We're still seeing multiple police vehicles with their lights on coming around the traffic, trying to get to the school. I have been monitoring the Geauga County sheriff's office via an app on my smartphone all the way up here.
And I think a lot of the others -- these other parents have as well, because from some I have talked to through the window, they are aware of the suspect that's being processed at the sheriff's office right now. But their emotions are not going to be calm until they can reach their students.
As I have listened to the sheriff's office folks on the dispatch talking to one another, they have slowly cleared bits and pieces of the school and released students from different sections of the school to then be brought over here to the elementary school. But those students who drove to school, this is important, those who drove to school, are going to be allowed to drive their cars home from the school rather than be transported if they can get clarification that the parents have been notified.
So still a very fluid situation over here at the elementary school. A lot of parents looking very worried trying to get there.
KENNEDY: So, Eric, have you seen any students leave with their parents yet?
MANSFIELD: None. You know, all the cars seem to be stuck going in. Very few cars are coming out. But from listening to the dispatch, it's only been about 15 minutes since they have really given most of the all clear at the school for students to be brought over here.
What the transportation is going to be to get them from the school to the elementary school for pickup I don't know. But I'm assuming this is part of their crisis communications plan.
I listened to the deputies talking about the school bus drivers and releasing them to begin this activity. But I'm unsure as to what state they are in right now.
TYE: You know, Eric, as we are looking at live pictures from one of other schools in the areas, we are seeing SWAT teams kind of walking around, even though this isn't the campus where we are going down.
(LOCAL NEWS COVERAGE ENDS)
DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN ANCHOR: And we want to recap what's going on for you there in Chardon, Ohio, which is about 30 miles east of Cleveland. A SWAT team on scene at a local high school there.
The school is in crisis mode, in lockdown -- 1,100 high school students believed to be in the building at the time when at least one shooter walked into the building and began opening fire. Fear and panic gripping the high school as students tried to search for anywhere they could hide.
We are told that as many as three or four students were shot. They were medevaced out of the area to a safe place so they could be brought to area hospitals, their condition not known at this time. Not clear whether even the families have been notified because this is happening so quickly.
The shooter, the gunman, at least one if not two, walked into this school at about 7:30 this morning. We are told by the sheriff that at least one suspect believed to be a student was taken into custody at 9:00.
But again, the SWAT team is on the scene. They are going to be going through the building, securing it to make sure that no one else is in there. And, obviously, to evacuate whatever other students may be in that building. Parents were notified, we are being told, by a phone alert system -- that according to parents who raced to the school to try to get their children.
Children inside the buildings were texting, phoning, giving updates to not only their parents but also to certain officials. And, again, we don't know the situation of those students, the ones who were shot. But we are told that they were medevaced out, and at least one suspect also believed to be a student is in custody.
We will continue to follow this breaking story as it develops, and as we know more about the gunmen and about the condition of those students.
Stay tuned to New York 1. We will be right back with a lot more news. I'm Deborah Feyerick. This is CNN NEWSROOM.
FEYERICK: Right now, we are going to be listening to the sheriff, who is updating us on the shooting that happened at Chardon High School.
(LOCAL NEWS COVERAGE STARTS)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right now, at this time, we're going to focus on getting parents with their students and we'll brief you again within probably the half hour.
COUEIGNOUX: And how is the gunman apprehended?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you. Scott, can you answer that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, we can't. We can't.
Right now, we are just trying to put everything again.
COUEIGNOUX: OK, Chris and Erin, as you just heard, they have confirmed that one gunman was involved in this. Four people were injured. They did not want to go into any detail as to how this all unfolded. How they apprehended the gunman or really even the extent of the injuries. But again, one gunman, four injured.
TYE: And, Stephanie, we caught it just a few seconds late. Was there anything before we came to you that was said to pass along to folks? We want the most up-to-date information here.
COUEIGNOUX: Absolutely. The first team that Lieutenant Hitchcock mentioned was that there was one gunman, which I then had him reiterate for our audience.
But, again, he was simply going through the procedures in terms of releasing the students at this point in time. The high school is no longer under lockdown. They are releasing the students, transferring them to the elementary school right across from them, Maple Elementary. That is where parents will be able to pick up their high school students.
And, again, as Eric just mentioned, students who took their own cars can leave in those cars.
KENNEDY: Stephanie, the second man who spoke, Scott Wilson with the FBI -- can we assume that the school district or the sheriff's office is working with federal authorities?
