CLEVELAND (AP) – A 14-year-old suspended student opened fire in a downtown high school yesterday before killing himself, and five people were taken to hospitals, authorities said.
After the shooting, shaken teens called their parents on cell phones, most to reassure but in at least one case with terrifying news: “Mom, I got shot.”
Mayor Frank Jackson said the three teens and two adults were hurt. He said the children were in “stable, good condition,” and the adults were in “a little elevated condition.”
The shooter was enrolled at the SuccessTech Academy alternative school but had been suspended Monday for fighting, said Charles Blackwell, president of SuccessTech’s student-parent organization.
Blackwell said the shooter entered the high school, a converted five-story office building, and gradually worked his way up through the first two floors of administrative offices to the third floor of classrooms.
“Nobody knows how he got in,” he said.
Student Doneisha LeVert, who hid in a closet with two other students after she heard a “Code Blue” alert over the loudspeaker, said the shooter had threatened students Friday.
“He’s crazy. He threatened to blow up our school. He threatened to stab everybody,” she said.
Ronnell Jackson, 15, said he saw a shooter running down a school hallway.
“He was about to shoot me, but I got out just in time,” he said. “He was aiming at me I got out just in time.”
LeVert said she heard about 10 shots.
“I heard gunshots but I just thought someone was banging a book on the desk,” said Rasheem Smith, 15. He soon realized there was a shooting and told his classmates to flee down the stairs.
Tammy Mundy, 38, who has a son and daughter at the school, told The Plain Dealer that her daughter called when the shooting started.
“She said, ‘Mom they’re shooting in here, kids are running out, I’m hiding in the closet,'” Mundy told the newspaper.
Then she called her 18-year-old son, Darnell Rodgers, on his cell phone, and he told her he had been shot in the arm.
“He said, ‘Mom, I got shot,'” Mundy told the newspaper.