Sources confirm that a suspect has been taken into custody in the Chardon High School shooting, when a lone gunman reportedly opened fire in the school's cafeteria, injuring four before he turned himself in to bystanders off-site from the school and was taken into custody by police.
A SWAT team is still moving through the school, which remains on lock down in the aftermath of the shooting.
We are on scene and can confirm that a SWAT team is out there, making things secure and, of course, conducting the preliminary steps of the investigation with the local authorities that called us, Vicki Anderson, a spokeswoman for the FBI's Cleveland division, told ABC News.
Students are being quoted by multiple media sources as saying that the shooter is a fellow student, including one junior who reported that the gunman was a young boy who suddenly stood up and started shooting.
And while local and federal authorities try to confirm if the suspect had any accomplices, these same students have already begun to tell reporters what went on inside the building during the shooting, and to speculate on the suspect's identity.
'I thought it was a drill.'
Freshman Hailey Tarbet said she was sitting in first period doing work when the shooting occurred.
“One of the teachers was screaming, `Lockdown!’ We heard a bunch of doors slamming,” Tarbet told The News-Herald.
“We went into lockdown practice, and sat against the walls. I didn’t think anything was happening. I thought it was a drill. The other kids heard gunshots and were screaming.”
Chardon High School student Sarah Kraska, meanwhile, told the Ohio paper that police had begun to sweep the building within the first hour, questioning students before they were evacuated.
“One of the kids in the class opened the door,” she said. “The police came in with the kids and said, ‘Are any of you armed? Do any of you have guns?’”
Shooter Allegedly 'The Outcast Type'
The shooter's identity, meanwhile, a source of intense speculation within the first minutes of the attack, has already become more complicated by student testimony.
While officers decline to give the alleged shooter's name, one student has already told WKYC-TV 3 that he was a student who “had gotten into trouble a lot at school.”
Evan Erasmus, meanwhile, an 18-year-old senior at Chardon High School, was interviewed live on Channel 5 News and said he knew the shooter, though he did not identify him by name.
“He was not like a jock, a popular kid’ Erasmus said. “He has friends, but he would be considered the outcast type.
Erasmus also said he was in the immediate area when the shooting took place around 7:30 a.m. in the cafeteria. He could not say who had been shot, but said he felt certain they were all Auburn Career Center, a nearby high school that focuses on career development through extracurricular programs like job shadowing and workshops for areas like Architecture, Welding and Sports Medicine.
“I’m not sure if they were targeted, Erasmus said of the four students. Or if they were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Although it is possible that the suspect is, in fact, a loner at Chardon High School, police have yet to confirm anything about the alleged shooter's identity, and speculation as to motive, targets and basic ID remain completely unconfirmed or even hinted at by authorities.
As officials struggle to keep the story under control, parents continue to try and contact their kids. The father of a male student at Chardon High School heard about the shooting on the radio. he has spoken to his son, whom he described as very calm, but has not been able to see him yet due to the lockdown on Chardon and the surrounding schools.
“I’m absolutely scared out of my mind,” he told WKYC-TV 3. “I just want him back. I’m not gonna be able to calm down until I can hold him... He just said he is in lockdown and can’t get out.”
The IBTimes will be reporting on this story as it develops.