COUEIGNOUX: Yes, you can. He is with the FBI. They say they are going to continue to investigate.
And, again, in that short press conference, they said their first priority really is to question everyone who was at the scene, who saw something. They want to get as much information from eyewitnesses as possible. And that, they say, is their priority, along of course with reuniting the children with the parents.
TYE: Right. Let me ask you here, Stephanie, the school administration building which is where you're at, that is where -- just to reiterate for folks -- that's where elementary and middle school students are being released to their families, five students at a time, because Eric Mansfield really hit on a salient point, which is you need accountability for all of these kids properly. This day just turned into a jump ball, and every one of these kids needs to be accounted for properly. That's an underscoring point.
But another point I want to ask you about, and I think if they thought there was a second gunman, it would not be nearly as casual as they are treating it now. A number of reporters asked Scott there, and Lieutenant Hitchcock, was there a second gunman, was there a second gunman?
If there was a second gunman presumably on the loose, that would be the primary focus of that press conference. So, is it safe to assume -- would you guess here -- and it's dangerous to do that in these early hours, but that there was just one gunman?
COUEIGNOUX: Well, this is what I can tell you, Chris. We did ask him point blank whether there were one or two gunmen. He said one gunman.
We also asked, should students, should parents assume that everyone is safe? And they said yes. Every student inside that high school is safe. They are not at this point looking for anybody else.
But again, they also have to be very careful with their words as well. But from their language, it does not seem that they are seeking to find anybody else. They said one gunman was in custody, and that is what they repeated to us time and time again.
TYE: So these numbers are kind of firming up. What began as maybe one, maybe two gunmen, what began as two, maybe three, maybe four victims, that's now four. So the story is kind of solidifying.
You're looking at a pretty staggering line. Stephanie, have you been there for a while. So that line is probably second nature to you at this point.
But for those of us who haven't seen quite the depth of that line, that shows you how many parents of middle school and elementary -- these aren't even the parents ever the high school students. These are the secondary school, the elementary and middle school parents, waiting in a long queue there to try and get their kids, five at a time.
KENNEDY: While we look at that line, Stephanie, why don't you quickly again just brief us on what parents need to do. We understand that identification might be required for any parent looking to sign out their children.
COUEIGNOUX: Yes. And, again, this is what we have been talking about all morning long, something that Chris really pointed out, is that security and safety of these children so paramount, especially in circumstances like this. And because of that they are only allowing legal guardians --
(LOCAL NEWS COVERAGE ENDS)
FEYERICK: OK. And you can see there the reporter on the scene.
Just to recap, one gunman, believed to be a student, is now in custody. As many as four students injured during that early morning shooting. And you can see those frantic parents there just waiting for news on their children.
News coming out in dribs and drabs as everyone tries to figure out what's going on.
The SWAT team is on the scene there at the high school.
We'll have lots more for you coming up in the half hour. This is CNN. I'm Deborah Feyerick.
FEYERICK: And good morning, everyone. I'm Deborah Feyerick, in for Kyra Phillips.
We are watching that school shooting in Chardon, Ohio.
On the phone with us, we have a student who wasn't at school this morning and says he is lucky to be alive because he would likely have been near that gunman. And we're going to go to that in just a short time.
But right now, we want to recap what is going on here. Police are searching for at least two gunmen who walked into the building, to the high school there, at about 7:30 this morning. A SWAT team now on scene, they are searching the premises.
The school continues to be in crisis mode and lockdown. Parents racing to nearby buildings in order to get word from their children who are still in that school, though who we are told may be being evacuated at this moment.
One suspect, believed to be a student, is at custody. He was taken into custody about 9:00 this morning.
Now we are waiting to hear from several students who were there at the time. And I think -- do we have our student on the phone?
We're going to listen to local coverage right now. Let's take a listen. (LOCAL NEWS COVERAGE STARTS)
COUEIGNOUX:: Did that make it worse for you? I assume yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You just have to remain calm. It was OK because I know that if our children were not safe or something had happened to them, those parents would be contacted first.
COUEIGNOUX:: Now at this point in time, your son is waiting for you at Maple Elementary?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's what I understand, and we're going to go over there. I'm sure it's going to be a long line also.
COUEIGNOUX:: I have to say you are remarkably calm in terms of this situation. Was there any time that you just -- or did you not just let your fear show?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. I mean, you know your child's OK. And you feel for all of the families out there. And just pray for them.
