February 27th, 2012
02:13 PM ET

Student shot at Ohio high school dies, police say

More on this story from CNN affiliates WOIO-TV, WEWS-TV, WJW-TV and WKYC-TV.

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[Updated at 4:04 p.m. ET] Chardon Police Chief Timothy McKenna said in a press conference today that two of the victims in Monday's shootings were in critical condition, one was in serious condition and one was in stable condition.

[Updated at 2:58 p.m. ET] Danny Komertz, a student at Chardon High School said that he saw shooter T.J. lane point a gun directly at a group of students before shooting them.

"I looked straight ahead and I saw a gun pointing at a group of four guys sitting at a table and he was able two feet away from them," Komertz said. "He just fired two quick shots at them. I saw one student fall. I saw the other hiding, trying to get cover underneath the table."

Komertz said that he felt that by his demeanor, the shooter was targeting that group.

"It was clearly to me that he was aiming right at them," Komertz told CNN. "He wasn't shooting around the cafeteria at all. He was directly aiming at the four of them."

Komertz said he then ran out the door with his friends. While he was trying to escape he said he heard another two shots fired from behind him.

"I just can't believe it. I don't think it's real," said student Danny Komertz, who witnessed the shooting. "And I just, it kills me that I saw someone hiding, and now that someone is now dead."

[Updated at 2:13 p.m. ET] A fatally wounded student was identified by the hospital that treated him as Daniel Parmertor.

"We are shocked by this senseless tragedy," Parmertor's family said in a statement released by MetroHealth Medical Center. "Danny was a bright young boy who had a bright future ahead of him. The family is torn by this loss. We ask that you respect our privacy during this difficult time."

[Updated 1:19 p.m. ET] A student who hid in a classroom at Chardon High School said that T.J. Lane, the suspect in Monday's shooting, "was a nice guy" who he never suspected would shoot anyone.

“He just came from a really broken down home and he was living with his grandparents," Evan Erasmus, a senior at the school told CNN.  "He was more of a quiet type of kid. He was really nice, though, if you did talk to him.”

Erasmus said that Lane and some of the victims "used to be friends" but more in middle school and early high school.

“He was one of the nicest kids there…," Erasmus said. "It was really shocking that it was him.”

Erasmus told CNN that he believed T.J. Lane was either a sophomore or junior at the school.

He said that Lane was sitting about a table away from some of the victims.

Erasmus said he heard the victims "were all sitting there and then he just stood up and that’s when it all started."

Meanwhile, he and the other students in a nearby classroom, "turned the lights off and we headed into a corner" after the shooting.

[Updated 12:52 p.m. ET] Witnesses and one of the shooting victims have identified the gunman as T.J. Lane, according to The Plain Dealer of Cleveland.

[Updated 12:04 p.m. ET] Police say one student has died from the shootings at Chardon High School this morning. Five students were shot in total, officials said.

[Updated 11:58 a.m. ET] A parent of children who attend Chardon High School says the gunman in today's shooting had specific targets and was not shooting randomly, according to a report from CNN affiliate WJW-TV.

[Updated 11:43 a.m. ET] The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives says it has been given one handgun from the Ohio high school shooting scene to do an emergency trace.

The Geauga County sheriff's office is executing searches in the case with the assistance of ATF agents, a law enforcement official said.

[Updated 11:13 a.m. ET] Geauga County Sheriff Daniel McClelland says a K-9 unit tracked the shooting suspect, who was apprehended "some distance from the school," according to a report on CNN affiliate WJW-TV.

[Updated 10:54 a.m. ET] The suspect in the shooting of five students at Chardon High School turned himself in to bystanders in Chardon Township, a law enforcement official told CNN affiliate WKYC-TV.

[Updated 10:43 a.m. ET] A student at Chardon High School, Evan Erasmus, told CNN affiliate WEWS-TV that the suspect in Monday's shootings may have posted a threatening message Sunday night on the social networking service Twitter.

"I think he said that he was going to bring a gun to school and I think that everyone just blew it off like he was joking," Erasmus said.

