On 2nd anniversary, school shooting takes another victim


The funeral procession of Russell King Jr. winds through Chardon streets in March 2012

The father of a boy killed in the Chardon High School shooting died Thursday morning at his home on the second anniversary of the rampage.

Russell King, 48, was found in his bed by a family member at his home in Chardon Township, said Lt. John Hiscox of the Geauga County Sheriff’s Department. He said there were no signs of foul play. He said Coroner Robert Coleman is investigating.

Geauga County Prosecutor James Flaiz said Thursday that he could not comment on the case, saying it “was an ongoing criminal investigation, although we believe foul play was not involved.”

King’s son, Russell, was one of three students killed Feb. 27, 2012, at Chardon High School. T.J. Lane opened fire in the school’s cafeteria with a .22-Ruger before classes began. He also killed Daniel Parmertor, 16, and Demetrius Hewlin, 16. Russell was 17. Three other students were wounded…

Lane pleaded guilty to three counts of aggravated murder, two counts of attempted aggravated murder and one count of felonious assault for a shooting that shined an unwanted spotlight on a suburban school district and plunged it into the political donnybrook of gun control…

Russell King Sr. went to all of the court hearings involving Lane. He was a tall, strong man who seemed deeply hurt by the senseless loss of his son. He and other family members of the victims struggled last March, when a Geauga County judge sentenced Lane to three life sentences in prison.

Lane mocked his victims during that hearing, wearing a T-shirt with the word “Killer” on it, swearing and flipping his middle finger to their parents and families.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said he was saddened and stunned by the news.

“That’s just horrible,” he said. “Anyone who loses a child never gets over it. Anything anyone says to you has no relevance.”

The NRA gives the finger to every sensible American who wants to support the 2nd Amendment with strict regulations against criminals and disturbed individuals having access to deadly weapons.

I’ve been a gun owner and hunter most of my life. I own guns, right now. I also support the efforts of gun owners to manage access to firearms by strict regulation, licensing and record-keeping. I consider fools who dedicate time and money to maintaining easy access for criminals to be no better than the thugs they aid.

It doesn’t take a whole boatload of logic and reasoning to increase the safety of our populace without infringing on anything more than individual ignorance and fear.

Sooner or later, we have to grow into a society where children and their parents are less likely to fear death on a daily basis.

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