West Liberty suspect asked victim to shoot him, affidavit reveals

Published: Wednesday, January 25, 2017 @ 2:49 PM

The affidavit was released by authorities Wednesday.

The accused West Liberty-Salem High School shooter apologized to his victim and asked his 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, is accused of shooting 16-year-old Logan Cole twice, then firing at a teacher before hitting  classroom door windows with gunfire, according to a report from the Champaign County Sheriff's Office released today. 

According to that affidavit, Serna returned to Cole, turned the shotgun on himself, pressed his forehead to the muzzle and asked Cole to pull the trigger. 

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West Liberty Salem students speak

"According to Ely Ray Serna, Logan Cole refused to pull the trigger," according to the affidavit prepared by Champaign County Sheriff's Detective Glenn Kemp. 

The affidavit, obtained through a public records request, says the suspect snuck the weapon into the school in his backpack. Serna allegedly disassembled the shotgun and hid the parts in his backpack before reassembling it in a school bathroom. 

"Ely Ray Serna then entered a toilet stall, where he used the screwdriver to assemble the black Mossberg Model 500 12-gauge, pump-action shotgun," Kemp says in the report. 

Cole was shot at random, according to the affidavit. Upon seeing Logan Cole, Serna fired two shotgun rounds at him, striking him in his side and the chest, the report says. 

Investigators said Serna told them a teacher, identified as Mr. Thomas in the report, then walked in, according to the affidavit, and Serna began to shoot at him. According to the affidavit, Serna 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 said in the affidavit. "Ely Ray Serna stated that he exclaimed, 'You're not dead?' Ely Ray Serna stated that he apologized to Logan Cole." 

It was then he handed the weapon to Cole, the report says, and asked Cole to pull the trigger.

After Cole refused, 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.

Six shell casings were recovered at the scene, Kemp wrote.

The affidavit also 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 that day.

The affidavit also identifies the second student wounded in the shooting as Adam Schultz. He was hit by one pellet, according to authorities, and did not require medical treatment.

A motive for the shooting wasn’t described in the affidavit.