Chardon High School shooter captured after escaping Allen Co. prison

RAW: Chopper video of T.J. Lane's arrest after escaping Lima prison
Thomas "TJ" Lane (Source: Lima Police)
Thomas "TJ" Lane (Source: Lima Police)
Clifford Opperud (Source: Lima Police)
Clifford Opperud (Source: Lima Police)
Lindsey Bruce
Lindsey Bruce

LIMA, OH (Toledo News Now) - The convicted killer of three Ohio students at a high school cafeteria has been captured after he escaped from a northwest Ohio prison Thursday night.

Nineteen-year-old TJ Lane, along with Clifford Opperud and Lindsey Bruce, escaped from Allen Oakwood Correctional Institution in Lima, about 80 miles south of Toledo, Lima police Sgt. Andy Green said.  All three inmates have since been caught, according to Ohio State Highway Patrol.

There has been no confirmed report of how the inmates escaped, but it was during recreational time around 7:30 p.m. Thursday. Bruce was captured shortly after escape.

Lane was found around 1:30 a.m. Friday, about 100 yards away.  Opperud was captured just after 4:30 a.m. in the area near where Lane was found.

Police say a perimeter was quickly set up around the prison within minutes of the escape happening, though they were hesitant to release exactly how the break occurred.

"We have an active and pending investigation," said prison warden Kevin Jones in a press conference Friday morning.  "It would be premature to discuss (what led to the escape) at this time."

"No one can take away from the fact that he is a smart guy," said Lane's former attorney.  "If anyone could (escape prison), it would be TJ Lane.  But the penitentiary should know that.  It should never have happened."

Chardon High School Shooting 

Lane, then 18, pleaded guilty last year to shooting three students in February 2012 at Chardon High School, east of Cleveland. He said he didn't know why he did. At his sentencing, he unbuttoned his dress shirt to reveal his T-shirt reading "killer"; he cursed and gestured obscenely as he was given three life sentences.

Prosecutors say Lane took a .22-caliber pistol and a knife to the school and fired 10 shots at a group of students in the cafeteria. Daniel Parmertor and Demetrius Hewlin, both 16, and Russell King Jr., 17, were killed.

Lane was at Chardon waiting for a bus to the alternative school he attended, for students who haven't done well in traditional settings.

Before Lane's case went to adult court in 2012, a juvenile court judge ruled that Lane was mentally competent to stand trial despite evidence he suffers from hallucinations, psychosis and fantasies. At his sentencing, Lane was defiant, smiling and smirking throughout, including while four relatives of the victims spoke.

Escape reaction

Reached Thursday at her home in Chardon, Dina Parmertor, mother of Daniel Parmertor, said of Lane's escape: "I'm disgusted that it happened. I'm extremely scared and panic-stricken. I can't believe it."

Additional security was in place at the correctional institution on Friday, but neighbors are still uneasy.

"Why would they have such high-profile people in such a small, low-case jail?" asked Logan Schiffler. "Why wouldn't they be max security?"

Others said they are worried about the safety of their loved ones near the prison.

"My father lives basically right across the street from there, so [the idea of] people breaking in and the prisoners and hurting the community [is disturbing]," said Joe Gilroy.

There has been no word on what will happen to Lane and the other inmates after this attempted escape.

"He got out once, could he get out again?" asked Annamarie Iannetta, cousin of victim Danny Parmertor. "I hope not, because I know for myself and the family, we are no longer going to fear TJ Lane. We are not going to let him bully us."


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