[Updated 10:34 a.m. ET] Law enforcement officials say they received reports that a teacher chased the shooter at Chardon High School out of the building.

[Updated 10:31 a.m. ET] There are five victims of the shooting at a Chardon High School in surburban Cleveland, law enforcement officials said.

[Updated 10:05 a.m. ET] Those wounded at Chardon High School in Ohio are students at another school in nearby Auburn, said Evan Erasmus, a student at Chardon. They had been waiting in the Chardon cafeteria for a bus to Auburn when they were shot, Erasmus said.

[Updated 9:53 a.m. ET] Four students were wounded when a gunman opened fire in the cafeteria of a suburban Cleveland high school just as the school day was beginning Monday, law enforcement officials said.

The suspected Chardon High School shooter - believed to be a student, according to a school official - was in custody, FBI Special Agent Scott Wilson told reporters.

Wilson declined to say how badly the injured students had been hurt.

"We just hope that they're OK," he said.

School administrators locked down schools in the city of Chardon, Ohio, about 30 miles east of Cleveland. and assured parents that all remaining students were safe.

Still, parents eager to retrieve their children hurried to school buildings, forming long lines as school officials checked identifications before releasing students. At one point, black-clad SWAT team members walked by parents waiting outside the middle school, enhancing what was a surreal scene for many.

"This stuff doesn't happen here at Chardon. Everybody's a little upset," said one parent who was preparing to pick up his daughter, a 10th-grader who had been evacuated to Maple Elementary School.

Despite initial reports that two people were involved, it appeared only one person was responsible for the shooting, Superintendent Joseph Bergant said.

"My understanding is there was one gunman," he said. Bergant said he believed the suspect is a student.

The shooting occurred around 7:40 a.m. just as school was getting started for the day, school board member Larry Reiter said. It happened inside the cafeteria, which is near the entrance to the school, he said.

It was unclear how the suspect was taken into custody.

School officials locked the high school down following the shooting.

One parent told CNN affilaite WKYC that her daughter had texted from a closet to tell her that there had been a shooting at the school, but that she was okay.

Chardon is a small city of about 5,100 people 30 miles east of Cleveland. About 1,150 students attend the high school, which is next to Chardon Middle School and across the street from Maple Elementary School.

[Updated 9:48 a.m. ET] A youth suspected in the shooting at an Ohio high school fled the building but was caught nearby, according to a Plain Dealer report on Cleveland.com.

Three boys and a girl were injured in the shooting which happened in the Chardon High School cafeteria before classes started, the Plain Dealer report said.

"Parent Jeannette Roth, who had heard from her son Joshua, a junior, said he told her the shooting happened while students were eating breakfast in the cafeteria and waiting for first period.  Suddenly a boy 'stood up and started shooting, and then it was chaos,'" the Plain Dealer report read.

[Updated 9:27 a.m. ET] Four students were wounded in the school shooting Monday morning at the high school in Chardon, Ohio, officials said. The extent of their injuries was unknown.

[Updated 9:21 a.m. ET] At least three students were injured when an armed individual entered the cafeteria of a high school near Cleveland and opened fire just as the school day was beginning Monday, police and the school superintendent said.

School officials said they did not know how badly the injured students had been wounded, but some had been taken by helicopter to the hospital.

Police took a suspect into custody, locked the high school down and assured parents that all remaining students were safe.

Despite initial reports that two people were involved, it appeared only one person was responsible for the shooting, Superintendent Joseph Bergant said.

"My understanding is there was one gunman," he said. Bergant said he believed the suspect is a student.

School officials said the rest of the high school's students were being evacuated to a nearby elementary school.

Parents gathered outside the school administration building, hoping for information about the incident and how to retrieve their children.

"My daughter is at the school and she's texting me saying they're in a closet right now and they're OK," a parent speaking to CNN affiliate WKYC said.

Chardon is a small city of about 5,100 people 30 miles east of Cleveland. About 1,150 students attend the high school, which is next to Chardon Middle School and across the street from Maple Elementary School.

[Updated 9:06 a.m. ET] The superintendent of Chardon schools said Monday he believes there was only one gunman involved in the shooting at Chardon High School.

