Grace under fire

Shooting victim, family focus on God’s blessings

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Logan Cole, the 17-year-old West Liberty-Salem student, who survived the Jan. 20 shooting incident at his school, stands with his parents Julie and Ryan Cole in front of a wall mementos from the past year. (EXAMINER PHOTO | JOEL E. MAST)

Sitting at his family’s dinner table as 2017 came to a close, Logan Cole shook his head, smiled, looked down and said, “No. Never,” when asked if he ever imagined he would become an inspirational, heroic figure to so many people near and far.

He doesn’t see himself as a hero, but as a typical high school senior, looking to earn a diploma and move on.

“I’m looking forward to (this) year,” the 17-year-old high school senior said. “To go off to college where people may not know what happened. You know what I mean?”

He simply wants to be Logan Cole, not Logan Cole, the shooting survivor.

“I just want to keep going forward,” he said, “even though I know it will always be with us.”

Jan. 20, Logan Cole was starting the typical school day at West Liberty-Salem High School and entered a restroom.

He encountered a classmate who had smuggled in modified pump-action, 12-gauge shotgun. Logan was shot twice before the shooter exited the restroom and fired several shots.

A second student sustained a minor grazing wound, but Logan was critically wounded.

“I was pretty sure I was going to die,” he said. “But I wasn’t too worried about what would happen to me if I died.”

He said he was at peace with God as he lay bleeding when the shooter returned to the restroom.

Logan believes a will to survive and his Christian faith gave him the presence of mind to speak to the shooter and convince him to lay down his weapon.

For the most part, he has recovered physically from the shooting. He was able to return to school within months and served as an attendant at the 2017 commencement ceremony.

This fall, he took his defensive spot on the school soccer team and had, he said, “my best year ever.”

Read complete year-end story and more in Thursday's Examiner
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