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.

iReport: Are you there? Let us know but please stay safe.

[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. Curious

    I hope the candidates running for the GOP nomination are asked for their thoughts on this indicident. I wonder what they'll have to say in favor of looser gun restrictions with the timing of this tragedy. Guns need to be MUCH harder for the public to get, not easier.

    February 27, 2012 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Sabrina

      And the educated GOP candidates will respond that it is a well-known statistical and historical fact that the more guns there are the less violence there is and vice versa. "An armed society is a polite society" is borne out statistically. If you don't like guns don't buy one but I want a front row seat when your house is being robbed instead of your neighbor's because you've voice your opinion all over town about how you don't "believe in guns". Criminals believe in them and that's the reality you live in and no amount of gun control will keep them from getting them – it just disarms the law-abiding citizens and makes them targets.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Curious

      If you don't like guns don't buy one but I want a front row seat when your house is being robbed instead of your neighbor's because you've voice your opinion all over town about how you don't "believe in guns".

      Wow...that's mighty kind of you. What an a hole you are! "I want a front row seat when your house is being robbed"?! What kind of person says that? I'm talking gun control, you're hoping to WATCH my home get robbed. You have definitely shown the sort of person you are.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • GauisCaesar

      Wow! THIS is the problem with America!! People who are completely uneducated on a subject that SWEAR they know what they are talking about! And great jab at the GOP, I have already profiled you as leftist hater from your comment. Unfortunately, your comment is ALL emotion and absolutely No logic! Please refrain from condescending someone else when you've obviously not educated yourself on the issue first! Emotion is great but without logic will blind.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Curious

      Funny, since YOU seem to be the one speaking with emotion. Since gun control is part of the GOPs campaigning it's a legitimate point. Sorry you don't see that. Maybe you're too busy calling me a "leftist hater" and it's interfering with your reading comprehension. Or, maybe you're just an idiot. Who knows?

      February 27, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  2. It's about time

    Finally, a worthwhile use of texting by kids at school.

    February 27, 2012 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
  3. BRANDON

    that is out ragious how old was the shooter it sounds like some body got bullied to mutch

    February 27, 2012 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
    • You must be young

      Stop texting in class and concentrate fully on your spelling lesson.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  4. Matthew

    This is not an issue about the ATF or foreign people shooting up the place. This is how and why would someone be doing such a thing. We need to look at why and what caused this student to do this. This student did kill his classmates no doubt about it. Yet you need to see at an High School things are not peaches-n-creme High School is HELL!!! People need to realize did this child have anything that would tell you that he could do something like this and why. Stop look at the facod and look at the deepness crime.

    February 27, 2012 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
  5. badva

    Do people actually not think playing video games that glamorize killing people doesn't play a role? I'm not saying every teenager out there that plays those games will realize it, but you don't think some might?

    February 27, 2012 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
  6. Ghostmule

    A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government- George Washington

    February 27, 2012 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Donnie the Lion

      People weren't bringing guns to school in George Washington's time. If you brought him to 2012 via a time machine, he would go insane within one day to see what life is like now.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Donnie the geezer?

      You were there Donnie? I'll bet there were more instances than you seem to think.

      He would, however, be horrified to see the shocking evaporation of values and deterioration of the nation's ideals that he and our founding fathers labored so hard to build.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  7. Dave

    GFSZ (Gun free school zones)? This just proves gun control doesn't work.

    In the 1950's the biggest problem with kids behaving poorly in school was talking in class and chewing gum.
    1960's America took God out of our schools.
    1970's-80's drugs, gangs, teenage pregnancy and bomb threats were the norm.
    1990's huge jump in school shootings which continues to this day.

    The problem is caused by GFSZ (God Free School Zones)
    You take God out of school and this is what you get.
    Good job America, you really screwed it up.

    February 27, 2012 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
  8. WomenOnGuard

    Firearms are out of control. When something is out of control, it needs to be addressed. We need to have stricter laws regarding gun possession. The police are ahead of the population mentality when it comes to controlling violence. Non-lethal means, such as tasers, is the safest way to protect society. Citizens should follow the police's example and settle things in a civilized manner, rather than killing someone.

