Copley students return with heavy hearts

Students honor classmates killed in shooting spree

COPLEY TOWNSHIP, Ohio - Students in the Copley-Fairlawn school district paused for a moment of silence on the first day of school to honor two classmates that were killed during a shooting spree earlier this month.

"I think it's very important that our students just pay a moment of silence and tribute to those that were lost in this tragedy," said superintendent Brian Poe.

On Thursday, students at Copley HIgh School experienced mixed emotions as they prepared for a new school year.

Many felt upbeat about getting back into the classroom, but they were also heavyhearted that two fellow students would not be sitting alongside of them.

Autumn Johnson and Amelia Shambaugh, who were both 16-years-old, were killed on August 7 when, according to police, Michael Hance went on a shooting rampage in Copley Township.

Hance allegedly murdered five other people before he was shot and killed by Copley Township police officer Ben Campbell.

Zach Schmidt, a Copley High School senior, said students were reminded during school assemblies that counselors and psychologists are in the building to talk with anyone who needs help with their grief.

"It's terrible to lose someone in the Copley family, even if you didn't know them. You feel bad for everyone, knowing that someone is missing or multiple people are missing," Schmidt said.

The district is also working on a tribute to Amelia and Autumn. The final details will be worked out with their families.

"We certainly are going to plan something once we've had some time to work through the grieving and try to start the healing process," Poe said.

The close-knit community was shaken by the tragedy which captured national media attention.

But those who live here said Copley will heal with love and support from each other.

"Most people know each other and everyone is there for everybody," Schmidt said.

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