Logan Cole speaks out about rollercoaster year after West Liberty-Salem shooting
CHAMPAIGN COUNTY, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - January 20, 2018, marks one year since the shooting at West Liberty-Salem High School.
Logan Cole, 16 at the time, was shot twice by classmate Ely Serna, in a bathroom.
On the eve of the anniversary, Cole talked about the rollercoaster year it's been for himself and the community, and took FOX 45's Kelly May on an exclusive journey to the spot where it happened.
Cole said he wants to forgive the classmate who shot him, but not forget what happened.
"I went into the bathroom to see how my hair looked and that's when I saw Ely standing there with a shotgun," Cole recounted, "and he shot me in the chest and in the back and I fell to the ground."
"I have a good amount of practice recounting the events," he joked.
For the 17 year old, it's been a year of highs and lows.
The highs: surviving the shooting with his ability to walk and talk, getting back to school and soccer, meeting the Vice President. And despite his time in the hospital, he will graduate on time in the spring.
Despite all that, Cole said the highest point was "just the response of the community and how everybody's been to my family, to me, to the school and the kindness that's been showed to us."
Cole is staying positive, and has made incredible strides in one year both physically and emotionally, but said there's still hard times.
"Sometimes I get angry over it and I kind of have to give it back to God and forgive him again," he said, "but one thing I've learned is that forgiveness doesn't mean you forget about something."
Cole showed FOX 45 to the bathroom where the shooting took place.
"When was the last time you were in there?" May asked.
"A couple weeks out of the hospital," Cole replied.
"Right here that's where the shotgun pellets hit," he said, showing where the marks had been painted over. "They kind of went through my body."
"Emotions don't work logically and I still get worried that something would happen again even though I know it doesn't make logical sense," Cole said, about his tendency to look at the situation from a logical perspective.
But, he said if there's one thing he's learned in the last year, "Definitely looking forward to moving forward, although I definitely don't want to forget all of this going forward because it's part of my life."
Cole said he still has hundreds of pellets inside his body from the shotgun shot, which he said doctors won't remove because of their proximity to his spinal cord.
He's also making college plans, and planning on Cedarville University as his top option.
In the wake of the shooting, West Liberty-Salem has added a permanent school resource officer. They have also made upgrades to door locks and out facing windows to help in the case students need to escape quickly.