A school shooting that left one student hospitalized and others scrambling out classroom windows in West Liberty, Ohio Friday morning could have been far worse if not for the heroics of staff members who stopped the shooter and had him pinned down when police arrived, authorities say. The shooter, a 17-year-old senior, used a shotgun and intended to harm more than the student who was hit, Champaign County Sheriff Matthew Melvin say. The shooter is in custody facing a preliminary charge of felonious assault, with an initial hearing scheduled Monday, the AP reports. Authorities identified the victim as 16-year-old junior Logan Cole, who was hospitalized in Columbus in critical condition. He was a random victim, the sheriff says.
"As tragic as this situation is, we are very, very fortunate," prosecutor Kevin Talebi says. "It could have been much worse. I'm very, very thankful that, as bad as it is, it didn't escalate to a much more tragic incident." The West Liberty High School shooting, in a common hallway, was reported just as classes were getting underway at the school complex, which is surrounded by farm fields 45 miles northwest of Columbus. The shooter had no significant disciplinary issues, Superintendent Kraig Hissong says. Cole's family asked for prayers for him and for the shooter and his family. "We are certain they have been deeply hurt as well," they said in a statement. "We are confident that God has a purpose and plan through this tragedy." (Read more school shooting stories.)