La Salle High School student used gun from his home to shoot himself at school, police say

Victim still in critical condition at UCMC

CINCINNATI - The La Salle High School student who shot himself at school Monday used a .45-caliber, semi-automatic  handgun taken from the gun safe in his home, Green Township Police Chief Bart West announced Tuesday.

Police were still trying to determine to whom the gun was registered, West said.

Police released a report on the incident Tuesday as classes resumed one day after an honors-level student walked into a classroom and tried to end his life.

The teacher inside the classroom told investigators the 17-year-old was seated at the front of the room. He said the student struggled to chamber a handgun before placing the gun to his right temple and pulling the trigger.

Officials said the student remains in critical condition at University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

The student's family reiterated their request for privacy Tuesday and WCPO will continue to withhold the name of the student at their request. The family said in a release, "We love our son very much and have always been proud of him. We are grateful for all who continue to keep our son and our family in your prayers."

La Salle held a prayer service at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the high school gym. Families, friends and the La Salle community were invited to attend, as well as all teens and adults dealing with challenges in life, the school said on its website.

The shooting happened about 9:07 a.m. Monday in a classroom with about 22 students, according to La Salle officials and Green Township police.

Police said they interviewed all the students who were in the classroom at the time of the shooting. Officials said the students described the incident as being "over before they realized what happened."

La Salle Director of Community Development Greg Tankersley said Monday that the student was highly-involved in the school and had logged 80 hours of community service. Tankersley said the "action was not anticipated."

School officials said Tuesday's school day would start with a prayer service. Counselors and clergy were also sent to the school to help students deal with the tragedy.

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati released a statement Tuesday from Archbishop Marion Schnurr, who said:

"We are all greatly saddened by the shooting at La Salle High School. We pray for the young man's recovery, not only from the self-inflicted wound but also from the personal challenges that led him to take this action. We also pray for his family and friends, for the other students and the teacher in the classroom at the time, and for the entire La Salle school community. Through the grace of God, may they all find healing, strength, and courage."

McAuley High School, an all-girls parochial school that is closely connected to La Salle, and other schools in the area have loaned counselors and offered other resources to La Salle.

West said officers swept the school for any other possible weapons or devices Monday and that none were found. Extra officers were slated to be at the La Salle campus Tuesday.

West said investigators will interview students in the coming days to determine what led up to the incident.

Officials said that there was no resource officer at the school and district officials said the school does not have metal detectors, as is the case with all Catholic schools in the archdiocese.

Monday's shooting was the second involving a La Salle student this year. In February, 17-year-old Justin Brown died after being shot during what police said was an attempted drug deal.

La Salle officials stressed that the Monday shooting was an isolated incident.

Archdiocese spokesperson Dan Andriacco said the district is still trying to determine how to proceed with end-of-the-school-year activities.

The school's security protocol was followed properly, he said.

District leaders and police said they plan to review La Salle's security plan and continue to investigate the incident.

*WCPO Digital does not routinely cover suicides or attempted suicides. But after recent events, reports of guns in schools are of great public concern and demand coverage.

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