Sep 12, 2014

T.J. Lane, Killer in School Shooting, Is Caught After Prison Escape in Ohio


A 19-year-old Ohio man serving life in prison for killing three students in a high school cafeteria in 2012 briefly escaped from prison on Thursday, the authorities said.

The man, T. J. Lane, who was serving three life sentences for the murders, escaped with two other inmates from the Allen Oakwood Correctional Institution in Lima, Ohio, said Sgt. Andy Green of the Lima Police Department. Early Friday morning, the Ohio State Highway Patrol announced that Mr. Lane had been captured after an search that involved a helicopter and several law enforcement agencies.

The police had said the men, who escaped on foot, were unarmed but dangerous, and that a search was being conducted in the area around the prison.

A second inmate was quickly captured, but a third man was still at large, the authorities said. Sergeant Green identified the missing inmate as Clifford E. Opperud, 45. According to state records, Mr. Opperud was almost halfway through a 15-year-sentence for aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary and kidnapping.

The authorities did not say how the men escaped, but Sergeant Green said corrections officials notified the police around 8 p.m. on Thursday.

On Twitter, the Lima police advised residents near the prison to stay in their homes, not to pick up hitchhikers, and to call the police with tips or to report anything suspicious. “We are working hard to capture them,” an official wrote on the department’s Twitter account. “All available officers involved. Aircraft are also being used. We’ll get them. Be safe.”

Mr. Lane received three life sentences last year, after prosecutors said he opened fire on four students at Chardon High School, where he was waiting for a bus to an alternative school. He fired 10 shots, killing Daniel Parmertor, 16, immediately. Demetrius Hewlin, 16, and Russell King Jr., 17, died the next day.

Mr. Lane, who was 17 at the time, was charged as an adult. He smiled at his sentencing, and unbuttoned his shirt to reveal a T-shirt that read “KILLER.”

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