Classmates react to West Liberty-Salem shooter's guilty plea

Classmates react to West Liberty-Salem shooter's guilty plea (WKEF/WRGT)

WEST LIBERTY, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - West Liberty-Salem Schools are getting closure after accused school shooter Ely Serna pleaded guilty on Friday, dropping his insanity plea to avoid a trial.

The shooting is still etched in the minds of Addy Wilson and Nick Williams.

“I was in the hallway right across the bathroom when this happened,” Williams said.

“We were waiting for logan to leave for our mock trial event,” Wilson said.

In that bathroom, Logan Cole was shot twice. Prosecutors say Serna pulled the trigger, sneaking the shotgun into school and assembling it in a stall.

The assistant principal tackled him to the ground.

“All the pain is still there, time doesn't really heal anything,” Wilson said.

More than a year later, Serna is pleading guilty to attempted murder, felonious assault and inducing panic. He faces up to 23.5 years in prison.

“He’s going to get out when he's 40 something, that's not enough time,” Wilson said.

Both Wilson and Williams were subpoenaed, helping prosecutors build a case.

Even with no trial, they hope to hear from Serna at his sentencing.

“I hope he comes out with an apology to set some closure,” Williams said.

Locan Cole's family released a statement Friday expressing frustration with the legal process, but thanking authorities.

In previous interviews with FOX 45, Cole said he forgave Serna.

“Sometimes I kind of get angry about it then give it back to God and forgive him again, but what I've learned is forgivness doesn't mean you forget about something,” Cole said.

Wilson said many students still suffer from PTSD and depression.

Even though Serna's heading to prison, the healing is far from over.

“You can only forgive and move on, you can't change the past,” Wilson said.

Serna is back in court for his sentencing May 2nd.

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