What was James Austin Hancock thinking as he walked into the school cafeteria?
James Austin Hancock a 14 year old Madison Jr/Sr high school student has been arrested after gunning down fellow school pupils.
Butler County investigators tell the shooting took place during lunch at the school cafeteria just on 11.15 a.m Monday morning in the township of Middletown, Ohio.
The town of Middletown is located around 50 miles north of Cincinnati.
Ironically at the time of the shooting, fellow students described James Austin Hancock as seeming ‘perfectly happy’ as they made their way into the cafeteria before taking out a black gun and firing up to six shots.
Offered fellow student, Aleeanna Carpenter,14: ‘We all walked into the lunchroom, Austin was perfectly happy. We were all laughing and giggling and talking about stuff,’
Adding, ‘if he was troubled he certainly didn’t show it.’
To date four students were injured. Two were shot and two others suffered injuries from shrapnel or while trying to flee the building.
According to the Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones, the students shot were Cameron Smith, 15, and Cooper Caffrey, 14.
The two who were injured are Brant Murray, 14, and Katherine Doucette, 14.
Of note, reports tell of Hancock being on the school’s wrestling team, as is Cooper Caffrey, one of the shooter’s victims.
School officials said that only the two shot teens remained hospitalized, and they are ‘doing very well and are in very high spirits.’
Dr. Peter Ekeh, the director of the trauma unit at Miami Valley, where the injured students were taken told that all the injured students are expected to make full recoveries. Ekeh said both boys were conscious when they arrived.
Ekeh said one boy was shot once, the other had multiple wounds, though it is unclear how many times he was shot.
Of question is if James Austin Hancock had purposefully earmarked the students he had shot at?
Offered Sheriff Jones during a press statement: ‘You know, we had a shooter in the school. He was 14-years-old. He pulled his weapon out, shot two kids in the cafeteria. They were taken to the hospital. They’re in the hospital as we speak. We don’t think they’re life-threatening wounds at this time. It appears the weapon that was used may have been a .38 caliber weapon.’
Told, eighth-grader Shelby Kinnin who was in the cafeteria at the time of the shooting: ‘I was eating with my friends and stuff and we were chatting. I was about to move my chair over and I heard like a couple of a loud bangs. And then I looked over and one of the kids that got shot liked grabbed his leg. He fell down and the shooter like ran out. There were kids screaming and like crying and everybody ran out of the building.’
After the shooting, Hancock ran from the school and dropped the weapon.
Reiterated Sheriff Jones: ‘He ran from the school. Threw his weapon. We’re reviewing and tagging the crime scene at this point, which is the cafeteria in the school.’
K-9 officers were able to track Hancock’s scent and he was taken into custody near school grounds. He was taken to the Butler County Juvenile Detention Center, Jones said.
‘It was close to school grounds. He didn’t get very far. He threw his weapon down. We retrieved that weapon. Our deputy was in school at that time and was in the cafeteria just a short time before that shooting too place,’ Jones said.
Hancock is charged with two counts of attempted murder, two counts of felonious assault, inducing panic and making terroristic threats — all felony juvenile charges.
At the time of the shooting, authorities described up to six shots being fired with witnesses describing the scene as ‘total chaos.’
Shockingly, one parent with a child in the school told WKRC that the suspect had a ‘smirk’ on his face.
Of question is what motivated James Austin Hancock in going on his shooting spree, with authorities telling they had an idea of the motive for the shooting, but to date had declined to release said motive(s).
A report via heavy tells of a source saying, ‘It could range from anything bullying to home life motives.’
Another student at Madison said: ‘Some kids just don’t know when to stop bullying. That’s when kids take it too far and children get shot.’
One student told Local 12 how shocked he was that James Austin Hancock had been named as the suspect saying, ‘I was just shocked, I didn’t expect it to happen at a small school like ours. Everyone here is, like, friends and know each other real closely.’
While another told, ‘I’m really shocked because, like, you see this kid everyday in the halls and you wouldn’t expect, just one day, just pull a gun out of his lunchbox and start lettin’ rounds off.’
School friend Aleeanna Carpenter told of not being aware of Hancock having being potentially bullied, whilst indicated that the 14 year old student had recently broken up with a girlfriend.
Of question is under whose name was the gun was registered to or how Hancock got it.
Pursuant to the shooting, school authorities told of the school going on lockdown.
Offered AJ Huff with Madison Local Schools: ‘About 1,600 students Pre-K through 12 and we are all in one building, another reason the entire district immediately went on lockdown. You can actually walk from the kindergarten hallway all the way to the senior hallway if you wanted to. So, it was very important for us to get the entire district locked down immediately.’
Madison Local Schools received clearance from the Butler County sheriff about an hour later and students at the MJSHS were dismissed as quickly as possible.
The Madison Local School District will be closed Tuesday. School officials said that classes will be canceled so staff can put plans into place, including on-site counseling.
Ironically, the school’s Facebook page described the facility’s motto as given as, ‘Achieving Excellence One Student at a Time.’