And, yes, we were very nervous. My husband is out of town. A lot of people have been calling. But talking to other parents, it just helps calm you through the situation.
COUEIGNOUX:: Absolutely. Well, thank you so much for talking with us. And I'm sure you can't wait to be reunited with your other son.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you.
COUEIGNOUX:: All right. Thank you so much.
So again, really, we have been speaking with parents all morning long, but that really is the story of the evening. And it does seem like we're having more information possibly with Lieutenant Hitchcock. So, we're going to make our way over there and see what they have to say.
TYE: We'll walk with you there, Stephanie, as you get in place. Just trump over us when you get him talking.
We'd also like folks on know there is a social media component to this. If folks want to weigh in -- well, let's listen to Stephanie here, real quick.
COUEIGNOUX:: OK. Now can you tell us if the gunman was a student there?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can't say that. I can't confirm that one way or the other.
COUEIGNOUX:: OK. And in terms of any new updates, I know that the lockdown has been released. Students are now being reunited with their parents.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's correct. High school students are meeting their parents at Maple Elementary School, which is across the street from the high school. The middle school are here at the board office being reunited with their parents.
COUEIGNOUX:: Now, for the four students who were injured, have you notified their parents? Are they at the hospitals with them?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That I don't know. I know that everybody has been notified, correct.
COUEIGNOUX:: OK. At this point in time, the lockdown has been released. What is the next step for the high school? Are police still there? Are they searching the property?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Evidence is being collected, and statements are being taken from the individuals there on scene.
COUEIGNOUX:: OK. So is the high school empty? Or is anyone still there?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know we have law enforcement in there. All of the students have been taken over to maple elementary.
COUEIGNOUX:: Can you tell us how this -- the phone call first came in? How you first found out about it
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At this time, we can't. That's all I can say at this time.
COUEIGNOUX:: Thank you very much, Lieutenant.
OK. So a little bit more information there, Chris and Erin. Again, police are really tight-lipped in terms of the details. But we do know that now police are at the high school, collecting evidence, in addition to speaking with eyewitnesses. And, again, that is their priority along with reuniting the parents with those students.
TYE: Stephanie, you're doing a terrific job getting us up to the minute information. This is changing every minute, and you're doing a dynamite job.
Just a couple of questions -- you know, I have the luxury of being here to think about these things. But I wonder where the suspect has been taken, I wonder if they have security camera video, and if they can tell us if this kid has any record, maybe a help down the road.
But again, terrific job. And we're going to let you kind of work the scene a little bit more. Anytime you have anything to report, just wave at us as we continue on looking at --
(LOCAL NEWS COVERAGE ENDS)
FEYERICK: And we just want to bring you up-to-date.
A SWAT team is on scene at that school which has been evacuated. Officers questioning eyewitnesses there. The school now a crime scene as evidence is being gathered.
We have a parent on the phone with us, Teresa Hunt.
Your daughter is 18 years old, a senior at the school. What are you hearing about what happened there this morning?
TERESA HUNT, MOTHER OF CARDON HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT (via telephone): Well, she had phoned me -- well, she texted me, I should say, this morning, I want to say it was around quarter to 8:00.
She said, "We're on lockdown, mom. There's been a shooting." And I texted her back, "What do you mean there's been a shooting? What's going on?" And she said, "We heard shots down the hallway. They put us in lockdown, shut the doors."
She didn't know much more at that point, but we kept texting back and forth, probably about 50 texts this morning. She knew it was a student that brought a gun to school. And five shots rang out.
She knew four people had been injured. She didn't know how bad their injuries were at that time. I don't think she knows now either.
Just about 15 minutes ago, she called me to let me know that they are releasing her to the elementary school, which is across the hallway, or across the street, excuse me, and I am to pick her up. I can't even get out of my driveway. The traffic is bumper to bumper.
I have to report --
FEYERICK: Ms. Hunt, did she -- go ahead.
HUNT: I have to report to the sheriff when I get to the elementary school. They will not let me enter. I must give my name, show ID, to pick up my daughter. And then they will go get her in the school. They are not letting anybody walk.
This is a walking community here. They are not letting anybody leave on foot. Not letting any student leave the building -- which is awesome to hear. The school has done a really great job at their job.
FEYERICK: Ms. Hunt, let me ask you a question. Do you know -- your daughter said she believed it was a student. Did she give you any more information on why she believed that was the case?
