Huffpost Crime

T.J. Lane, Ohio School Shooting Suspect, Forgiven By Slain Child's Mother

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Losing a child is one of the most devastating things a parent can experience, but the mother of Ohio school shooting victim Demetrius Hewlin believes in forgiveness, even under the circumstances.

T.J. Lane is accused of taking a pistol to Chardon High School and firing 10 shots at a group of students sitting at a cafeteria table on Monday. Three students died, including Hewlin and two others were seriously hurt, according to the Associated Press.

Despite the tragedy, Hewlin's mother Phyllis Ferguson told ABC News in an exclusive interview, "You have to accept things done and move on."

When asked what she would say to the suspected shooter, Ferguson said, "I would tell him I forgive him because, a lot of times, they don't know what they're doing. That's all I'd say."

The irony of the tragedy is that Hewlin was not known for punctuality, his mother said, except on Monday.

"He wasn't a morning person and he was late for school. But that one day he wasn't late," his mom told ABC. "We were running a little late, but we weren't late enough. But it's okay. It's in God's hands. Let His will be done."

Recordings of the 911 calls reveal panicked students and high school administrators pleading for help immediately after shots rang out in the cafeteria, as previously reported in The Huffington Post.

"Hi. Chardon High School. We got shots fired. Gunshots. Multiple gunshots," said one woman.


Chardon High School Shooting
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In the background a man can be heard saying, "Lockdown. Teachers, we're on lockdown."

Moments earlier, the gunman took aim at a table of students at about 7:30 a.m. before classes began. Lane allegedly hit five students with a burst of bullets from a stolen .22-caliber handgun. Three of the victims died from their injuries. Two victims remained hospitalized on Wednesday.

The gunfire prompted numerous 911 calls, made available by the Chardon Police Department and Geauga County Sheriff's Office.

"We just had a shooting at our school. We need to get out of here," said one crying woman, apparently a student. She told the dispatcher that she hid under a table in the lunchroom. "Everyone's running away."

Lane wasn't a student at Chardon, but he went there to catch a bus that would drop him off at an alternative school for at-risk teens.

The school's assistant football coach, Frank Hall, was credited with chasing Lane out of the building. About 30 minutes later, Lane was apprehended.

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