SuccessTech Academy shooting

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SuccessTech Academy shooting
LocationCleveland, Ohio, U.S.
DateWednesday, October 10, 2007
c. 1:06 p.m.[1] (EST)
Attack type
School shooting
Deaths1 (the perpetrator)
Injured5 (4 from gunfire)
PerpetratorAsa H. Coon

The SuccessTech Academy shooting was a school shooting that occurred on October 10, 2007, at the SuccessTech alternative high school in Cleveland, Ohio, United States. Fourteen-year-old freshman Asa H. Coon shot two students and two teachers before committing suicide on the fourth floor of the building.


On Wednesday, October 10, 2007, Coon entered the five-story school building shortly before 1:00 p.m. EST, armed with two handguns (a .22-caliber revolver and a .38-caliber revolver),[2][3] and a box of additional rounds of ammunition for each pistol; three folding knives were also in Coon's possession, which were all stocked together in a duffel bag.[4] Wearing a Marilyn Manson concert shirt, black jeans, and black-painted fingernails,[5] Coon walked to the fourth floor of the building and entered the men's washroom where he loaded two revolvers.[6]

The shooting began at approximately 1:06 p.m. on the fourth floor of the building, after 14-year-old Michael Peek punched Coon in the face for bumping into him. When Peek walked away, Coon shot him in the abdomen.[2][7][8] Another student, 17-year-old Darnell Rodgers, suffered a graze gunshot wound to the elbow in the same hallway. Michael Grassie, a social studies teacher, was shot in the chest when Coon entered his classroom. A second teacher, David Kachadourian, was shot in the back of his shoulder while in the hallway evacuating his students.[2][9] During the entire shooting, Coon was said to be cursing.[5] The shooting ended when Coon entered another room and fatally shot himself in the right side of his head.[6][10][11]

The school was placed on Code Blue lockdown shortly after the shooting.


Four individuals were wounded in the shooting; two students and two teachers. The two injured teachers were treated at MetroHealth Medical Center, and the two students injured were treated at the Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital.[1][12] A 14-year-old student was also hospitalized for knee and back injuries received from being trampled in a hallway by fleeing students.[13] One student and one teacher were discharged later that day; the other students were released the following day.[14] The last victim was discharged from the hospital on October 15.[15][16]


Fourteen-year-old Coon had been placed on a three-day suspension two days prior to the shooting for an altercation with another student regarding the existence of God.[17][18] According to Coon's uncle, Larry Looney, Coon said he was upset because the teachers would not listen to what he had to say regarding the fight.[19] According to fellow students and teachers, Coon had apparently been the target of bullying by students at the school for his Gothic appearance and eccentric behavior, and had made threats of violence in front of students and teachers the week before the shooting.[3][11][20] Joseph Fletcher, a friend of Coon, said he had been "pushed too far" and that teachers were unable to help with his problems.[21] Michael Grassie, who was one of Coon's teachers, said that Coon was frustrated because he was given a failing grade in his World History class,[22] and had made attempts to goad him into a fight.[16]

Juvenile Court records show that Coon had a criminal history and mental health problems since 2005, and threatened to commit suicide while in a mental health facility in summer 2006.[11][23]


At 2:50 p.m., an hour-and-a-half after the shooting, Cleveland Mayor Frank G. Jackson announced in a news conference that five people, including three students, were hurt in a shooting at the SuccessTech Academy. Four of them were shot; the students being in "stable" condition and the adults being in a more "elevated" state.[24]

Classes throughout the Cleveland Metropolitan School District were canceled the following two days and resumed on Monday, October 15, and classes at SuccessTech Academy did not resume until Tuesday, October 16.[25] Cleveland's public school system established an anonymous hotline for students to report threats and dangerous behavior. The school system also announced plans to install metal detectors in all its schools and hire additional armed security guards to patrol the campuses.[25] Schools were instructed to implement additional security precautions, to be reviewed by a professional security firm.[26]

A crime scene photo taken of Coon after his suicide was posted by Cleveland disc jockey Shane French (Rover) on a webpage promoting Rover's Morning Glory and soon taken down. Mayor Jackson called the photo, which he did not see, "extremely inappropriate".[27] Cleveland police officer Walter Emerick, who took the picture using his cell phone camera, was suspended from duty for eight days for sending the photo to other people, who eventually leaked it to the Internet.[28]