HUNT: Only because the other students said they -- someone had seen the kid bring the gun to school. Now I don't know how true that is. I don't -- because of course I'm not there. And you know how kids talk --
HUNT: -- amongst themselves.
So I don't know how true any of that is. But I do know it was a student with a gun from the other phone calls I have received through other parents and whatnot.
FEYERICK: OK. The wounded. Where was your daughter? And did she say where she believed the shots came from? What area of the building?
HUNT: She said they came from the cafeteria. They came down from that end of the building. She was down the same hallway but the cafeteria is at the other end.
FEYERICK: OK. And knowing what you know of the school, is the cafeteria at that time of the morning, is that where most students or many students congregate before heading off to their classes? Do you know?
HUNT: Yes. They serve breakfast in the mornings. So -- and she said the shooting took place at about 7:30. I know the first bell rings at 7:18. So I know that lunchroom had to have probably quite a few children in it.
FEYERICK: OK. Do you know, Ms. Hunt, you said the school has reacted very well. Has the school done drills? Given some school shootings that have happened over the past couple of years, is this a school that was proactive in terms of instructing students what to do should it happen there?
HUNT: Yes, yes. They had had drills. I believe they do two a year. From what my daughter has told me.
I know previously a few years ago they had another incident. My son went to Chardon also. He had a lockdown situation.
There was a bomb threat called in. It was a false alarm. But they have been doing it ever since Columbine happened. I know the school has been active of doing drills every year for every -- since my children have been going there.
FEYERICK: OK. Your daughter, did she -- obviously, there were reports circulating in the school that a student had brought a gun to school. Just in a very vague sort of descriptive way, are there any details of who the student might be? Was it somebody that seemed to have a falling out with the school? Somebody who was doing badly in class?
Were there any sort of descriptions that your daughter was able to give you again understanding that she was in lockdown while the shooting occurred?
HUNT: I did ask her about the third or fourth text in. If she knew the -- if she had any indication that something was going to break out in the school this morning or, you know, rumor within the last week or so. And she said, "No. Mom, this was sudden. I hadn't heard nothing." And none of her friends had heard nothing either.
FEYERICK: OK. All right.
She is -- where is your daughter? Where do you believe your daughter is now? They were able to get out. Is she over at the elementary school there, and has she been told whether she's going to be questioned by local officers there?
HUNT: No, she hasn't been told that yet. All she did was call me to tell me that I could come and get her. I said it's going to be a while. The traffic is terrible.
HUNT: But nobody has talked to her yet at this point.
FEYERICK: Did your daughter -- your daughter told you that she believed as many as five shots rang out. As many as four students may have been hit. Did she describe seeing any ambulances or seeing any of the students being taken from the school and medevaced on those helicopters?
HUNT: No. She heard the commotion. She heard the police in the hallways. Running. This morning. She didn't say if she seen them, but she heard them. And, of course, she was very, very scared.
HUNT: I know she heard lots of sirens.
FEYERICK: Was she hiding? She was in her classroom, the classroom was on lockdown. Did she tell you, were the students hiding?
Were they behind desks? Were they in closets? Were trying to cluster away from the door? Did she describe where she was in that class?
HUNT: She just said they were staying away from the door. I believe she was sitting on the floor with another friend. I don't -- I don't know if they were told to sit down there. I just know that's where she was.
FEYERICK: OK. And Ms. Hunt, obviously terrifying moments for your child. How is she? Is she OK? She must have been just terrified.
HUNT: Yes, she is. The last time I just talked to her, she was crying. She's trembling. She said her anxiety is way up.
She is just waiting to see me. That's all we're waiting for, so we can hug each other and be together.
FEYERICK: All right. And also, you have spoken to other parents. What information -- and again, obviously we know information is coming out sort of in pieces and being circulated. But what are some of the other parents telling you about what they're hearing and about how their children are doing?
HUNT: All the parents that I have talked to, all their kids are fine.
Some of the -- my next door neighbor, she has a daughter in the elementary school. So, of course, she didn't take to the elementary school. But she was very concerned.
We have all heard about the same thing. I don't know when we'll hear anything different.
FEYERICK: All right. Ok. Well, Ms. Hunt, thank you so much. I know we had you on the phone earlier, and you dropped off to take a call from your daughter -- obviously, getting as much information about the safety of these children paramount to everybody as the SWAT team on scene and officers questioning some of the students who may have been closest to the shooting, to find out what they heard, what they saw, and what they may know of the student apparently who was taken into custody about an hour and a half after that shooting started in a very busy part of the school, believed to be the cafeteria.
