MADISON TOWNSHIP, Ohio — Four students were injured and a 14-year-old student was arrested after a shooting at a Butler County Jr/Sr high school, authorities said.
The shooting happened around 11:15 a.m. Monday at Madison Jr/Sr High School on West Alexandria Road.
Butler County investigators said a shooter, identified as James Austin Hancock, a 14-year-old student at the school, opened fire during lunch in the cafeteria.
Four students were injured. Two were shot and two others suffered injuries from shrapnel or while trying to flee the building, officials said.
According to the Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones, the students shot are Cameron Smith, 15, and Cooper Caffrey, 14.
The two who were injured are Brant Murray, 14, and Katherine Doucette, 14.
“You know, we had a shooter in the school. He was 14-years-old. He pulled his weapon out, shot two kids in the cafeteria. They were taken to the hospital. They’re in the hospital as we speak. We don’t think they’re life-threatening wounds at this time. It appears the weapon that was used may have been a .38 caliber weapon,” Jones said.
“I was eating with my friends and stuff and we were chatting. I was about to move my chair over and I heard like a couple of a loud bangs. And then I looked over and one of the kids that got shot liked grabbed his leg. He fell down and the shooter like ran out. There were kids screaming and like crying and everybody ran out of the building,” Kinnin said.
Jones said after the shooting, Hancock ran from the school and dropped the weapon.
“He ran from the school. Threw his weapon. We’re reviewing and tagging the crime scene at this point, which is the cafeteria in the school,” said Jones.
K-9 officers were able to track Hancock’s scent and he was taken into custody near school grounds. He was taken to the Butler County Juvenile Detention Center, Jones said.
“It was close to school grounds. He didn’t get very far. He threw his weapon down. We retrieved that weapon. Our deputy was in school at that time and was in the cafeteria just a short time before that shooting too place,” Jones said.
Hancock is charged with two counts of attempted murder, two counts of felonious assault, inducing panic and making terroristic threats — all felony juvenile charges.
Jones said authorities have an idea of the motive for the shooting, but they are not yet releasing it.
The injured students suffered non-life-threatening injuries, according to Madison Local Schools.
The two students who were shot were taken to Miami Valley Hospital hospital via AirCare and are stable, officials said.
Police released a 911 call for the incident:
Dr. Peter Ekeh, the director of the trauma unit at Miami Valley, said that all the injured students are expected to make full recoveries. Ekeh said both boys were conscious when they arrived.
Ekeh said one boy was shot once, the other had multiple wounds, though it is unclear how many times he was shot.
Neither has required surgery, Ekeh said. They are expected to be released in a few days, Ekeh said.
The parents of the four children who were injured have been notified, school officials said.
A parent of one child, whose wife entered the school, said that six shots were fired and described the scene as “total chaos” at the school.
Immediately after the shooting, the school went on lockdown.
“About 1,600 students Pre-K through 12 and we are all in one building, another reason the entire district immediately went on lockdown. You can actually walk from the kindergarten hallway all the way to the senior hallway if you wanted to. So, it was very important for us to get the entire district locked down immediately,” AJ Huff with Madison Local Schools said.
Madison Local Schools received clearance from the Butler County sheriff about an hour later and students at the MJSHS were dismissed as quickly as possible.
The Madison Local School District will be closed Tuesday. School officials said that classes will be canceled so staff can put plans into place, including on-site counseling.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich was at a town hall in Vermont on Monday when he was informed of the shooting. He offered his condolences to families.
Unity Baptist Church held a prayer service at 6:30 p.m. Monday.