PORTSMOUTH, Ohio (AP) -- A teacher's husband charged into her fifth-grade classroom Thursday morning, then stabbed and shot her as students watched, police said. He later was found dead in his home after apparently shooting himself during a standoff with police.
The teacher, Christi Layne, was in critical condition at Cabell Huntington Hospital in nearby Huntington, W.Va., a hospital spokeswoman said.
The shooting happened around 9 a.m. at Notre Dame Elementary, a Catholic school on the main road of a town in southern Ohio near the border. Student Emmaly Baker said she hid in the classroom's coatroom when the gunman came in.
"We heard gunshots, and we heard her yelling. I was scared," she told WSAZ-TV. "The police officer came and got us and she was still laying there and she was hurt really bad."
The suspect fled, and for hours after the shooting, a SWAT team surrounded a house about two miles away. Neighbors said they heard gunshots coming from the home and police firing back. Police Chief Charles Horner said after the conflict ended that the man apparently shot himself.
Kim Harris, who cares for a man who lives next door, said police "told us to get down on the floor and stay in the back of the house," she said.
Another woman was stabbed in town before the shooting, and authorities believed it was connected to the teacher's shooting, Portsmouth police Capt. Rob Ware said. He did not elaborate. The woman was being treated at a Columbus hospital, but her condition was unavailable.
Parents, many with cell phones clutched to their ears, congregated across the street from the school and began leaving with their children around 10:30 a.m., said Kathy Hall, the office manager at the Cornerstone United Methodist Church, which also is across the street.
"I wasn't afraid for my own safety, I was afraid for the children, because these turn out so terrible, you know," said Hall.
The scene was chaotic with police cars and few ambulances descending on the school, and the fire department blocked off the street.
The school and another Catholic school nearby were locked down, said Deacon Tom Berg, vice chancellor of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Columbus. The diocese was sending a crisis team. Local public schools also were locked down, said Superintendent Jan Broughton, who oversees the community's public schools.
Posted by LS