T. J. Lane, the convicted school shooter serving three life sentences, was being held in an overcrowded prison when he escaped from an Ohio correctional facility Thursday. Lane, 19, was found and returned Friday to the Allen Correctional Facility in Lima, Ohio, according to Joellen Smith, a spokesperson for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.
Lane escaped along with another inmate at around 7:30 p.m. He was taken back into custody at about 1:20 a.m. near the prison. The other inmate, Clifford Opperud, 45, was still on the loose Friday morning, police said. Opperud was serving a 12-year sentence for aggravated robbery, burglary and kidnapping, according to prison records. A third inmate also escaped but was caught shortly after breaking out of the prison, Lima police said.
"Inmate Lane has been returned to the Allen Oakwood Correctional Institution and criminal and administrative investigations are ongoing," the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction said in a statement Friday.
Allen Oakwood Correctional Institution was over capacity when it was last inspected in April, according to the inspection report. At the time, it had 1,635 inmates, significantly more than its official capacity of 1,418. The cost of maintaining each inmate at the facility is approximately $62 per day.
Lane was charged in 2012 with three counts of aggravated murder, two counts of attempted aggravated murder and a single count of felonious assault in connection with the shooting of five students at Chardon High School in Chardon, Ohio.
Classes at the school were cancelled Friday and counselors were treating rattled students. Lane opened fire at the school's cafeteria in February 2012, killing three students — Demetrius Hewlin, 16; Russell King Jr., 17; and Daniel Parmertor, 16 — and wounding three more, one of whom was reportedly paralyzed. Lane was 17 at the time of the shooting.
“Our thoughts and prayers today go out to the families of Demetrius, Russell and Danny and all others affected by the tragedy as well as by the troubling events from Thursday evening,” Chardon Local Schools Superintendent Michael P. Hanlon Jr. said in a statement to parents.