Many of us in Northeast Ohio know the Chardon community, quiet, residential, a place to raise families and share lives. The feeling of security extends to the local schools, as it does in so many small towns and cities. They are zones of safety, even with the deadly episodes at Columbine and elsewhere in mind.

Thus, shock followed the reports on Monday morning about a shooting at Chardon High School. By midday, the sad news had arrived about five students hit by the gunfire, one dead and the others wounded. The seeming randomness stuns, and sets in motion a natural search for answers, for an explanation and understanding.

For the moment, all of that seems elusive, even with a suspect in custody, the speculation beginning. What does seem clear from the early reporting is that the episode could have been much worse. The school and its students benefited from the steps they had taken to prepare for such an incident, remote as the possibility seemed.

More, a school teacher proved brave chasing the shooter from the school, leading shortly to an arrest. What led a young man to gather a gun and fire at classmates will come later, if at all. First, there is the fate of the victims, hoping for recoveries, mourning the loss. Then, there is Chardon, looking to restore that precious feeling of security.