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. Thinking7

    Sick of hearing things like this in the news. Schools, parents, and kids are to blame. The schools are nothing more than a rotten place to be if you are a kid. Bullying, drugs, you name it. Public schools are just down the trash. I am so very sorry for these kids that were injured. For the one who died, God please rest his/her soul. Please give the parents some sort of comfort in knowing that the shooter was apprehended. So sad.

    February 27, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • nutz

      100% blame on the parents. ALL PARENTS need a wake up call.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  2. sack

    Due to Romney's flip flopping on gun control, the shooter was unaware whether it was currently acceptable to bring guns onto school property, he hadn't read the polls lately. Blame Romney.

    February 27, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Mercenary For Hire

    This brings back memories for me of the Elián González case. It's truly no wonder to me that Elián González' father wanted to take his son back to Cuba because of all the violence in our uncontrollable school system. And although the shooter is the primary responsible party for the senseless murder, I put 100% of the blame on the parents for not taking the appropriate preventive measures to stop these senseless shootings before they can even occur. I own numerous firearms since my days in the US Marines, but none of them are accessible to my children, and yes, I do mean NONE of them !! When my son and daughter encounter bullying problems in school, we sit at the table and we discuss appropriate retaliatory measures. Taking a gun to school and shooting other kids is NOT appropriate, by any means !!

    February 27, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Mork

    sad, but bullys never learn.. You kick the wrong kid around long enough, watch your back.

    February 27, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • mc

      I was bullied for almost my entire elementary and high school years because I was too fat and my dad worked in a steel mill while most of the kids at my school had parents who were doctors and lawyers who lived in big, fancy houses. However, and my dad had quite a few guns, I would NEVER have even thought about killing anyone to retaliate. We don't even know if this kid was bullied – that remains to be seen – but even if he was, that does not excuse cold-blooded murder.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Prefer's a Full Bush

    Couldn't they interview some of the really hot chicks or cheerleaders that go there?

    February 27, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • hasdf

      I support this post.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Agrav8td

    Without knowing all the facts, I'm assuming this had to do with the shooter being bullied. I hate to see anyone hurt or killed, but I'd also hate to see someone who was at their wits end w/being bullied go to jail. Parents & teachers have got to wake up, bullying is a major issue. No one should have to go to school and put up with being bullied.

    February 27, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • knowsmore123

      weak

      February 27, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alison

      IF this is a case of bullying, you say you hate to see someone that was bullied go to jail. Well, the bullied person should have thought about that before he brought a gun to school. He/she deserves everything he/she gets! I do not condone bullying and I definitely think it is a huge problem in schools today, but this is not an appropriate reaction to said bullying. At all.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • blah9999

      Very terrible and invalid argument you have there.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • graphicsgirl777

      He killed someone. And tried to kill others. There will never be a justification for that. Bullied or not.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  7. kmac

    I was watching CNN interview some guy tell how important it is to determine the proficentcy of educator when this news break occured. Seems kinda silly now, looks like students seem to be the most important factor in education not the teacher. I taught school for 40 years and yes some teachers seemed to be more effective than others. It appeared more in math than anywhere. Maybe math teachers have trouble relating to people who don't understand math. But the number one factor in student achievement was that kid.

    February 27, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Steve in Las Vegas,NV

    My condolences to the families of the shooting victims. Tragically we hear of yet another senseless act of violence against innocent victims. This is sickening. Whatever excuse the shooter has for his terrible act will never work, and he must face the reality and consequences of his crime!!

    Kudos to the teacher who chased the shooter out of the school certainly preventing even more carnage and misery! He put himself between the shooter and the others which takes REAL courage!

    February 27, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. SYLVAN FINKELSTEIN

    my prayers to the family of the student that died from the gun shots

    February 27, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dan

      I'm sure that will help a lot.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Scott

    SSRI's anyone?

    February 27, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • UseYourBrain

      Amen!

      February 27, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Bill

    Let parents whip their kids without remorse. It has gotten worse since parents don't have the right to whip their child without somebody calling child abuse. I was whipped and I am glad my parents disciplined me. If it wasn't for that I would be a troubled person. Everybody is thinking this is a bullying case, this is a about guns, but what it is, is parents not being able to be parents and whip the child's butt without child abuse being raised.

    February 27, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. UseYourBrain

    Let's make SURE there is an investigation into whether or not the shooter was on any Anti-Depressants or SSRIs. This is the BIGGER issue behind the gun laws. To me, it's not about the guns, it's about the prescription drugs that are prescribed to teens. I was prescribed SSRIs and the lasting effects are innumerable. We need open dialog about these prescription drugs!

    February 27, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. no nothing

    Die, die , die my darling, don't say utter another word

    February 27, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Mememe

    more collateral damage of the 2nd amendment

    February 27, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  15. IndiaGuy

    American culture is s#!t – teens fool around like monkeys thereby, couples have babies without even marrying, and if they do marry dads leave their children when they are infants, babies grow up without the moral and emotional support of their parents, which deprives them of education and values and easily leads them to drugs, alcohol and violence, and since guns are freely available without even requiring a license, they end up becoming gangsters and add to the filth that is the American society.

    February 27, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Prefer's a Full Bush

      thanks for the input dot head. now go fix my computer and make me a plate of tikkia massala – p.s. – the only good thing about your country is the women. (and only the ones from the north).

      February 27, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • ofyomamma

      butthurt.. full bush?

      February 27, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
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