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Ohio school shooter had history of problems

  • Story Highlights
  • NEW: Gunman had arrest record, earlier suicide attempt, records show
  • NEW: Fellow student expected trouble after fight on Monday
  • NEW: Friend said gunman warned him, but he didn't believe him
  • No classes Thursday, Friday at SuccessTech Academy
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(CNN) -- A teenage gunman who opened fire at a Cleveland high school had a history of trouble inside and outside of school, say authorities, parents and fellow students.

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Worried parents and students gather outside SuccessTech Academy on Wednesday.

Asa Coon, 14, killed himself in a fourth-floor classroom after shooting two teachers and two students at SuccessTech Academy, said Cleveland Police Chief Michael McGrath.

Coon had been charged with domestic violence and had attempted suicide while in the seventh grade, The Plain Dealer newspaper reported, citing court and Department of Children and Family Services records.

A student said Coon had been beaten up Monday after saying "F--- God" during an argument.

"He got beat up and he came back today, and I knew something was going to happen," the student said outside the school Wednesday afternoon. "Yesterday I was like, 'I'm not coming to school, man. This dude might come up here and shoot us up.' "

Another student who said he was friends with Coon said Coon had warned him he was going to snap someday.

"He said if he did shoot up the school he'd let me and some other dude he knew go and all that, but I didn't think he actually meant that," the friend said. "I thought he was just kidding around."

He wasn't kidding around.

Two handguns -- .22- and .38-caliber revolvers -- were found near Coon's body, along with a box of ammunition and three knives. Video Watch what happened, and how there were warning signs »

Two male teachers were wounded, said Ed Eckart, the city's emergency medical services coordinator.

One, whom The Associated Press identified as Michael Grassie, 42, sustained a gunshot wound to the chest and underwent surgery, Eckart said, but was in stable condition Wednesday night.

The other, David Kachadourian, 57, was shot in the back, Eckart said. The teacher was receiving follow-up treatment in a hospital emergency department and was in stable condition.

Also injured were Darnell Rodgers, 17, who was treated and released after being grazed in the elbow; a 15-year-old boy shot in the left side, who police said could be released from a hospital soon; and a 15-year-old girl who suffered a knee injury while fleeing, Eckart said.

"We do not believe this was a random shooting," McGrath said. "It may have been the teachers he went to the school looking for ... I believe they disciplined him in some manner." Photo See images from the tragedy »

Although a motive in the shootings has yet to be determined, McGrath said Coon and another student were suspended Monday after the fight.

Police were attempting to determine what, if any, role the two teachers played in that incident.

Coon was arrested last year in a domestic violence incident, McGrath said, and police had been to his home before for incidents that involved weapons.

The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was tracing the guns found near Coon's body, McGrath said. The .22-caliber revolver had six empty bullet casings in the cylinder, he said, and the .38 had two spent casings.

No metal detectors were at the school on Wednesday, although the school board has portable detectors that are randomly moved from school to school, he said. An armed security guard was at the front desk, McGrath said. See a timeline of recent school shootings »

Jackson said earlier the incident began about 1:15 p.m. Students said they took cover in closets after the school principal announced a "Code Blue" on the intercom.

By that time, emergency calls were already flooding into the Cleveland Police Department's 911 center, including one from a frantic mother, Beatrice Brown, who had been called by her son from the school:

"There is a shooting at Success Tech Academy and my son is trapped in one of the classrooms," she says during the exchange. "They just shot somebody in his room and he doesn't want me to come up there, because he doesn't know where the shooter actually is."

Coon was described by fellow students as "odd."

SuccessTech is a non-traditional high school, according to local school officials. "Since it is a specialty school," it doesn't have "the typical population of a large high school," said Lisa Matthews of the superintendent's office.

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It is a "school of choice" -- students have to apply to get in, said Ruthie Williams, also of the superintendent's office. She said classrooms are on the first and third floors of the four-story building and the rest contains the school district's administrative offices.

City spokeswoman Maureen Harper said district schools will be closed Thursday, and were already scheduled for a teacher in-service day on Friday. Recreation centers will be open Thursday and counselors will be available for city residents, she said. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

Copyright 2007 CNN. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Associated Press contributed to this report.

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