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Ohio teen fires gun in school hall; no one injured

WILLOUGHBY, Ohio (AP) - A distraught student carrying more than 30 rounds of ammunition shot a handgun twice in his high school's hallway Tuesday and threatened to kill himself before two administrators persuaded him to surrender, police said.

No one was injured at Willoughby South High School, northeast of Cleveland, Willoughby police Lt. Randy Sevel said.

Witnesses said the 15-year-old sophomore walked into a geometry class and said he wanted to speak to a specific girl. When she raised her hand, he asked her how she was, then said goodbye and went into the hallway while slamming the classroom door.

He fired one bullet from a .40-caliber handgun into a trophy case, shattering its glass, and another into the ceiling, authorities said.

Principal Paul Lombardo and Assistant Principal Jeff Lyons caught up with the student, who told them he wanted to kill himself, Sevel said. While classrooms were being locked down, the two administrators persuaded the student to give up the gun.

"He did put the gun to his head numerous times," Lombardo said. "He never really said why he was doing it. He did say it wasn't like him to do this, and he was fearful that he had ruined his life."

Police arrested the student, then searched the building and evacuated it room by room. The student was taken to a behavioral health center for evaluation.

"Our indications are that he didn't have intentions other than maybe harming himself," Sevel said.

Investigators believe the student intended to kill himself in front of his girlfriend, Police Chief Conrad Straube said. Police did not identify him because he is a juvenile. No charges have been filed.

Lombardo said there were no warning signs that the boy was troubled. The school of about 1,450 students began the fall semester Aug. 26. Classes were scheduled to resume Wednesday.

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Posted in: News by NewsBot on September 3, 2008 @ 12:00 AM

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