Chardon assistant football coach Frank Hall chased the boy accused of opening fire in the Chardon High School cafeteria from the school building Monday morning, law enforcement officials in the small community northeast of Cleveland said today.
“Frank chased the gunman out of the building, saving anymore bloodshed,” Lt. John Hiscox of the Geauga County Sheriff’s Office said today.
Today, for the first time, Hall spoke at public press conference about what happened that morning:
Three students died in the shooting, and several more were injured. The accused shooter, 17-year old T.J. Lane, faces three counts of aggravated murder and other charges.
Hall has been called a hero and cited for his courage by everyone from Ohio Gov. John Kasich to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.
Today, Hall told the shooting victims and their families that he was sorry.
My thoughts and prayers are still with you.
To the families of Danny, Demetrius and Russell, I want you to know I was with them. I prayed with them. I wiped their tears. And I know God was with them. [Demetrius Hewlin, 16, Russell King Jr., 17, and Daniel Parmertor, 16, were killed in the shooting.]
I don’t know why this happened, I only wish I could have done more.
I’m not a hero, just a football coach and a study hall teacher.
The law enforcement, first responders that came to our aid that that day, they are the heros.
To the chief, sheriff, [school district superintendent] Mr. [Joseph] Bergant, [high school principal] Mr. [Andy] Fetchik, thank you for the training that we received. We all wished that we never had to use it, but we used it and it worked.
To the teachers and support staff that carried this training out and went above and beyond and put their kids before themselves, I thank you. You’re the best America has to offer.
A while back I read a book about Tel Aviv in Israel, and after a terrorist attack on one of the markets, the mayor was so adamant that the very next day the markets would be opened to show that terror and evil would not win out, that the way of life will not change, their faith would not change.
I’m here to tell you that tomorrow, our schools will be open. Our teachers will be there, our administration will be there, our parents and community. But more importantly, our children will be there.
I can’t tell you how great these children are, how great these kids are.
I want to leave you know with some scripture. Matthew 5:14.
“You are the light of the world…”