  1. ^ a b "Report: Teen shoots four; kills self at Cleveland high school". CNN. Associated Press. 2007-10-10. Retrieved 2009-03-06.
  2. ^ a b c O' Malley, Michael; Gabriel Baird (October 11, 2007). "Four shot at school, gunman kills himself". The Plain Dealer. Archived from the original on April 13, 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-01.
  3. ^ a b Maag, Chris; Ian Urbina (2007-10-10). "Student, 14, Shoots 4 and Kills Himself in Cleveland School". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-02-25.
  4. ^ "Police: Suspended boy shoots 4 at Ohio school". NBC News. 2007-10-10. Retrieved 2009-02-25.
  5. ^ a b "5 Hospitalized After 14-Year-Old Goes on Shooting Rampage at Cleveland High School"
  6. ^ a b Miller, Donna (October 11, 2007). "SuccessTech shooter shot himself in the head". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved 2009-01-24.
  7. ^ "New Video Shows Student Terror in Ohio". Fox News. October 11, 2007. Retrieved 2009-08-17.
  8. ^ "Shooting rips Cleveland tech school". eSchool News. October 11, 2007. Retrieved 2009-02-07.
  9. ^ Stephens, Scott (2007-10-12). "Wounded SuccessTech teacher shepherded students to safety". Retrieved 2009-03-16.
  10. ^ "Ohio school shooter had history of problems". CNN. October 11, 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-10-11. Retrieved 2007-10-11.
  11. ^ a b c Milicia, Joe (2007-10-11). "4 Hurt, Gunman Killed in Ohio School". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2009-03-07.
  12. ^ "An inside account of school shooting". The Plain Dealer. 2007-10-10. Retrieved 2009-03-16.
  13. ^ Maag, Chris; Ian Urbina (2007-10-11). "Student, 14, Shoots 4 and Kills Himself in Cleveland School". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-03-11.
  14. ^ "Video From Cameras Inside School To Be Reviewed". WEWS-TV. 2007-10-11. Archived from the original on 2007-10-29. Retrieved 2009-03-16.
  15. ^ Kaufman, Gil (2007-10-16). "Cleveland School Reopens After Shooting; Teacher Recalls Look Of 'Total Anger' On Gunman's Face". MTV News. Retrieved 2009-03-16.
  16. ^ a b "Teacher: Cleveland School Shooter Upset About Failing History". Fox News. Associated Press. 2007-10-15. Retrieved 2009-03-07.
  17. ^ Stephens, Scott; Rachel Dissell (2007-10-11). "School shooter has record of violence, suicidal talk but was called genius by some". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved 2009-03-07.
  18. ^ "New Video Shows Student Terror in Ohio; Gunman's Brother Arrested". Fox News. Associated Press. 2007-10-11. Retrieved 2009-02-28.
  19. ^ Milicia, Joe (2007-10-12). "Gunman's uncle: Teen upset with teachers". USA Today. Retrieved 2009-03-03.
  20. ^ "School gunman had access despite threats". CTV News. Associated Press. 2007-10-11. Retrieved 2009-03-07.
  21. ^ O'Donnell, Patrick (2007-10-10). "Shooter "pushed too far"". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved 2009-03-07.
  22. ^ Wagner, Joseph L. (2007-10-16). "Shooter Asa Coon was failing, says wounded SuccessTech teacher Michael Grassie". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved 2009-03-07.
  23. ^ Milicia, Joe (2007-10-11). "Cleveland boy shoots 4, himself at school". The Press Democrat. Retrieved 2009-03-07.
  24. ^ "School shooting: 4 shot; gunman takes own life; police say teen led troubled life". WKYC. 2007-10-10. Retrieved 2009-03-15.
  25. ^ a b Tinsley, Jesse (2007-10-15). "Cleveland schools reopen today, with new security plan". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved 2009-03-07.
  26. ^ "Crime scene photograph from school shooting makes way to Internet". WKYC. Retrieved 2007-10-15.
  27. ^ "Internet posting of Asa Coon death photo tracked", by Amanda Garret, The Plain Dealer
  28. ^ Puente, Mark; Patrick O'Donnell (2007-12-18). "Asa Coon's photo on Web results in officer's suspension". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved 2009-03-07.

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