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. coy4one

    I guess it's about time that all schools begin installing metal detectors, like many businesses have done. Seems we are no longer safe at school, in the workplace, and in some cases, in the public. And to think that Texas Governor Perry signed into law allowing for concealed guns on Texas university campuses! In the future, they won’t be shootings….they will be shoot outs! Somewhere, this has got to stop!

    February 27, 2012 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
  2. Mark

    Hey Kefca, don't lump the entire white race in with this idiot.

    February 27, 2012 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
  3. Fitz

    Because the racists will just use that as an excuse to shoot them and claim it was in self-defense?

    February 27, 2012 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
  4. Jorge

    The problem is all these ghetto black kids with access to weapons.

    February 27, 2012 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Ser Achmed Van Buren

      It's because of ignorent people like you that racism will never die.

      February 27, 2012 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
    • vittoriokiss

      Jorge, sure it wasn't the ghetto latin kid name Jorge that did it, or white kids or any kid, why does it have to be a black kid?

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

      What the heck is wrong with you!?! You racist coward!

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

      Which is why school shootings almost always occur at suburban, predominantly white schools.

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

      Columbine
      Jonesboro

      Do you have any idea what you're talking about?

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

      @Jorge do you not pay attention to these things in the news? Aside from VTech, all of these deranged kids are white. Why must the world be populated with so many degenerates?

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

      wow really..... pure ignorance.

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

      Hmm. Of the major school shootings in the last two decades, I don't recall any of them being committed by a black student. Try again, idiot.

      February 27, 2012 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Geo

      Wrong. The problem is access to guns by the general public, including you.

      February 27, 2012 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Patrick

      To the person who made the comment about it being about ghetto kids.. First off , Shame on you. Does not matter what color the person is because it has been known to be kids of all race that have done the shooting in past years. The was a horrible comment to make.. And if you think about it, kids in the past that have been shot, were of all color, so you clearly do not know your facts. It boils down to bullies and driving these kids to a breaking point. I am not blaming it all on them but a good portion of these tragic events do happen by the hands of kids that have been bullied. Does not matter are the area either cause it has been known to happen in vary quiet and peaceful neighborhoods. So get your facts and have respect.

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

      You should be ashamed for even making that comment.. Seriously ... Does not matter what color they were , what matters is they did it. White , Black , Mexican , Indian, they all could do it.. So you should really feel ashamed. it boils down to being bullied. Till the day the school system implement a harsh and strict policy of bullying, this may never end. Clearly metal detectors need to be put in ALL schools, despite what neighborhood its in.

      February 27, 2012 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
  5. Ser Achmed Van Buren

    I blame the parents and society. This is only more proof that we need to be more like China and regulate who can have childern in this country, obiviously somebody failed at raising your child and allowed then to become a raving lunatic, whose only answer to their problems is to take lives. Firearms are not the problems, people are. A firearm is an inantimate object that just so happened to find its way into some idiots hand. You can try and put as many restrictions on weapons as you can but criminals and crazies will find a way to get their hands on them. I am sure a huge investigation will turn up all kinds of plans and journals that the shooter had. Another thing, our justice system has become weak, crimnals have no fear of prison, no fear of commiting crimes. We need to bring back more forms of cruel and unusual punishment, make you pay for your crimes rather than "Hey you get to sit in a cell for the rest of your life for killing all these people." Make them feel all the pain that they have caused. Brutal crimes call for brutal punishment. Make criminals fear the justice system again. Go ahead and hate.

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

      Usually they kill themselves so they don't really fear punishment. Besides, they've been punished enough through bullying usually. The harsh punishment should be doled out to the bullies that systematically pick on kids that are different. Different is bad don't you know.

      February 27, 2012 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
    • The REAL Truth...

      I think its far deeper than that Ser Achmed... it's often single-parent families working multiple jobs to make ends meet. Even 2 parent families working 2 jobs, both gone a lot, latch-key kids, unsupervised/unlimited Xbox Live time, etc. I think my family is average – we both work, have kids going hither and yon for school sports activities. Add in all the other activities we attend like school fund-raisers, church and other extra-curricular activities, dinner at 10:30 after the game after a 60 mile drive there, dealing with teenage relationships, social media communications, and.. we'll you get the drift. There's not a whole lot of "family" time left. MY prayers go out to the victims families, but somehow I doubt this was a random shooting.

      February 27, 2012 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Ser Achmed Van Buren

      You don't need to tell me about being different, I know from experience. I also was bullied in school, but I learned that bullies only pick on you because you let them, once I learned to stand up to them and not let myself be a target they left me alone. But you also need kids that will help the kids that won't stand up to bullies or are physically unable to. I also grew up in a single parent home but my parents always made sure to set me straight even if I didn't see them all the time.

      February 27, 2012 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
  6. D.F.

    This is like a replay of 2007-08 for me (articles about shootings like this used to get me so enraged). I'll have a FIT if the perpetrator bears a striking resemblance to a young actor who plays on a television show. This is childish 2-year-old behavior and ALMOST TRIFLING, and wrong on so many levels. Prayers to the wounded.

