(CHESTERLAND, Ohio) — Local officials in Ohio are commending the quick thinking of a high school student who they say potentially averted a school shooting.
After the 17-year-old student alerted a school resource officer on Monday morning about a bullet found in one of the school’s bathrooms, police were able to locate and arrest a student who had brought a 9mm handgun and three fully-loaded magazines into the school, school officials said.
“The fact that we were able to do so rests in large part on the actions of a student who did what he knew was right; he reported a suspicious finding to his school resource officer,” West Geauga Local Schools Superintendent Richard Markwardt said at a press conference on Wednesday.
Police charged 18-year-old Brandon Morrissette with attempted aggravated murder, inducing panic and illegal possession of a deadly weapon in a school, according to court records obtained by ABC affiliate WEWS in Cleveland.
Geauga County Prosecutor Jim Flaiz said that Morrissette will be taken into custody and arraigned once he clears medical and psychological evaluations at a mental health facility, which could be as early as Friday.
It was not immediately known if Morrissette has an attorney.
Chester Township Police Chief Craig Young said that once authorities learned about the bullet, they sorted through nearly two dozen individuals captured on video entering the school’s bathroom, eventually narrowing it down to Morrissette who was arrested Monday morning.
Flaiz also credited the school’s resource officer for the successful response.
“This was handled, in my opinion, absolutely correctly and properly from beginning to end,” he said.
The school went into lockdown while the investigation took place, and students were later dismissed for the entire day due to an associated threat on social media, according to Markwardt. Officials defended the delay in waiting until the school’s third period to issue a lockdown, despite finding the bullet during the first period, calling any earlier lockdown based on the information available at the time “premature.”
“I am deeply grateful for the fact that no students and staff were injured or killed in this recent incident,” Markwardt said at the press conference.
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