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. Trey

    It's the family, NOT THE GUN. The breakdown in the family, or lack thereof, is thee problem. Breakdown in the family, breakdown in societ. What we don't need is more humanism, secularism reigning down from the Whitehouse. This has only reenforced me resolve to get my handgun permit!

    February 27, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dan

      It's not the gun? I'm sure he could strangle 5 people with his belt just as easily.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  2. jnpa

    He/she should be charged with premeditated murder as an adult!

    February 27, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. no nothing

    die, die, die my darling, hush your pretty mouth

    February 27, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Jrod

    I have images of George Bush and Sarah Palin ready to shoot in my mind. But yeah....its their right to carry guns, right? Ridiculous

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

      George Bush and Sarah Palin has the right but the student that did this does not have the right.
      So banning guns will not work because the people that want to do harm will still get them or find other ways to kill.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ellen Thompson

      Absurd comment.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • amie1

      seriously?, kids were shot and you blame Bush and Palin? and Sean when we don't have the right to carry a gun and have no way to defend ourselves, then you might have a problem. We have guns in our house but we don't go out and use them on people. We have them for hunting and defending US, in our house, on our property. That does not make us idiots. And does it really matter if they were black or white?? They were someone's kids, and people are hurting today because of a mentally deranged person.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Trey

    and I hope the FBI gets the identify of all the crazies posting here! THAT will be funny.

    February 27, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Rilax29

    Its so nice to see people focusing on mourning over what happened instead of using the event to hammer the point about gun control home. Shut up you little opinionated monsters, a child died, go back to Reddit with your trolling.

    February 27, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • graphicsgirl777

      well put. couldn't agree more.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  7. thorsrein

    A kid in Ohio shot people. This is why I shouldn't be allowed to own a gun!

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

      A kide in Ohio did something bad with a computer too, you shouldn't have one of those either.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  8. ethandy

    For some parents, the unthinkable happened this morning. I want to cry.

    February 27, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. no nothing

    IIs your cap-lock key broken?

    February 27, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Sandra

    Guns don't kill people. People kill people. This has nothing to do with the availability of guns. This shooter obviously had undiagnosed mental problems or maybe he was just plain evil. Don't make this tragedy about needing new gun laws or blame the NRA or Republicans, etc. That's really stupid. You don't steal the rights of others to keep guns away from the crazies. You deal with the crazies. I'm sure someone recognized the shooter had issues. Why wasn't anything done?

    February 27, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mork

      and if the market was saturated with easily obtained weapons then maybe the crazies wouldnt get them, but the market is over staurated with easily obtained guns because everyone has one.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • BifBuffo

      Then why does the NRA block every legislation aimed at keeping guns out of the hands of crazy people. If they had their way there would vending machines dispensing firearms.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mork

      how come 99% of the time, this type of news is from the USA. Yes we hear of shootings from other western countries, but not nearly on the same scale, and usually with long guns instead of hand guns and automatic weapons.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Vigla

      Sandra... Define "crazy"? How can you tell someone is crazy unless they act out. Many are mentally conpromised and you wouldn't know it until they do something that proves it. So, keep selling guns to all under the guise of "freedom" while we maintain the highest death rate by the use of guns in the world.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rbnlegnd

      Bif, the NRA isn't the one blocking that particular restriction. "Crazy" is a medical diagnosis, and medical records are protected, so the privacy advocates object to it. "Crazy" is not a medical condition that a doctor can test for and say "yes, the crazy virus is present in this blood sample, the patient has a case of crazy" so the medical establishment opposes it. The NRA is all for prohibiting criminals, minors, the mentally handicapped, and the crazies, and has supported those laws. What they don't support is poorly written laws that prohibit the law abiding mentally capable adults, that is the rest of us, from owning a gun.

      And really, you have no one to blame but your own lobby groups. If they were seeking to honestly impose reasonable restrictions, they would have a chance, but, they have too much of a history of using deception to support any restriction they could come up with, in order to impose an incremental gun ban. They lost all credibility somewhere in the process of trying to ban cheap guns, expensive guns, big guns, little guns, guns that hold too many bullets, guns that are accurate, guns that are innacurate, guns that look like other guns, and so on. The point was really made when they attempted to ban the Black Rhino bullet, which was a round that was armor piercing and frangible (real word, look it up), capable of going right through the heaviest bullet-proof vest, and broke into many razor sharp fragments inside the body in order to make sure it was even more deadly.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Kris

    At this very moment, the GOP & NRA are trying to get the shooter on the ballot.

    February 27, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. BifBuffo

    How about gun control now? We have third graders bringing in Mom & Dad's guns for show & tell. The NRA will tell you that if we were all armed this stuff would never happen. Does that sound insane to anyone else?

    February 27, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Matt

      The best gun control is gun education. Children (<18) should be shown the capabilities of a gun and how to handle one. I'm not saying children should own guns, but parents or guardians should show them how they work and what they can do, especially if the parent is going to keep one in the house. Gun control or education would have not stopped this incident from happening. The kid could have easily found some other way to kill. Gun education/control would only help to stem off many accidental shootings. Taking away the exposure to guns is like the extremist religions burning books they believe are evil or immoral.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Vigla

      So Matt, you are advocating we train our kids to be confortable with guns, so they can more easily use them when they use them to harm others? Brilliant... Yes, educate them about guns, but they don't need to handle them or learn to use them until they are mature enough to use them properly.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Praveen

    THE GLORY OF AMERICA. Students running from schools for fear of their lives. This ones done for today's news.
    Ok NEXT. Next shooting coming up in anytown USA.

    This is what happens with a gun culture.

    February 27, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  14. JimBob

    The kids who carry out these attacks are usually fairly intelligent loners, who would likely be able to get a firearm from another source if they were determined. If I dumb felon can get an illegal gun, so can a 16 year old nerd. This is and always has been about people who are socially excluded due to various issues (Depression, Being nerdy, weak, the list goes on...) who just can't take it anymore, and never about access to firearms. Stop bullying and find a way to include these kids and these shootings will stop. How hard is that to figure out?

    February 27, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mork

      Anyone can get a gun because the market is satuirated because everyone demands the right to have one.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Barry G.

    I'm sure the NRA will maintain that there's no need to restrict guns.

    The US is the number one producer of arms, and our politicians can't say no to the money the lobbyiests bring to them. They, like the gun industry, love the money they're making, no matter who suffers.

    February 27, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bob

      Guns don't kill people, bullets do. Fair is fair.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
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