Teresa Hunt, thank you so much. We'll check back with you in a little while. We really appreciate your time certainly at this difficult moment. Thank you.
We're going to be going to a break, and then we're going to be coming back here at CNN with lots more news. Stay with us, Studio 7.
FEYERICK: Welcome back, everyone.
A terrifying morning for students at Chardon High School about 30 miles outside of Cleveland. You're looking at live pictures there. Parents waiting to find out where their children are. Many were already evacuated from the high school and brought across the street to a local elementary school.
Fear and panic gripping that high school about 7:30 this morning when a gunman walked into the building. The gunman believed to be a high school student and then opened fire in a crowded area of the school. A cafeteria we're being told that had many of the students there who were eating breakfast at the time.
The student has been taken into custody. We are told that about three or four students were injured, though it's not clear exactly what the extent of their injuries are. They were Medevac'd away from that high school to a hospital where they are being treated. We are told that their parents are being notified.
A lot of the folks this morning there were told that there was a crisis at the school immediately after it went into lockdown. A phone alert system notifying parents that a situation was playing out there and you can see those parents just trying to get to their children. Many of those teenagers walked out of the building. And you can see they weren't wearing coats. They had very few belongings. Clearly they simply evacuated with whatever it is they had with them.
We're told that officers are on scene. It is now a crime scene as they gather evidence and try to talk to anybody who may have been near the shooting. And try to find out exactly as much as they can about that shooter who is believed to be a student.
We're going to dip in for a couple of minutes into local news there on the scene to see exactly what they are learning, what they are uncovering. Let's listen.
(LOCAL NEWS COVERAGE STARTS)
TYE: -- or their condition at this hour; 12 minutes before 10:00. You are watching special live team coverage of a shooting at Chardon High School. We're going to go now to Channel 3's Stephanie Coueignoux who is back at the scene where parents are being reunited with their young students from the middle and elementary schools.
Stephanie, what's the latest there?
STEPHANIE COUEIGNOUX, WKYC REPORTER: Well, the latest is that once police and FBI finish collecting evidence at the high school, we do know that they will return here to the Board of Education office. And there will be a press conference to answer some of those questions that we have been asking all morning long, that they haven't yet answered for us.
So they said that is the point in time where they will be able to elaborate a little more as to what exactly unfolded, who possibly this gunman is and -- and who possibly these injured are. So again we are waiting. We're on standby for a press conference.
The FBI, the police, the superintendent still at the high school collecting evidence, sorting information out. And again, they will make their way here to the Board of Education Center where they will hopefully illuminate us as to how this all unfolded.
KENNEDY: And when we were with you earlier, we saw live video of the SWAT team arriving at the school administration building. Can you tell me exactly what kind of authorities have you seen there? What police, FBI?
COUEIGNOUX: Yes. Basically, Special Forces, FBI, police, everyone really working together and I did ask them in terms of surveillance camera. They said there is surveillance video from the school, from the time of this incident. They will not, however, be releasing that.
Obviously that is a crucial element of evidence. But again here and you can still see parents being reunited with their middle school children and elementary school children. The high school no longer under lockdown but emotions still running high.
TYE: Indeed they are. And they probably will all day. Stephanie is there -- is it remarkable to you how calm it is? I mean, it really seems like these people are put together.
COUEIGNOUX: It really is. And one has to wonder if they are staying strong because the other alternative would be to fall apart and that is incredibly scary.
Now when parents were lining up before they were even allowed to start going into the building, there was a bit of a verbal scuffle where police said, look, you just need to calm down. We are trying to do this as smoothly and as calmly as possible. And it seems the parents really responded to that.
Emotions really are running high. But again everyone is cooperating. Really seeming to work together because there is that one common goal. And that is to have the parents be reunited with their children.
TYE: Okay, very good. Stephanie Coueignoux, thank you very much.
KENNEDY: Yes Stephanie thank you. Right now we want to send it over to Maple Elementary where photographer Derek LaBeaud is standing by. This is where the high school students who were evacuated from the high school are now waiting for it to be picked up by their parents. Derek, what's going on there?
DEREK LABEAUD, WKYC PHOTOGRAPHER: Well, you have pretty much of you know people standing in line here. And some of the students are still coming back from the school. And some of them are likely upset. You know it's pretty traumatic for them in the experience in some of this. And -- and you can see the emotions on some of the faces and as well as the parents who stand here and wait for their kids but you also see that gratitude when they come out.
