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Published: Friday, 10/26/2007

Police release Cleveland shooting images

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Cleveland Police Department In this still image taken from a surveillance camera, SuccessTech Academy students flee during the Oct. 10 shooting rampage. Cleveland Police Department In this still image taken from a surveillance camera, SuccessTech Academy students flee during the Oct. 10 shooting rampage.
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CLEVELAND - His face concealed by a white hooded sweatshirt, the determined student gunman climbed the enclosed staircase with his cache of weapons in a backpack, heading toward a shooting rampage against classmates and teachers.

Strikingly clear photos pulled from surveillance cameras - one image every five or six seconds - and released yesterday show Asa Coon as he moved through SuccessTech Academy Oct. 10, when he wounded two teachers and two high school classmates before killing himself.

The initial scenes from the color cameras are a model of an orderly school day: students walking past poster displays heading to bright blue lockers and into classrooms as a janitor collects trash bags.

Coon, 14, wearing a black T-shirt after changing in a restroom, emerges with a .22-caliber revolver in one hand, a .38-caliber revolver in the other, his arms extended at an angle.

Asa Coon, 14, is shown on the fourth floor at SuccessTech Academy. Coon wounded four people on Oct. 10 before killing himself. Asa Coon, 14, is shown on the fourth floor at SuccessTech Academy. Coon wounded four people on Oct. 10 before killing himself.
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Terror begins to emerge in the staccato image sequence with students - seen from three cameras - turning sharply away. One student, arms flying, almost falls to his knees as he digs in his heels to flee in a blur of self-preservation.

Police Chief Michael McGrath did a commentary on the images as they were displayed on a screen in a police command post. The first officers arrived in just over three minutes, he said.

Coon's first target, David Kachadourian, 57, a math teacher, was shot at 1:02 p.m., out of view of the camera, while rushing his students to safety in a stairwell. Mr. Kachadourian, shot in the back, flees down one flight to the third floor, and his bloody trail initially makes police think there could be more victims. Everyone was shot on the fourth floor.

Four seconds later, images show Coon moving down another hallway, stopping to look into a classroom and disappearing out of view of the camera for 18 seconds, long enough to shoot Michael Grassie, 42, who was flunking Coon in a history class.

Coon, apparently on the prowl for a third intended teacher target, headed into a darkened laboratory where students were huddled under tables, Chief McGrath said. At that point, the chief said, he apparently heard police sirens and moved down the hall to his suicide location.

The rampage is recorded for 1 minute and 22 seconds - from the time Coon left the restroom where he changed clothes and armed himself to the time he disappears from camera view.

Final scenes show officers, weapons drawn, ducking into classrooms looking for the shooter.

Coon's body was found in a corner room on the fourth floor of the school. Two still images as he crosses the camera view from left to right in a moment are the final record of his life.



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