‘He’s a hero’: Teen credited with helping thwart school shooting at his Ohio high school

profile photo
By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

CINCINNATI, Ohio — An Ohio student is being hailed a hero for helping thwart a school shooting that was allegedly plotted by his classmate at this high school in Ohio. The teen’s dad says, despite threats on his son’s life, his 15-year-old son did the right thing.

“What was more important than his life was protecting his classmates and I could not be more proud of him. He’s a hero for what he did,” said Zach Swallen, the father of the teen who reported the threat.

Swallen says his son, Boom, wasted no time earlier this week when he told him that his classmate had revealed a plan to shoot people at Mariemont High School, near Cincinnati.

“The swift action was definitely warranted and I’m grateful that my son reached out,” Swallen said.

Investigators say that classmate allegedly planned to kill eight students and a teacher.

“It was an obvious threat. There is no doubt that this was going to occur,” said Melissa Powers, the Hamilton County prosecutor.

Authorities say text messages reveal the would-be shooter was conspiring with an adult who was out of state.

The teen suspect allegedly texted: “I need them dead really soon.”

The adult allegedly responded: “I got you, bro.”

Police say the teen responded: “Can you do tomorrow?”

Swallen says his son saw the teen’s plan on paper and told him Tuesday.

The next day, the teen was arrested and is now accused of conspiracy to commit aggravated murder.

Swallen says the suspect had threatened Boom if he told anyone about the plan but that didn’t stop Boom from doing the right thing.

“He literally told me he didn’t care if he got killed, just as long as he was able to protect his classmates,” Swallen said.

Officials say the adult who was texting with the suspect was texting from a Colorado area code. They wouldn’t say if that person has been arrested.

As for the accused teen, the prosecutor is asking for him to be tried as an adult.

author photo
About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.