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Student accused of bringing gun to West Geauga High School with plans to shoot classmates arraigned on charges

Brandon Morrissette was arraigned on three felony charges Monday afternoon.

CHESTERLAND, Ohio — Brandon Morrissette, the 18-year-old student accused of bringing a gun to West Geauga High School with plans to shoot classmates last month, appeared in court via video on Monday.

Morrissette was arraigned on the three felony charges he's facing as a result of the incident by Judge Carolyn Pashke. Pashke has also been assigned to Morrissette's case moving forward.

Last week, Morrissette was indicted on the following three charges:

  • Attempted aggravated murder (first-degree felony)
  • Illegal possession of a deadly weapon (fifth-degree felony)
  • Inducing panic (fifth-degree felony)

You can watch the arraignment in the video player at the top of this story.

Judge Pashke noted that Morrissette's attorney has filed a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity and that the court will order an evaluation. Morrissette has been held in the Geauga County Safety Center without bond since his arrest.

The incident occurred on April 3, when West Geauga student Casey Orloski alerted a school resource officer of a 9mm bullet that was found in a men's restroom of the building. Following that discovery, the SRO and administrators proceeded to review surveillance video to determine the origin of the shell.

After interviewing several students, Morrissette was identified as the suspect, with authorities claiming he had a plan to shoot multiple classmates. He was allegedly found with a Smith and Wesson 9mm handgun that had three fully loaded magazines inside, as well as a lock blade-style knife on the outside of his pants.

Court documents claim Morrissette admitted to Chester Township police that he was planning to go to the school library and open fire on the students there, having chosen the location because that's where the greatest number of students would be at the time.

Following the incident, students at the high school were dismissed for the remainder of the day out of an abundance of caution, and all classes were canceled across the West Geauga district the following day. Officials have since unveiled new safety measures and moved to upgrade audio equipment in the high school.

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