You know what you have here is teachers standing to the side here. And the teachers -- as the kids come from the schools are telling them to hey prepare your bags to be searched and stuff like that.
And you know I just saw an FBI Violent and person go in. You know and she's going in there, I'm assuming to assess the situation. And you know as you see here you have more students coming out of the building. And you know the sheriff has been really good about directing the parents and stuff like that.
KENNEDY: Derek I want to just pin on something and clarify to you something for me real quick. You said that they're checking bags? Who is checking the bags? Are they checking the bags of students, and is it going into or out of that building?
DEREK: They are checking bags as they go in as they bring students over here. So their parents can pick them up, they have their book bags and stuff like that. So what you do then is that they come to the school, they come through here, the deputies will stop them, they'll check the bags -
(LOCAL NEWS COVERAGE ENDS) FEYERICK: So we want to recap. We got off the phone with one of the parents just moments ago. She spoke to her daughter. She was texting her daughter in the school while the shooting was taking place. According to her 18-year-old daughter, a student did enter the building today with a gun. She heard five shots that came from the area of the cafeteria, a busy area where many of the teens were having breakfast this morning.
The shooting happening at about 7:30, the 18-year-old believes that at least four people, four students were shot. She says that the entire school went into immediate lockdown with teachers closing the doors and not letting anyone out. The injured were taken by a helicopter to a local hospital. No word just yet on the extent of the injuries, all of the students now, we are told, have been evacuated.
Some are being questioned by local police to find out how this all happened. There is surveillance video. And clearly officers and FBI agents, anyone involved in investigating this will be taking a look at all of that to find out who this gunman is and why this happened.
We'll bring you lots more. Stay with us. I'm Deborah Feyerick, CNN NEWSROOM.
FEYERICK: We're going to take you to the scene of a school shooting where a student there is being interviewed. Let's take a listen.
(LOCAL NEWS COVERAGE BEGINS)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you very much.
We want to give you this update that's coming into the Channel 5 Newsroom. Chardon Schools 9:15 update, classes are canceled for the day. As of 9:00 a.m. the alleged sole CHS gunman is in custody at Chardon High School.
Students are being moved by safety forces to Maple elementary. Parents are waiting for their bus -- this happened outside the school because some of the reports we've been getting have the kids, something happening in the lunchroom around 7:30.
EVAN ERASMUS, STUDENT: Yes, it was in the cafeteria.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ok. In the cafeteria. And what would have been going on in the cafeteria at7:30? Is there breakfast?
ERASMUS: Yes. Breakfast and it's study hall so everyone's in there.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You also said these were Auburn students waiting for the bus. Could you explain?
ERASMUS: Yes, they were the ones who were hit. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm sorry, could you repeat that.
ERASMUS: The kids who were hit were auburn students.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And what were they doing at Chardon High School?
ERASMUS: They wait every morning for the bus to come and pick them up. Then they go from here to Auburn.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I see. I see. Ok.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ok. All right. Thank you so much, Evan. And if you get any more information, please call -
(LOCAL NEWS COVERAGE ENDS)
FEYERICK: We are now going to listen to our other affiliate. But what we're also hearing is just that some of the kids who were hit were Auburn students -- students who were waiting for a bus to take them to another school. We're going to check on that for you. Again, as many as four injured.
Let's take a listen at those on scene.
(LOCAL NEWS COVERAGE BEGINS)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We know there were reports that a gunman was not in custody and on the loose, but not in the school building. So what they want to do is make sure that when the students are inside the building there's no way anybody is getting in or out because that's the safest place for them to be.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So these training procedures that students go through, it's one of those thing where you hope you never have to actually implement it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On days like this, Nick Schuler (ph), Kim's son, the freshman who we spoke with on the phone, certainly knew at least pieces and parts of how to keep themselves safe when something like this happens.
Let's go live out to where the high school students are being brought.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pretty happen that she found you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tell me about the feeling when you first saw your mom?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't know. I couldn't find her at first, so I just like walked out. I was walking around trying to find her. And then --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So you've been -- you say you looked for your mom for a minute.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. I talked to her on the cafeteria and everything. Couldn't find her.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And mom, what was it like when you saw your kid?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Really good. I just can't wait -- I'm so glad she's ok. Ok. We have to go.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. All right. Thank you so much.