Wounded Student Sues Shooter’s Family

     PAINESVILLE, Ohio (CN) – A student who was wounded in the 2012 Chardon High School shooting claims the shooter’s family had more than 50 unsecured guns in their home, including the one used in the deadly assault.
     Nickolas Walczak sued the shooter, Thomas (T.J.) M. Lane III; Lane’s parents, Thomas Lane Jr. and Sarah A. Nolan; his guardians, Jack and Carole Nolan; his uncle, Daniel Lane; and his grandparents, Thomas and Michelle Lane, in Lake County Court.
      Families of the three students killed in the pointless assault sued the Lane family in March.
     Walczak says in his complaint: “Following the shooting, law enforcement officers from the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), the Geauga County Sheriff’s Department, and the Chardon Police Department, entered the home of defendants Thomas and Michelle Lane pursuant to a search warrant. At the scene, officers confirmed that the weapon used by T.J. Lane had been taken by him from the home. During the search, officers found over fifty firearms scattered throughout the home, none of which were properly secured or stored. The weapons were found laying [sic] throughout the home in an open manner either loaded or in close proximity to ammunition. No effort had been taken by defendants, Daniel Lane, Thomas Lane or Michelle Lane to secure the weapons from others, including minor, T.J. Lane. T.J. Lane had easy access to these weapons and ammunition when he selected this firearm for the planned shooting the next day.
     “At all times mentioned herein, the Thomas and Michelle Lane home was also occupied by a convicted felon, Thomas M. Lane Jr., who was unlawfully permitted to own, control or have access to firearms.”
     The complaint adds: “T.J. Lane has plead [sic] guilty to multiple offenses, including three (3) counts of aggravated murder with a firearms specification in Geauga County, Ohio and has been sentenced to three (3) consecutive life terms without eligibility of parole for three counts of murder, plus eight (8) years for a fourth count of attempted aggravated murder, six (6) years for a fifth count of attempted aggravated murder, and six (6) years for a sixth count of felonious assault.”
     Lane, obviously unrepentant, wore a white T-shirt with the word “killer” written across the chest when was sentenced in March, and gave the finger to the families of his victims during the proceedings.
     ABC News reported that Walczak “was shot twice in the neck, once in the back and once in the arm. He was left paralyzed after one of the bullets hit his spinal cord. He was friends with the three teens who were killed.”
     Walczak seeks compensatory and punitive damages for assault and battery, negligence and parental statutory liability.
     He is represented by John O’Neil with Elk and Elk, of Mayfield Heights, Ohio.

%d bloggers like this: