Neenah graduate recovering following Ohio shooting incident

Posted at 2:21 PM, Oct 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-04 18:30:18-04
The Ohio State Patrol says Alexander S. Melchert was injured in a shooting incident at a rest area near Columbus.
Melchert is a 2016 graduate of the school and a student at the College of Wooster. He is listed in critical condition in a Columbus area hospital.

Investigators say the suspect, Shawn Johnson of Westerville, Ohio fired several shots at a vehicle, shooting Melchert several times before fleeing. Medics found Melchert in the parking lot and rushed him to Grant Medical Center in critical condition.

Tonight, Melchert is joined in the hospital by his parents and siblings, say Wooster leaders.

911 recordings from the scene capture the urgency.
In one call, a witness walking over to check on Melchert's car after the shooting can be heard telling the operator "oh my God, somebody is shot. Yep.. somebody needs help!"
Melchert, who has just started his first year at Wooster, was driving with a friend Sunday morning when he pulled over to use the restroom.
Witnesses at the rest stop along interstate 71 say Melchert walked back to his car when a man on a park bench started shooting.
"And some... gentleman just shot.. about 6 shots into a car," says the 911 caller, "and.. I think they need some help."
Investigators say the suspect, 25-year-old Shawn Johnson, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound after leading police on a high speed chase. 
When asked by reporters what relationship, if any, is known between the suspect and Melchert, Ohio State Highway Patrol Lt. Marcus Pirrone responded "we don't at this point. We're investigating that."

Watch coverage from in Columbus, Ohio:

The Neenah Joint School District issued a statement:

"We are saddened by the news of the senseless shooting of former Neenah High School student Alex Melchert on Sunday in Ohio. The thoughts of the entire Neenah Joint School District community are with Alex and his family as we wish him the best in recovery."
Friends of Melchert have also started using the hashtag #PrayForMelchert on Twitter in an outpouring of support.