By Lisa Cannon Green
A seventh-grader who had been planning a mass shooting at his Ohio school turned the gun on himself instead, police said.
Keith Simons, 13, died after shooting himself in the head in the bathroom of Jackson Memorial Middle School, near Massillon, Ohio, on Feb. 20, according to authorities.
Information on his phone showed Simons had an eight-step plan for attacking his middle school, a press release from the Jackson Township Police Department said. He went to school hiding a .22-caliber rifle in his clothing.
Police don’t know why Simons didn’t carry out his plans, Police Chief Mark Brink told The Associated Press. “We should thank God every day, whatever made him change his mind,” Brink said.
Brink urged parents to monitor their children’s presence online.
“We need parents to become parents; we need them to lock up guns; we need them to check their kids’ social media—see what they’re up to; see what their plans are,” he said.
The majority of gun deaths in America aren’t even homicides, let alone caused by mass shootings. Two-thirds of the more than 33,000 gun deaths that take place in the U.S. every year are suicides.
Sad news to report: Keith Simons, the 13-year-old Jackson Memorial Middle School student who suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound on Feb. 20, has died.https://t.co/6cCASyUtEN pic.twitter.com/OHfDiuNPXG
— clevelanddotcom (@clevelanddotcom) February 21, 2018
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LISA CANNON GREEN (@lisaccgreen) is senior editor of Facts & Trends.