Police investigating after 2 teens died in Jackson Township

JACKSON TOWNSHIP, OH (WOIO) - Police are investigating the circumstances behind the deaths of two teenagers found with gunshot wounds in a wooded area of Jackson Township late Friday night.

In a news release from Jackson Township Police, Chief Brink said Canal Fulton and Lawrence Township police were called to check on the welfare of two teens. Around 8:30 p.m., they found them both fatally injured in a wooded area south of Portage Road, east of Akron Avenue in Jackson Township.

Both teens, a 16-year-old girl and a 17-year-old boy were found with gunshot wounds to their heads. The girl was pronounced dead on the scene and the boy was transported to a hospital where he was pronounced dead a few hours later, the release said.

Police found a handgun at the scene, and say their deaths are being investigated as a possible double suicide or a homicide-suicide.

According to a news release from Superintendent Mike Shreffler of Northwest Local Schools, both teens were students at Northwest High School in Canal Fulton.

Shreffler said that Northwest High School will be open at 10 a.m. Saturday to provide support to staff and students, and that counselors will be at the building all day Monday, for as long as needed.

Superintendent Shreffler released a statement, saying in part, "Our district staff works hard to provide students and staff with the resources and support they need to handle difficult situations that they are facing. We will continue to do this. I am asking that, at this time, you give the families space to grieve and respect their wishes. Please keep in mind that social media is not the place to get accurate information or to spread rumors. I ask that you seek out information from the Superintendent's office or the office of High School Principal, Larry Tausch. I know there is a lot of curiosity at this time. The district will keep you posted as time allows.

On behalf of the board of education and the administration, I am asking all students, staff and community members to come together to support one another during this trying time."

Police are still investigating, and say that more information will be released as it becomes available.

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