This hurts our hearts, so we can only imagine the pain these parents are going through.
The parents of a teen killed in a shooting at an Ohio high school cafeteria on Monday have forgiven their son’s suspected killer, saying it was “God’s will” that their boy was taken from them in the morning rampage.
Phyllis Ferguson, the mother of Chardon High School shooting victim Demetrius Hewlin, told ABC News that if she had the chance to talk to suspected gunman T.J. Lane, “I would tell him I forgive him because, a lot of times, they don’t know what they’re doing. That’s all I’d say.”
“I taught Demetrius not to live in the past, to live in today and forgiveness is divine. You have to forgive everything. God’s grace is new each and every day,” she told the station.
“Until you’ve walked in another person’s shoes, you don’t know what made him come to this point.”
Hewlin was shot in the back of the head while hanging out with a tableful of his pals at around 7:30 a.m. Monday and died the next morning.
In the interview, Ferguson said her son was often late for school.
One Monday, he was running late again — but not late enough to avoid his tragic fate, she said.
“He wasn’t a morning person and he was late for school. But that one day he wasn’t late,” Ferguson told ABC News.
Two other teens, both friends of Hewlin’s, died in the shooting spree.
Daniel Parmertor, 16, died on Monday, while Russel King Jr. died Tuesday morning.
Parmertor and King were students at Chardon and also enrolled in computer and engineering courses at Auburn Career Center, a vocational school nearby.
They were waiting in the cafeteria for a bus to the center when they were shot, their families said.
Parmertor’s family called his murder a senseless tragedy.
“I think about him every night. I think about him every day. I’ll probably will for a while,” Parmertor’s grandfather, Bob Parmertor, told local station WEWS.
“Everybody loved him. He was a good kid,” he said.
Two other students were wounded in the shooting.
Joy Rickers, 18, was recovering at home, while Nick Walczak, 17, was still at Hillcrest Hospital and reportedly paralyzed from the waist down, though his family wasn’t certain the condition was permanent, ABC News reported.
“My brother, he’s still in serious condition, still no feeling from the mid chest down, although he said he felt a twitch in his left calf the other night which is clearly a good sign,” Nick’s brother, Josh Walczak, told ABC News.
“He pretty much has to relearn how to walk,” he added.
Lane, 17-year-old sophomore at Lake Academy, a school for at risk teens, is will likely be charged as an adult and face at least three counts of murder on Thursday.
God bless those kids and their parents.
R.I.P. to Demetrius, Russel and Daniel
Our prayers are with the friends and families of the victims and survivors.