[Updated 9:01 a.m. ET] A person who fired shots at a high school near Cleveland on Monday morning is in custody, a school official said.

[Updated 8:55 a.m. ET] At least three students were wounded when two people entered the cafeteria of a high school near Cleveland, Ohio, and opened fire just as the school day was beginning, police and a school board member said.

The shooting happened at Chardon High School in Chardon, Ohio, Lt. John Hiscox of the Geauga County Sheriff's Office said.

Three or four students were hit by the gunfire, said Larry Reiter of the Chardon Schools Board of Education. He did not know their conditions, but said helicopters had been called to take the injured to a hospital.

Chardon is a small city of about 5,100 people 30 miles east of Cleveland. About 1,150 students attend the high school, which is next to Chardon Middle School and across the street from Maple Elementary School.

[Updated 8:43 a.m. ET] Two shooters entered Chardon High School and and shot three or four students in the cafeteria, school board member Larry Reiter told CNN. He did not know their condition.

[Posted 8:38 a.m. ET] A shooting has occurred at Chardon High School near Cleveland, Ohio, Lt. John Hiscox of the Geauga County Sheriff's Office said Monday.

FULL STORY
soundoff (2,226 Responses)
  1. Hotness

    One. Your mom.

    February 27, 2012 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
  2. Walker

    My guess is this is some kid who is either mentally unstable or has been bullied (or both). While I have empathy for those who have been bullied, once you pick up a gun or turn to violence you become the villan. The shooter should be locked in jail, no matter how bad they had it before. Sorry but we all have choices and trying to end someone else's life, well I just think the shooter should be put down.

    February 27, 2012 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
  3. Henriette

    NRA Lobby, that one's on you. Like you care.

    February 27, 2012 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Luke

      You're right! Why blame the shooter? Or the shooter's parents? Or cultural issues? Seriously, only the gun is to blame! If only guns weren't allowed in schools this would all be solved.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
  4. Ginny

    The problem isn't guns or gun owners in general, but an overabundance of guns which a lot are owned by irresponsible gun owners who don't properly keep the guns away from these kids.

    February 27, 2012 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
    • noteabags

      Yeah, guns are never the problem. Keep telling yourself that.

      February 27, 2012 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
    • J

      I don't know, guns are a lot more powerful tools than say, knives, but why are kids getting the idea they need to use lethal violence against other classmates? Where is the socialization? Where is the sense of community, friendship? Social bonds? Anything? What is going on?

      February 27, 2012 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
  5. larrydavid

    Guess what? You're not getting my pistol and rifle you frightened little men.

    February 27, 2012 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
  6. Kirk

    I agree with Matthew...however, it's no excuse for such action and culprits of such crimes, once their guilt is confirmed, should be taken out in a field and disposed of quickly and without additional cost to the taxpayers

    February 27, 2012 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
  7. Brandt Clark

    This would never have happened if all the parents had been allowed to arm their children. Then the good kids would have easily been able to overcome the bad kids with a swift, controlled gun battle.

    February 27, 2012 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
    • noteabags

      I agree. If all the kids don't have guns then only the bad kids are going to have guns.

      February 27, 2012 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
    • yep

      Are you kidding me? You cant fight fire, with fire! smh

      February 27, 2012 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
    • racedogg

      I really hope this comment is sarcastic but just in case, are you crazy? There is no such thing as a controlled gun battle. Can you imagine a bunch of untrained high school students standing up and firing? There would be several more students injured because these kids would not even be remotely trained for this type of situation, and many shots would go astray. That doesn't even take into account the students that would shoot the wrong person because suddenly everyone is holding a gun, and no one can tell who the original shooter was.

      February 27, 2012 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
    • J

      Honestly, students and everyone else are far more likely to die in a car crash. Can we stop being paranoid little people afraid of our shadows and needing to be constantly armed just in case? Americans are crazy.

      February 27, 2012 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Ernie

      Arm minors to "defend themselves" ??? You need a shrink ... the only defense we need is from psicopats like you ...

