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Deputies: Student showed off gun before shooting

Posted at 12:17 PM, Mar 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-01 19:42:18-05

MADISON TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- The eighth-grader who deputies said opened fire on fellow students in at Madison Jr./Sr. High School Monday told classmates he had a gun before he used it in the cafeteria, according to Sgt. Rob Whitlock.

James Austin Hancock, 14, got his gun from a family member, Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones said.

"I know he told us he got it from a family member, but we're working to get that confirmed," Jones said Tuesday.

Depending on where Hancock got the gun, "there could be other charges," Jones said.

Surveillance cameras caught the shooting on video, but Jones said the video will not be released.

Whitlock said Hancock showed the gun to someone just before the shooting. He said someone was en route to tell administrators before Hancock pulled the trigger.

Investigators believe Hancock waited for a school resource officer to leave the cafeteria before opening fire on his classmates,

Jones also said Hancock had extra rounds for the .380 caliber semiautomatic handgun with him  when he fired at students.

Whitlock said at this point in the investigation, there is no indication bullying was involved in the incident.

Hancock was arrested Monday and charged with two counts of attempted murder, two counts of felonious assault, inducing panic and making terrorist threats. 

Hancock denied those charges in court on Tuesday, which is the juvenile court equivalent of a not guilty plea. Hancock was ordered to have no contact with the alleged victims. A pretrial date will be set for April. 

Four teens are recovering after the shooting, which happened inside the school's cafeteria during lunchtime Monday.

Cameron Smith, 15, and Cooper Caffrey, 14, were taken to Miami Valley Hospital after they were shot. Dr. Peter Ekeh, the hospital's trauma director, said one of them was shot just one time, and the other was shot multiple times. Neither needed surgery Monday, and both are in stable condition.

According to Madison Local Schools, both boys were "doing very well and are in very high spirits."

The school will resume classes on Wednesday with extra staffing and counselors present on campus, according to district superintendent Curtis Philpot. Students will be able to go on a "walk through" with parents on Tuesday night before returning to school.