Chardon High School student says two classmates were in puddles of blood

Student calls suspect 'quiet'

CHARDON, Ohio - One Chardon High School student says a bullet grazed his ear during the school shooting Monday morning.

Nate Mueller was sitting at a table in the school's cafeteria with three of the five victims when the shots were fired just before 8 a.m. He said the alleged gunman was sitting by himself at a table behind them.

"We were talking, going on about our day and we heard a loud pop, like a firecracker almost," Mueller said to reporters on a street corner. The teen wore an Ohio State sweatshirt, while explaining where each of his friends were sitting as the events unfolded. "I turned around and I looked, and he was standing above this table and he was pointing his gun."

Mueller said his friend yelled at him to duck and he didn't realize the bullet had grazed his ear at first.

"I actually believe when it happened that it was a fake gun. I figured if I were to be hit by a gun, it would hurt more," Mueller said. He said two of his friends dropped to the floor and started crawling towards the door, while he jumped over one to get out.

He said he heard three shots, and saw one boy hunched over the table in a pool of blood. Another boy was lying in a puddle of blood on the floor, according to Mueller.

"It was terror. Everything had just went tunnel vision. I need to get out of here. You see glances of your friends all over the place. There's blood. There's people screaming. Everybody's running in different directions and you're just trying to get out," Mueller said.

"That's all you can do is get out of the school and not look back, even though your friends are back there hurt."

Once outside, Mueller hid between a few cars and called police. That 911 call was brief.

"There's someone with gun at Chardon High School," Mueller said he told the female dispatcher. She simply said OK and hung up. Mueller said a few of his other friends gathered outside to figure out what to do next.

Despite the chaos as students ran from the cafeteria, Mueller said he wasn't scared.

"It was being in shock and not knowing what to do, Mueller said. "That loss of knowing, of having confidence in knowing what to do in a time like that and it's just gone. I think is a fear of its own, it's unexplainable. "

Mueller described the shooter, who he identified and authorities confirmed to be TJ Lane, as a quiet boy. While they were friends in middle school, Mueller said Lane, who was a junior, became more gothic. He acknowledged the "goth kid" stereotype, but said he never thought Lane would hurt anyone.

Mueller said he did not see any of Lane's friends in the cafeteria that morning. He said he never heard Lane talk about guns, or even say anything about hunting or fishing.

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