Suspect's mother found Ross High School student's body on her couch

Two teens facing charges in student's death
Teen arrested for Ross Township shooting
Posted at 10:03 AM, Jan 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-01 08:48:21-05

ROSS TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- Two teenagers are facing charges in the shooting death of a Ross High School student on Tuesday, authorities said. 

It was the shooting suspect's mother who discovered the body of Austin Hensley, 18, on her couch when she came home.

"There's a kid on my couch," she told dispatchers in a 911 call. "I think he's dead."

Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones said a 17-year-old boy is charged with murder, aggravated robbery and tampering with evidence. Jones said another 17-year-old boy faces a related theft of firearm charge for stealing his father's handgun.

“It is always tragic when life is lost, especially when everyone involved is so young,” Jones said.

Jones said Hensley and suspect, both "wannabe gangsters," met to trade guns, but the suspect intended to rob Hensley.

Hensley was shot and killed during the attempted robbery, according to Jones.

"People don't accidentally get shot very often," Jones said. "Not very often. When you have people that are inexperienced, but they think they're tough, they have guns, they bring guns, they think they're gangsters. Usually, somebody dies."

Both suspects and Hensley were Ross High School students, Principal Brian Martin said in a written statement. 

Hensley was a junior at the school, Martin said. He said additional support staff were on hand Wednesday for students.

"We loved Austin, and our prayers go our to his friends and family," Martin wrote. "These events are yet another reminder that no community is immune from the scourge of senseless gun violence. We are sure that as the police investigation unfolds, more details will come to light. However, that does not change the fact that a young man has lost his life and, regardless of the circumstances, that is a tragedy."

Jones said the suspect had been kicked out of school. WCPO news partner the Journal-News reported the 17-year-old has a criminal history dating back to 2016. That includes accusations that he claimed to have a bomb in his locker at school, that he assaulted someone while at the juvenile detention center and that he harassed an inmate at the juvenile detention center. 

The shooting happened at the shooting suspect's home at about 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jones said. Hensley died from the gunshot wound at 9:40 p.m., according to the coroner's report. Detectives and deputies remained at the house finishing the investigation Wednesday morning.

"He was a really good kid," Hannah Greathouse, who knew Hensley, said. "Really goofy. He was always happy. Literally always happy."

The shooting suspect was booked into the Butler County Juvenile Detention Center shortly after midnight Tuesday. His pretrial date was set for 1:30 p.m. Feb. 12 before Judge Roman.

WCPO does not identify underage suspects in criminal proceedings involving a minor.