West Liberty suspect asked victim to shoot him, report says

The alleged West Liberty-Salem High School shooter apologized to his victim and asked the fellow student to shoot him, according to a sheriff’s report obtained by the Springfield News-Sun that provides new details about the incident.

Student Ely Serna, 17, allegedly shot 16-year-old Logan Cole twice on Friday, then shot at a teacher before shooting classroom door windows, according to a report from the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office released Wednesday.

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He then reportedly returned to Cole, turned the shotgun on himself, pressed his forehead to the muzzle and asked Cole to pull the trigger, the report says.

“According to Ely Ray Serna, Logan Cole refused to pull the trigger,” an affidavit by Champaign County Sheriff’s Detective Glenn Kemp says.

The affidavit, obtained by a public records request, says the suspect drove himself and sister to school, then waited in the car after she went into the building.

He snuck the weapon and shells into the school in his backpack, the affidavit says, along with a camouflage jacket and a homemade mask that had an “anarchy symbol” on it. Serna allegedly disassembled the shotgun and hid the parts in his backpack before reassembling it in a school bathroom stall. He then said the Lord’s Prayer, the report says.


School and law enforcement leaders have said over the past week that the shooting Friday occurred in a hallway at the school, but the affidavit says Cole was shot at random when he entered the restroom. Champaign County Sheriff Matthew Melvin said four shots were fired in the hallway, but Cole was shot in the bathroom.

Upon seeing Logan Cole enter the restroom, Serna allegedly fired two shotgun rounds at him, striking him in his side and the chest, the report says.

Serna allegedly told investigators that a teacher identified in the report as Mr. Thomas then walked in, according to the affidavit, and the suspect began to shoot at him. The suspect then left the restroom and allegedly began shooting at door windows before returning to Cole.

“He noticed that Logan Cole was not deceased due to seeing Logan Cole’s eyes blink,” Kemp says in the report. “Ely Ray Serna stated that he exclaimed, ‘You’re not dead?’ Ely Ray Serna stated that he apologized to Logan Cole.”

He then allegedly handed the weapon to Cole, the report says, and asked him to pull the trigger.

MORE: Sister of alleged West Liberty shooter speaks

After Cole refused to shoot Serna, the affidavit says Serna heard the voices of Middle/High School Principal Gregg Johnson and Assistant Principal Andy McGill.

“Ely Ray Serna advised that he then entered the same toilet stall as previously used, he indicated that he discarded the camouflage M60 field jacket vest and the (shotgun) onto the floor,” the affidavit states. “He indicated that he kicked the (shotgun) across the floor.”

He was found by McGill, who tackled him to the ground, the affidavit states.

A total of six shell casings were recovered at the scene, Kemp wrote. The affidavit states Serna received the shotgun for Christmas from his grandparents two years ago and that he also had a knife in the Jeep he drove to school.

The affidavit also identifies the second student who was injured in the shooting as Adam Schultz. He was hit by one pellet, according to authorities, and didn’t require treatment.

A motive behind the shooting wasn’t described in the report.

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