CINCINNATI (AP) — The Roman Catholic archbishop of Cincinnati expressed sadness and offered prayers Tuesday for a wounded student, his family and those in the school community in the aftermath of a classroom suicide attempt.
The student remained hospitalized in critical condition Tuesday as classes resumed at La Salle High School, an all-male Catholic school west of Cincinnati.
“We are all greatly saddened by the shooting,” Archbishop Dennis Schnurr said in a statement. “We pray for the young man’s recovery, not only from the self-inflicted wound but also from the personal challenges that led him to take this action.”
The Cincinnati archdiocese covers 19 counties, including 114 Catholic primary and secondary schools. Schnurr said there are also prayers for family, the other students and the teacher who were in the classroom Monday morning and for the entire La Salle school community.
Green Township police said there were at least 21 other students in the first-period classroom Monday morning when the student attempted suicide with a semi-automatic handgun. They said no other students or staff were threatened.
The student is a junior and an honors student. He made the top honor roll on the most recent academic report and has been active in Boy Scouts. School spokesman Greg Tankersley said he has an extensive record of community service, and has been “highly involved” in school life.
Green Township police said they would review security at the school, but Chief Bart West said school officials reacted according to their safety plan Monday. The school was put in lockdown, and students were later dismissed to parents.
Improving school security has been a high priority around the state in the aftermath of last year’s fatal shooting of three students at Chardon High School in northeast Ohio and the December shooting rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut. Officials say the FBI and U.S. Secret Service have gotten involved in a bomb-threat investigation at Cuyahoga Falls in northeast Ohio, which was closed Monday as a precaution. There was a similar threat there in March.
The boy’s family has requested privacy while they focus on efforts to save his life by the University of Cincinnati Medical Center doctors and staff.
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