CHARDON, Ohio - As Chardon students prepare to return to school after the deadly shooting earlier this week, emotions were still running high during a Thursday afternoon news briefing.
Three students died following the shooting, which left two others injured and one under arrest. Among the last to speak was Chardon High School assistant football coach Frank Hall.
"Frank chased the gunman out of the building, saving anymore bloodshed," Geauga County Lt. John Hiscox said.
"I want to say I'm sorry," Hall said, adding that he wished he could have done more to help. To the parents of the three victims, Danny Parmertor, Russell King and Demetrius Hewlin, "I want you to know I was with them, I prayed with them, I wiped their tears. I know God was with them."
"I'm not a hero. I'm just a football coach and a study hall teacher." Hall fought back tears as he praised law enforcement and first-responders, spoke of the great kids at Chardon High School.
Geauga County Sheriff Daniel McClelland also noted the strength of Chardon students, their parents and the entire community. On Thursday, students were given the chance to walk the halls of the school and participate in counseling sessions alongside their parents.
"I watched families walk to the school holding hands," McClelland said. "It was an incredible spirit of Chardon. I'll never forget that. This is why we live here. This is why we call Chardon our home."
McClelland also cautioned parents to keep an eye on their children's use of the Internet, especially social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.
"This is misinformation out there. Untruths. There are things that have no bearing on things happening here in Chardon."
Chardon Police Chief Timothy McKenna said there will be a law enforcement presence at the school from this point on. He said officers may be positioned at Chardon High School until the end of the school year.
Chardon Local Schools Superintendent Joe Bergant said the news media will not be permitted on school grounds as class resumes on Friday.
The news conference came just minutes after charges were filed against alleged gunman TJ Lane. He faces three counts of aggravated murder, two counts of attempted aggravated murder and one count of felonious assault.