Two deaths in three days devastate Coppell High

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by JONATHAN BETZ

WFAA

Posted on October 17, 2012 at 6:06 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 17 at 6:53 PM

COPPELL — Coppell High School is reeling from the unexpected loss of two students in three days.

The school brought in more grief counselors on Wednesday to help its 3,000 students after Jonah Blackwell, 18, shot himself in a Carrollton park Tuesday afternoon.

His suicide comes as search teams continue to look for the body of 17-year-old Jacob Logan, who failed to surface in Possum Kingdom Lake after he went cliff-diving with friends.

Jonah “was an active member of our student body. We are all quite saddened by his loss,” the school’s principal, Mike Jasso, wrote in a letter to parents. “He was a tremendous part of our campus.”

Officers discovered Jonah’s body on a nature trail at McInnish Park in Carrollton just before 4 p.m. Tuesday. Officers said he killed himself after texting suicidal messages to friends.

Detectives point out there is no indication his suicide is connected to Jacob’s death.

“I think he had his own issues,” one police source told News 8. “The timing was just bad.”

Both young men were seniors, and both were fixtures on the school’s football field. Jacob was a star player being recruited by several universities. Friends say Jonah was a member of the team’s spirit club, the Silver Spurs. The group of boys carries flags during the game and does push-ups to rally the crowd.

“He was always there, always happy, always willing to help everyone out,” said Jonah's friend Sydney Pritchard, a Coppell cheerleader. “It’s been a hard loss.”

The two deaths sparked an outpouring of grief on social media.

Hours after Jonah’s death, a Facebook page was formed, Stay Strong Coppell, that collected hundreds of messages and several thousand "likes."

Students went to Twitter to express condolences and to plead for prayers using hashtags #StayStrongCoppell, #PrayForTheLogans, and #PrayForTheBlackwells.

“People are using social media and helping each other get through it,” said classmate Garrett Anderson, 17. “Seeing an empty desk in two of my classes is just horrible.”

E-mail jbetz@wfaa.com

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