    Parents, PLEASE crack down on hard rock music and its lyrics that degrades women or talk about suicide attempts or other heinous things. I've had ENOUGH OF THIS. This is probably what leads to felonious crimes like this. Oh, and PLEASE lock the gun and medicine cabinets – this trend is getting OLD AND ANNOYING – and ALMOST TRIFLING. That is all.

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

      Playing the blame game on music, movies, social media, and society isn't the right way to go about it. Any normal person would know the difference between a movie scene, music lyric, and reality. Unfortunately, this is a teenager that should have seeked help for their anger. This is not the result of anything other than neglect on the parents' behalf and psychiatric issues.

      February 27, 2012 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
    • The REAL Truth...

      D.F. – you left out "ban the guns" !

      February 27, 2012 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
  7. Mill

    They killed the future engineers, future scientists, etc....

    February 27, 2012 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Patrick

      Does not matter what they could have or have not been. What matters is they were loved ones and young children/teens of parents and other loved ones.

      February 27, 2012 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  8. Kefca

    Hey Mark,

    The statistics show whites are most likely to do these actions, just like blacks are most likely to be the shooter in drug related murders. Only an idiot like you will play blind to the facts....

    February 27, 2012 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Cesar The Chorizo Chimp Of Chihuahua

      Yeah, okay, your race is better because you kill yourselves over drugs...

      February 27, 2012 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  9. Ted Ryder

    Like most of the other cases, I'll bet this happened because school administrators focused on the victims in bullying and not the bullies. Here's what happens with bullying. The male victim of bullying realizes he is quite possibly physically unable to defend himself. Often the bullying occurs by groups of people–some type of human tendency. The school system focuses effort on identifying likely bullying victims by personality–seriously this is usually the policy (It's easier to harass the victim with ways to change vs. going after many times well-heeled bullies). The male victim grows up fully aware that he can't protect himself and starts to idolize a world in which he can–a world with guns. Since we do live in a world with guns, he can turn his fantasy into reality. One day, something sets the victims off and presto, blammo, you have incidents like this.

    Punish bullies no matter how rich or aggressive their parents are and teach victims some behavioral modification and the situation goes away in many cases.

    February 27, 2012 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Ser Achmed Van Buren

      Bullies are only powerful until someone stands up to them, thats what we need to teach our kids. Stand up for yourself and if you see someone that is getting bullied stand up for them. Power in numbers.

      February 27, 2012 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
    • JK

      Agree! While violence is not an answer, they need to address the root cause of what led up to it.

      February 27, 2012 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Buk Lau

    I don't think the possibility of high-schoolers being legally armed is viable. However, teachers and school staff should have the option of being armed. They are adults who are responsible for the safety of children during the school day, and yet they can't legally carry tools for self-defense because schools are "gun-free zones." We see how well that worked out today. Teachers in Israel are armed to protect their students. Why aren't teachers in the United States?

    February 27, 2012 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
    • The REAL Truth...

      So you want to teachers in school to carry? I'd bet 98% would refuse... they are there to TEACH not KILL some poor slob whose parents failed miserably.!!

      February 27, 2012 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Buk Lau

      In the moment when some poor slob is threatening the lives of others, it doesn't matter what his parents did or didn't do. I agree that parents should be more involved in their kids lives, but a highschooler knows better than to murder people. You can't blame the parents for their child's actions.

      And I think teachers should be REQUIRED to carry. You can't have a cop in every classroom, so armed teachers would be the next best thing. They would act as a deterrent to any would be killers. If you want safety for our children, then there is no reason not to support armed teachers.

      February 27, 2012 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
  11. Think4Yourself

    ya gotta wonder how much of this stupidity it's gonna take before people in the US realize the widespread distribution of weaponry is NOT in the best interest of a society. til then, enjoy the carnage. 200 years from now, our descendants will look back on us and think we were as dumb as doorknobs.

    February 27, 2012 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
  12. aDifferentDave

    All this talk of gun ownership and so on is only part of the story...

    What causes a kid to go into school, targetting certain peers for death? While I don't condone what has happened (and agree who ever owned the gun/s should also be held accountable in this case), I would imagine that there had to have been some 'reason' (real or percieved) that this took place. Dare I say bullying?

    Sure, kids should toughen up and let things roll off their backs. That's how an adult can comprehend things, but these kids are growing and learnign under serious pressures from a wide array of areas. We've seen the extremes this year already – children take their own lives, or they take those of others when tormented. How do we address the realy issue and give kids an outlet for help (one that they woudl be willing to take)?

    February 27, 2012 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
  13. Alan.

    Tragic, appalled by some people's responses.

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

      yes, the anti gun comments!!

      February 27, 2012 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
  14. headcheeze

    we're going to have a civil war in this country before we get the chance to nuke Iran and Russia and I thought that was going to happen next week!!!

    February 27, 2012 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
  15. Jake

    A lack of education and a surplus of firearms creates a place like somolia. We need to require all of our qualified citisens to educate themselves on what a firearm can and will do if used improperly. We also need to strictly inforce the laws we already have. I am a proud War veteran. The problem is in culture not weapons.

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