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Madman in Copley massacre identified

COPLEY TOWNSHIP, OH (WOIO) - The gunman in Sunday's horrific massacre in Copley has been identified as 51-year-old Michael Hance.

The madman fatally shot seven people before being killed by police. One of the victims is an 11-year-old boy.

The shootings started around 11AM at 2389 Goodenough, a home where Hance lived with his girlfriend, 49-year-old Rebecca Dieter. She was shot multiple times, but is the sole survivor in the massacre. She is currently hospitalized in unknown condition.

Hance then went to 2401 Goodenough, and opened fire. Five people were shot and killed. 16-year-old Autumn Johnson was shot in a car in the driveway. Another 16-year-old in the car was also shot and killed.

Autumn's father - 44-year-old Bryan Johnson - also shot and killed. 51-year-old Craig Dieter, 67-year-old Russell Johnson and Gudrun Johnson all fatally wounded by Hance.

Hance then tracked down 11-year-old Scott Dieter, Craig Dieter's son and Rebecca Dieter's nephew, hiding in the basement of a home he sought refuge in. Hance fatally shot the child in cold blood.

The madman was then confronted by a Copley police officer and private citizen, who is also a retired cop. Hance threatened the two men and they opened fired, killing him.

Hance had no prior criminal record.

Police are still working to determine a motive.

The two teen victims attended Copley High School. Principal Cameron Ryba sent the following letter to parents in the district.

Dear Parents/Guardians:

I am deeply saddened to have to share that on Sunday, seven victims were shot to death in Copley-Township. Two of the victims were Copley High School students. A young person's death is always tragic and sudden loss like this can have a profound effect on surviving students. It is important that we recognize this loss and offer help. This is a sensitive issue for many adolescents and different children react to a situation like this differently. We suggest that you talk with your child about their feelings and watch their reaction over the next few days.

Here are some things that you may experience. During a tragic situation, they may be more distracted or absent-minded than usual. Sleep and appetite may be disturbed. You may notice irritability, impatience, or anger. Fearfulness and anxiety are also common reactions. Give your children plenty of chances to talk with you about what has happened. Listening in itself can be very helpful. If symptoms worsen you may wish to seek professional help.

Copley High School will have counseling services available to talk with students on Monday, August 8th from 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. and Tuesday, August 9th from 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Some students may need additional guidance and support. They can be seen individually over the weeks to come. Guidance staff will be available daily to accept appointments starting on Wednesday, August 10th from 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Feel free to contact a school counselor or myself if we can be of any further assistance.

On behalf of Copley High School, I have extended our sincere condolences to the students' families on this sad occasion.

The Summit County Medical Examiner's Office, the Copley Police Department, the Akron Police Department, the Summit County Sheriff's Department and the Ohio BCI are all investigating.

Donations can be made to the Johnson Family Memorial Fund at any Akron-area PNC Bank.

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