JACKSON TWP. – A Jackson Middle School student is dead after being treated at a hospital for a self-inflicted gunshot wound that occurred after the he brought a weapon to the school Tuesday morning shortly before 8, when school was scheduled to begin.
An early report indicated the incident took place in a boy’s restroom at the school. The student, identified as a male by police, was taken to a hospital for treatment.
An alert message was sent out to parents by Superintendent Chris DiLoreto confirmed the shooting incident. A few hundred parents gathered on the east side of Jackson Middle School to be reunited with their kids as they were released alphabetically by grade.
“What a way to start your day,” one dad said as he walked toward the school trying to get information.
Jackson Police Chief Mark Brink tried reassuring parents during a press conference Tuesday morning.
“We’ve got to look into how that happened and from that put a plan together and make sure we have a presence here especially going forward,” Brink said.
The incident occurred on the first day of school back from a holiday break, and after police from multiple agencies investigated threats made over the weekend on social media deemed not credible. There was a heightened police presence at several Stark County school buildings Tuesday morning.
“That Florida shooting just happened and you keep thinking about your kid,” said parent Daniela Biller, who has three students at the middle school. “I just bawled my eyes out watching the
Florida shooting and thinking about what if it was my kids.”
Jackson police the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, Ohio Highway Patrol and Stark County Sheriff’s Office are at the scene.
High school students without a ride home were seen walking home on an unseasonably warm late-February day.
Lori Musaelyan has a sixth-grader in the school. Her son keeps his phone in his locker so she can’t contact him.
“You don’t expect this. It just doesn’t happen to us. It shouldn’t happen to anyone,” she said trying not to get choked up.
Jennifer Moore, 37, of Jackson, has a sixth-grader. She usually doesn’t allow her child to take her phone to school but is now reconsidering it.
“It’s hard as a parent not knowing what’s going on, and you’re hearing it from other sources,” she said. “You don’t know what’s true and what’s rumor. I don’t know how my daughter is handling it…You never think it will come to your little town. I always thought Jackson was a safe place.”
Jackson Middle School has sixth to eighth-grade students. It is the largest middle school in Stark County. There are roughly 1,400 students and about 130 teachers and staff at the school located on Mudbrook Street NW.
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