Chardon one week later: Time tells the tale of tragedy

CHARDON, Ohio - Chilling, numbing, saddening -- those are just a few of the feelings that set in as news trickled in last Monday about a shooting at Chardon High School.

That was just in a newsroom, safe from danger.

For the kids at Chardon High School, it was all live, raw, real.

They watched as a normal Monday morning turned into one that would forever change their lives. As a kid, you never imagine a school day turning deadly. You don't think it can happen at your school.

Chardon, Monday February 27, at 7 a.m., was no different than many other American high schools. Then, the shots were fired.

The first 911 calls were received at 7:38 a.m, parents worried, and students shaken.

Evan Erasmus, a student at Chardon High, called into our Scripps station in Cleveland describing the scene, hearing shots fired inside the school.

Nate Mueller described seeing a boy in a puddle of blood on the cafeteria floor.

In an instant, those kids went from worrying about homework to worrying about the lives of friends and classmates. It's something no teenager should have to experience.

As the morning and days continued, the news got worse. Five students were transported to the hospital. Three of them later died.

Three teenagers' lives were cut short.

Danny Parmertor loved computers. Demetrius Hewlin loved going to the gym. Russell King loved rock music and enjoyed fishing.

The three victims had their own special passions, like many typical teenagers do.

The three victims were sent off to school by their parents, a typical daily routine for moms and dads from coast to coast.

In the aftermath of the shooting, time tells the story of how the Chardon community dealt with the atypical, the senseless violence of that Monday morning.

Just more than 24 hours after the shooting, thousands gathered and grieved at a vigil for the victims.

Wednesday night, students went to a basketball game and cheered like crazy, as Chardon won its playoff game.

Thursday, they marched from Chardon Square together and returned to the hallways where the shooting happened.

Friday, classes resumed again, an opportunity to try to find some normalcy in a sea of abnormal.

Over the weekend, the first victim, Danny Parmertor, was laid to rest. The funerals for Demetrius and Russell will be in the coming days.

Chardon, Monday, March 5, is forever changed, marked by the tragedy.

Monday morning, Chardon student Megan Stark tweeted, "It's been 168 hours since the first 911 call was seems more like 168 days.."

It was a week that felt like months for those students, parents and community members. The tragedy has shown the strength of Chardon, individuals stepping up to help the healing.

Students like Brady Lawrence and his friends who helped create a T-shirt to raise money for the victims and their families. Cleveland kids who stood in the cold for hours, selling ribbons for the victims' fund. Thousands outside the Church of Saint Mary's who linked arms to prevent a potential protest of Danny Parmertor's funeral. That's only touching the surface of what was done.

Chardon was shaken but stands strong, moving forward as best it can, as best as time will allow.

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