WILLOUGHBY, Ohio — More than 14 years have passed since Jeff Jevnikar walked into his high school with a loaded gun.
At 15 years old, Jevnikar was angry and depressed, and he wanted it all to end. He says he wanted to die but in a bigger way than doing it by himself.
"I had thought about ending my life and had thought if I did that, within a few years I'd be forgotten and people would move on with their lives," Jevnikar said of his mindset at the time. "But if I did something bigger or brought a gun to school and did it there, it would get media attention. People would see it and remember it for a long time."
Jevnikar told chief investigative reporter Bennett Haeberle he thought, at the time, it would be a way to get noticed, a way to get his message out there.
He wanted people to understand the hurt he was enduring, and in the weeks that preceded the shooting at South High School in Willoughby, Ohio, had become nearly obsessed with online research about other school shootings.
Jevnikar said he had been bullied and that years of being angry and depressed led to him having suicidal thoughts. He became obsessed with school shootings.
Prior to the day of the incident, Jenvikar admits he probably had an idea of people he wanted to hurt, people that picked on him growing up. On that day, however, he said he did not have any thoughts of hurting anyone else as it was happening.
"After shooting the first shot, I almost clicked back into reality," Jevnikar said. "Oh my God. What am I doing?"
Only two shots were fired at the school that day. The first being more of a warning shot, fired into the ceiling. The other, out of frustration, into a trophy case near the school's office. No one was injured.
Jevnikar credits the school's principal and assistant principal for saving his life. They followed him through the hallway after the shots were fired and eventually talked him into putting down the gun.
"I had taken the gun off my head and put it back multiple times because they kept talking to me," Jevnikar explained. "When I had told them to tell my family I loved them and they said, 'why don't you tell them yourself.' That made me realize how much of a loving family I did have, how much support I have."