Father of Chardon shooting victim found dead in his home

Russell King, Jr. and his father, Russell "Rusty" King, Sr. (Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer)
Russell King, Jr. and his father, Russell "Rusty" King, Sr. (Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer)

GEAUGA COUNTY, OH (WOIO) - On the two-year anniversary of the deadly shooting at Chardon High School, the father of one of the victims was found dead.

Russell King, Sr. was found dead at his home around 5 a.m. Thursday by a family member.

No word on a cause of death at this time. Foul play is not suspected.

An autopsy will determine King's cause of death.

A very close friend to the King family tells 19 Action News that they are shocked, they are stunned and believe King, Sr. died of a broken heart.

Just down the street from the king home Gary Nickita tied red and black ribbons around the trees stunned that he lost his good friend a man everyone knew as rusty

"He was a great guy, help you out, if you needed it. He was a great guy and he was my friend," says Gary Nickita.

Family friends of the Kings at the Pilgrim Christian Church say they believe Rusty King died of a broken heart. Gary Nickita agrees.

"I think so his son was everything, they did everything together," says Nickita.

Two years after the shooting, emotions are still close to the surface in Chardon and the death of Russell King seems just cruel even to those who didn't know him.

"Oh my lord, I'm sorry. I didn't know that. I didn't know the man but this whole thing touched our whole community I pray for the man's soul and pray for his family," says Morgan Cavanaugh.

Russell King, Jr., Demetrius Hewlin and Daniel Parmertor were killed by a student gunman at Chardon High on Feb. 27, 2012.

The Danny Parmertor Memorial Fund posted the following on Facebook:

The Parmertor family extends our deepest sympathies to Jeannie and Crystal King, as well as the rest of the King's family and friends, as they grieve the passing of husband and father, Rusty King.

Chardon Schools released the following statement:

Words cannot express how saddened we are to hear of the loss of Russell King, Sr. The thoughts and prayers of all of us here at the Chardon Schools are with his family during this extremely difficult time.

The City of Chardon released the following statement:

The City of Chardon is deeply saddened by the news of the death of Russell King, Sr. The thoughts and prayers of the entire community are with the family at this difficult time. Our collective hearts are heavy with sympathy.

The community and school continue with the healing process and continue supporting one another. The three lives lost on 2/27/12 live on in our hearts and minds.

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