    February 27, 2012 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
  9. JockaMo

    What's the big deal? Just another crazy day in America! Those zany, mad-capped kids!! :)

    February 27, 2012 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
  10. realitybites

    Ernie has a point. Now I expect the Ohio Legislature to take note of this and do the right thing and increase the ability to obtain consealed gun permits for ALL high school students to PROTECT themselves. IE get more money from the NRA and do a one up on Arizona. See who can be the most LIBERAL on gun control or lack thereof.

    February 27, 2012 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Donnie the Lion

      Hope that was a satirical statement. Mental illness manifests usually between the ages of 15-25. So give those kids MORE guns???

      February 27, 2012 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  11. Blue Khakis

    The solution to the nation's gun problem: MORE GUNS!

    /sarcasm

    February 27, 2012 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  12. CD

    My heart goes out to the victims and their families. But the pro gun control hippies are deluded. "This is a gun world and I am a gun girl....guy." I will not rely on any government to protect me or my family, thank you.

    February 27, 2012 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Donnie the Lion

      You are framing it as all one way or all the other. Doesn't have to be that way. As a nation, we're smarter and more creative than that.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
  13. Jewel

    This is a tragedy that is occuring more and more often. We do need to have more gun control. I personally feel guns should be outlawed already, but we know that will never happen. So it is time to help protect the innocent bystanders. In this day and age our schools, from elementary all the way thru to college need to be treated in the same manner as all govermental buildings, with weapons and gun screenings in all entrances and exits. and anyone atempting to enter any school with a weapon should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, no matter what there age is. And this is something that needs to be implemented in ALL schools like yesterday. Because it is always the innocent bystander who is injured or killed in these matters and since they refused to put in stronger methods to take the guns away from the crazies, they at least need to protect our innocent children from them.

    February 27, 2012 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  14. sanjosemike

    I'm ambivalent about gun control. On one hand, guns DO get into the wrong hands, e.g. kids who think they're toys, and criminals who use them as weapons against the law abiding.

    On the other hand, had the Jews of Germany had guns available in their homes, when the Brown Shirts took them out of their homes and killed them, they could have fought back. Maybe Hitler would never have gotten into power. Who knows?

    It is also controversial to allow teachers to have guns in school (to protect themselves and students when these things happen.)

    There are two good sides to this argument. I tend however to get into the thought that MORE freedom is generally better than less. Maybe I'm just not smart enough to understand this issue.

    sanjosemike

    February 27, 2012 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  15. John

    I think we should give our kids .45 as soon as they learn to walk. Then show them how to shoot people, and perhaps tell them that it's ok to kill. In fact, it's your birth right. Walk around, and if you're frustrated with life or dislike someone, just put a bullet in his or her head. Sounds odd? We'll if Right Wingers have their wish, it'll sound pretty normal in 20 years. Just to think what kind of society my kid will grow up in, sends shivers down my spine. Good luck to all with kids – young or old. No one is safe.

    February 27, 2012 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
    • bfpierce

      Take your hyperbole to another country please.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      It's "Well", not "We'll" you tool. Also, I'm under the assumption you're a sheltered school dropout, either living off society or off your parents given the substance of your comment. What a headache, please do mankind a favor and never communicate with the outside world again.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
    • John

      You must be one of those meat and potatos guy with 42" gut.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Wow...

      Yep you're right. We republicans enjoy the freedom to own and defend ourselves with a firearm, therefore logic would imply that we love death. Let's just kill everybody. America would be so much better if we lived in a state of warfare. Wipe out the human race? Sweet. You caught us. We're all psychos just like this nutjob kid that snapped this morning. Better take our guns away before we bring this country into anarchy. Some morons...

      February 27, 2012 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
    • fallnhorse

      I'm a democrat. I own firearms and pay my NRA dues. Gun don't tell people, Nobody afraid of the gun it's the person behind it.

      February 27, 2012 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61