Demented School Shooter T.J. Lane Terrifies Community By Escaping Prison

T.J. Lane
Here's a story that had me glued to my phone looking for news updates last night: yesterday T.J. Lane, a teenager convicted of killing three students at an Ohio high school in 2012, escaped from a state prison with two other prisoners and was on the loose for nearly six hours.

Lane was captured at 1:20 a.m., but the hours he was unaccounted for were terrifying for the residents of Chardon, the community nearly 200 miles to the east where he fatally shot three students and wounded two others. Police officers were sent to guard the victims' families' houses, and school was canceled on Friday.

When you read how Lane behaved during his sentencing, you'll understand why officials took the precautions they did. I cannot even begin to imagine what the families were going through before Lane was caught.

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T.J. Lane pleaded guilty last year to aggravated murder charges in a February 2012 shooting spree at Chardon High. Prosecutors say Lane took a .22-caliber pistol to school and fired 10 shots, killing Daniel Parmertor and Demetrius Hewlin, both 16, and Russell King Jr., 17, while wounding two others. One of the wounded students is now paralyzed.

What's absolutely horrific about his story isn't just that he committed those acts of violence, it's the extreme lack of remorse he showed afterward. During his sentencing, Lane unbuttoned a dress shirt to reveal a T-shirt with the word "killer" written across it. He wore a similar shirt during the shootings. He smirked at the shooting victims' families as he was served three life sentences without parole, and when he was given the opportunity to address the court, this is what he said:

This hand that pulled the trigger that killed your sons now masturbates to the memory. F--- all of you.

He then raised his middle finger to the victims' families.

The things Lane said are so evil and inhuman, I can't even wrap my head around it. It must have felt like an absolute nightmare to hear he'd managed to climb over the prison's fence, like he was coming to finish what he'd started back in 2012. The mother of one of the slain victims said,

I'm extremely scared and panic stricken. I can't believe it.

Thankfully, Lane was discovered only about 100 yards from the jail by two State Highway Patrol troopers. A second prisoner had been caught almost immediately after the Thursday night escape, and troopers caught the third three hours after finding Lane.

After school was canceled officials made counseling available for students and the larger community, and I hope everyone in Chardon is doing better now that Lane's back behind bars. As for why a convicted killer was at a minimum- to medium-security prison in the first place, warden Kevin Jones has said, "That will be something we'll have to sit down and look at."

Are you surprised this guy was able to escape from jail?


Image via News Herald Ohio/YouTube

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