A teenager who shot and killed three fellow students in a rampage at his Cleveland school and then escaped prison yesterday has been recaptured by state police.
TJ Lane, 19, is serving three consecutive life sentences without parole at a maximum security prison after pleading guilty last year to the murders at Chardon High School in February 2012.
He escaped from the Allen Oakwood Correctional Institution in Lima, Ohio, with fellow inmate Clifford Opperud, 45, on Thursday.
Prison guards and police launched an extensive manhunt for the two men, and local residents were warned not to pick up hitchhikers and to be wary of any strangers, until Lima Police officers recaptured him on Friday, tweeting: "We got him... one more to go."
Lane's former attorney, Ian Friedman, had warned that the escapee could be dangerous, and explained that he was one of the few maximum security prisoners at the correctional facility where he was being held, and had recently lost an appeal.
Video: How did TJ Lane escape?
“He was on trial for horrendous nightmare crimes and he is facing life and you have to wonder what he feels he needs to do to stay out of prison,” Friedman said.
Lane and his accomplice Opperud, who is serving a sentence for aggravated robbery, escaped at about 7:40 pm, wearing blue prison uniforms, police said. The circumstances of their escape from the facility, which has more than 1,600 inmates, have not yet been disclosed.
Lane was arrested shortly after the school attack and confessed to firing 10 rounds from a .22-calibre pistol at students in the school cafeteria, killing three. Another student was left paralysed from the waist down.
At the time, the shooting was the worst at US high school in 11 months and the worst in Ohio since late 2007, according to the Brady Centre to Prevent Gun Violence. The rampage was one of several mass shootings in the United States that year, including the massacre of 20 children at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.
Lane gained further notoriety when he donned a white T-shirt with the word “killer” written on it with black pen while giving a profane statement at his sentencing last year. He is serving three consecutive life sentences for the aggravated murders and a total of 37 years for the wounding of other students.
Additional reporting by ReutersReuse content