Skip to main content
  • E-mail
  • Save
  • Print

Police chief: Teen shoots four, kills self at Cleveland high school

  • Story Highlights
  • Police chief: Teen gunman may have targeted some victims
  • Shooting victims are two adults and two teenagers
  • Teen gunman suspended from school on Monday, Chief Michael McGrath said
  • Thursday classes at SuccessTech High are canceled
  • Next Article in U.S. »
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font

(CNN) -- It was only after a crowd of screaming students ran past Darnell Rodgers in a stairway at his Cleveland, Ohio, high school Wednesday afternoon that he realized he had been shot.

"They were screaming, 'Oh my God! Oh my God,'" said Rodgers, a senior at SuccessTech Academy near downtown Cleveland.

Rodgers suddenly felt his arm "burning," he said, and realized he had been shot in the elbow.

Police have started to piece together what happened.

At around 1:15 p.m. ET, 14-year-old gunman Asa Coon, who was a student at the school, walked the halls firing a gun in each hand, Cleveland Police Chief Michael McGrath said.

When it was all over, five people had been shot, but the only fatality was Coon, who police said killed himself in a classroom.

Police found a .22- caliber revolver and .38-caliber revolver near Coon's body, along with a box of ammunition and three knives, said McGrath.

Investigators have reason to believe some victims were specifically targeted by Coon, who had been suspended from school Monday. Video Watch what happened at the school -- and the warning signs »

"We do not believe this was a random shooting," McGrath said.

"It may have been the teachers he went to the school looking for. ... I believe they disciplined him in some manner."

Rodgers was treated and released from the hospital, but others were more seriously injured.

Coon shot 57-year-old teacher David Kachadourian in the back and shot a 42-year-old teacher in the chest, officials said.

Edward Eckart, commissioner of EMS Cleveland, said the 42-year-old underwent surgery at MetroHealth Medical Center and was in stable condition at 8 p.m. Wednesday.

Fifty-seven-year-old Kachadourian was in stable condition, he said.

In addition, a 15-year-old male with a gunshot wound to his side and a 15-year-old female with a knee injury were transported to Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital, where they were in stable condition Wednesday night, Eckart said.

McGrath said Coon and another student were suspended Monday after they apparently got in a fight outside the school.

Coon had a previous arrest last year for a domestic violence incident, and police had been to his home before for incidents that involved weapons, according to McGrath.

Police searched the gunman's locker after the shooting and are watching surveillance footage of the school taken at the time of the shooting, he said.

Students said they took cover in closets after the school principal announced a "Code Blue" on the intercom.

Students described the gunman as being "odd."

Rodgers spoke to reporters after leaving the hospital Wednesday evening.

He called the shooting "very shocking" and said he was "sad" it could happen at a school he thought was safe. Check out other school shootings in recent years »

"I never thought it would personally happen at my school."

District schools will be closed Thursday. Recreation centers will be open and counselors will be available for city residents.

Friday was already going to be a professional day for faculty and will now be devoted to figuring out how to go about resuming classes on Monday.

Cleveland Municipal School District CEO Eugene Sanders said the community and everyone with ties to SuccessTech needs "to take a breather and relax a moment and put this in perspective."

SuccessTech is a nontraditional high school, according to local school officials.

"Since it is a specialty school," it doesn't have "the typical population of a large high school," said Lisa Matthews of the superintendent's office.

It is a "school of choice" -- students have to apply to get in, said Ruthie Williams, also of the superintendent's office. She said classrooms are on the first and third floors of the four-story building and the rest contains the school district's administrative offices.

The academy describes itself on its Web site as a "small, nontraditional high school that provides a learning environment in which all student believe in their ability to succeed."

It adds that the curriculum is "problem-based" and "infused" with technology.


The school was founded in part with a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

No metal detectors were at the school on Wednesday, although the school board has portable detectors that are randomly moved from school to school, McGrath said. An armed security guard was at the front desk, he added. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

All About Cleveland

  • E-mail
  • Save
  • Print