      February 27, 2012 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
    • paul1121

      Or better yet, have the parents take more interest in their child's lives as well as paying attention to warning signs. I grew up with guns. It was a status symbol tor drive around town during hunting season with your rifle in in]your rifle rack (unloaded of course). But I never nor anyone I knew had an urge to go to school and shoot the place up. I think its the kid and not the gun. BTW, a gun safety course is never a bad idea. Teaches one responsibility.

      February 27, 2012 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Patrick

      Sure... Lets just turn our kids into militants and arm them all.. REALLY? Are you serious. That is not the answer but rather make it mandatory that the schools have metal detectors and bullying be a seriously handled. Such as suspending these kids for the remainder of the year and enforce that the parents get their kids that are bullying help.

      February 27, 2012 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
  8. Kefca

    Can't you just accept the fact that your white race is suicidal and prefer to kill innocent people because of their own mental defects??? Most killings in black neighborhoods are drug related and ...usually don't touch the schools...

    February 27, 2012 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Duane

      Kefca that was the most racist statement I have seen in a long time. Sad to see people like you still exist.

      Black on black crime is higher than any other in this nation but none of us here are saying "yes this was a white teenager crime, but thank God it wasn't blacks or else more people would be dead".

      Face it, your a racist and need to grow up.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  9. noteabags

    More guns is the answer. All of the students should have been armed. It could have been a shootout.

    February 27, 2012 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Phil

      I carry concealed absolutely everywhere I go but would only use it in a life threatening situation. You can't guarantee that others would react the same way. Some would use the firearm as a scare tactic when things weren't going their way.

      February 27, 2012 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
    • J

      Why stop with guns? You really want to stop someone, grenades are the way to go. I say mandatory grenade armament for students.

      February 27, 2012 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
    • racedogg

      Bahahaha are you insane? A bunch of untrained adolescents attempting to diffuse a highly dangerous situation? I can guarantee you that the body count would be much higher right now if that were the case. Not to mention the fact that the SWAT members who are trained for this type of thing would enter the building and have no idea who to arrest or take down, because everyone is nervously holding out a gun and firing in a panic. What a catastrophe that would have turned out to be.

      February 27, 2012 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Geo

      Great post, J! And after everyone has grenades for self-defense, let's escalate even further and drive around in military tanks.

      February 27, 2012 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Patrick

      WELL, Hope you do not have kids cause than you will be arming your kid.. Just what we need to do, is arm our children. These are kids, at their prime of their lives. They should not be living in fear and to be afraid to go to school as to fear situations like this to happen.

      February 27, 2012 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
  10. MALAKA

    The right wing hicks and rednecks care more about GUNS in this country, than they do healthcare, jobs, etc.!

    February 27, 2012 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Retired Army

      Yeah.....pretty much.

      February 27, 2012 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Buk Lau

      What does that have to do with anything? Are you stereotyping supporters of gun rights?

      February 27, 2012 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
  11. Mill

    Department of Education have to fire some failing teachers in Ohio high school. Failing generation will not shape the society better.

    February 27, 2012 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
  12. yep

    We are living in Amerika, Amerika, its wonderful.....

    February 27, 2012 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
  13. Jake

    I grew up in a suburban neighborhood in central michigan. I saw someone with a gun at school almost every day. Sir we have to try to understand that every generation sees the world differently becaude we are always changing as a people. If we did'nt we would still be banging rocks together and throwing spears at deer. We have to step back and try to understand why we are recordably moving in a direction that will end in our country being a warzone. Large portions of our country already are! I know all you people in place like Nebraska and Idaho are nice and content with your corn fields.. But just up the road in Omaha boys get shot over dime bags every day and the police risk their live to fight that war. Same thing in Boise. What causes this.? These boys are White, balck, hispanic, asian and so on. Its not racial!! Its a cancer killing all of us!

    February 27, 2012 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
  14. gkgk

    Humm..bully 200 lbs...victim 120 lbs...trigger pull 3-5 lbs..you do the math. good for him

    February 27, 2012 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
  15. Jokesterer

    Was he muslim?

    February 27, 2012 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Adam

      You sir are the reason that other countries hate us.

      February 27, 2012 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
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