The teenager, who is believed to be behind a shooting Monday in a cafeteria of Chardon High School, Ohio, that killed one student and injured four others rarely spoke about his tumultuous family life.
Earlier, his lawyer said that the teenager was distraught and remorseful.
Police officially have not identified the suspect except to say that he is a juvenile. But students their parents and local media said that the alleged gunman's name was T.J. Lane, which was later confirmed by NBC News.
Lawyer Bob Farinacci, speaking for suspect's family, told CNN the 17-year-old was extremely remorseful.
Very, very scared and extremely remorseful, he told CNN.
He is a very confused young man right now. He's very confused. He is very upset. Um, he's very distraught...himself. This is a very scary circumstance that I don't think he could have possibly even foreseen himself in the middle of, he added.
Lane's friends said that he was very personal and rarely opened up about his personal life.
According to Cleveland.com, Geauga County court records showed that Lane's father, Thomas Lane Jr., had been arrested several times for violent crimes against women in his life, including the teen's mother.
However, it was not clear whether Lane and his father had any contact.
The suspect was arrested after a school teacher chased him from the building. After the Monday shooting, students in Chardon were told to stay home Tuesday.
When Farinacci was asked about Lane, he called him a good kid, according to NBC News' WKYC.
By all accounts T.J. is a fairly quiet and good kid. His grades are pretty impressive, Farinacci told WKYC.
He's a sophomore. He's been doubling up on his classes with the intent of graduating this May. He pretty much sticks to himself but does have some friends and has never been in trouble over anything that we know about.
Correction: A photo that alleged showed T.J. Lane pointing guns was uploaded to this article earlier. The photo has since been removed as authorities have yet to reveal any information about Lane's identity.