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. Andrew

    Eric, "arm the teachers"...this is either high level satire, or you are one of the most ignorant individuals to have posted on this site. I hope it is the former!

    February 27, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • magnus

      sadly, its most likely the latter. this is CNN and the readers are not too bright.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Behonest

    For those who think guns were never the cause of any trouble, according to any gun lovers or owners. I am certain without gus, people can still shoot bullets out of their fingers or their rear end to kill people... "Gun was never the trouble...." my rear.

    February 27, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • James B

      Guns exist in every nation but only we have such high murder rates, even our non gun murder rate is insane compared to the rest of the first world; so clearly it is not the source of our violence issue.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cossack

      Ignoramus, without guns people would still find ways to hurt/kill each other. Your argument is invalid.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Whats next ?

      Since guns are to blame here lets ban them. OK whats next ? If someone uses a car to kill someone we should ban cars as well. OH wait someone committed suicide by jumping from a 10 story balcony in the projects so lets ban balcony's. What else would you like to blame for this tragedy. Blame the people involved not the tools they use.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • hilo, hawaii

      James, as you say, USA has more violence -so all the more reason for stricter gun laws here.
      At the very least JAIL for negligent lawful owners who arm murderous minors.
      When a kid breaks a window playing ball, the parents are responsible to fix it. When a screwed-up from bad parenting teen takes daddy's AK-7 collection to school and murders, it's "Don;t look at me." ? -not for long, I hope.

      Cossak, when people start going on mass garroting sprees, we'll revisit the piano wire issue.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pappy

      Guns are only the means used by killers to kill. Guns are also responsible for saving many lives. One has saved mine on two occasions. If guns were removed from our society, we would soon all become muslims. If guns were removed from our society, we would have many more murders by killers because people would not be able to defend themselves from murderers. If guns were outlawed, only outlaws would have guns, and I would become an outlaw.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • hilo, hawaii

      Pappy, gun control and gun ban are vastly different.
      US gun laws -and sentences -are a joke.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • James B

      hilo, hawaii – What are you talking about AK47s for? No so called assault rifles have been used in a schooling in America ever, they are all shotguns and handguns; 99% being handguns.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
  3. geeto

    Another poster boy for the NRA.

    February 27, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • James B

      Yes because gun free zones and banning guns in some cities has worked so well right?

      February 27, 2012 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mamaeg

      A few minutes ago, the tv reporter mentioned, I think, that the deceased student was a Daniel Parmenter. That is rather odd, as I believe that is the name of another student killed in a school shooting some years ago. Is that possible, or did I hear wrong?

      February 27, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Sandy

    It has nothing to do with what color you are this has EVERYTHING to do with kids being bullied PERIOD!! Something really needs to be done or else these crimes are just going to keep happening! A person can only take so much and I guarantee this is what happened in this case. I know for a fact that school officials let this crap go on and don't do a damn thing about it!!!

    February 27, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • toad

      i agree with you but what can the school do that wont be blocked by the legal system

      February 27, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • magnus

      throw the parents of bullies in jail. if your child is causing harm, fear, violence, distress to fellow classmates, than the parents should be held liable. they brought the monsters into the world, and they should be held responsible.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Christine

      Disagree with it being the school's fault. When I was in high school in the late 80's we bullied kids mercilessly – sad, but true. Not one of them ever brought a gun to school. I think this problem falls more with the parents who don't teach their kids to stand up for themselves and/or don't do anything to lift their self-esteem.

      Don't blame the teachers – blame the parents! BTW, did a teacher give him the gun? Did he steal it from his teachers house? I'll bet not!

      February 27, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • SomeonesMom

      Christine- I am guessing you are not a parent of a bullied child, probably not a parent at all. I am and to blame me is insane. I do teach my child to stand up for himself but that violence is not the answer. My child deserves to learn in a safe environment and the school needs to provide that. My child up until recently was terrorized on a daily basis by 2 bullies. The teachers nor the school did anything to help. When the one finally started calling my home and I found out we went to the school and they said they'd take care of it. They suspended the kids. This was enough for 1 of the kids to realize how stupid this was but not the other. The day he came back, first thing that morninig he sought out my child and verbally attacked him infront of all the kids. Now the school swore up and down that this wouldn't happen but it did. So my child nor I knew what to do and finally went back to the school and the kid was suspended again. Big DEAL! I'm the one who had to get up for weeks to take my child to the bus stop and send people to pick my child up after school because we were afriad of what this kid would do next.

      Now according to you my child should have stood up to this kid which means on day one he should have hit the kid. Then the school would have suspended my child because of the "no tollerence" policy. So what should my child do then? I'd love to know what I as the "parent to blame" should do differently. I should teach my child to hit first and ask questions second?? Don't you think my bullied child repeatedly asked these bullies to leave him alone and to stop it. Even when they physically touched him! I'd call that standing up for yourself. But when a bully wants to pick on someone for no reason they are relentless. They made my child live miserable. But go ahead blame me.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  5. TN

    wery misleading name. Don't visit this website.

    February 27, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. william

    When will we ban guns in this country?

    February 27, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • James B

      Never. No 1st world country has a full ban and even nations that ban handguns have murders. Also Americans are against a total ban; the last gun poll by Gallop showed the two far end sides; the every thing should be legal and everything should be illegal crowds are 7% each.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom Andersson

      Yeah...you can't "ban" guns any more than you can "ban" illegal drugs. Try it and that just gives the Mex. cartels something else to smuggle, the the tons of "illegal" drugs coming in everyday.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cossack

      Never. Having guns is a 2nd Amendment right, just like the First.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Desi

      Are you sleeping all these months? go back to sleep again..

      February 27, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  7. rharri

    Because there aren't any.

    February 27, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. larry

    The only way this country will begin to heal socially and economically is to respect everyone as a human being and to remove 70% of white guys from society. Because that percentage of child molestation, hate crimes, serial killings, financial fraud and oppression are committed by them.

    They are genetically unable to function in civilized society because they have that innate urge to mark their territory p i s s i n g wherever they stand.

    February 27, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • James B

      You post is really ironic.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fedup

      You are obviously a racist in the broadest ot terms.....

      February 27, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Christine

      Thanks for being the first racist to comment on this story! Why bring skin color into a discussion of children shooting children? Why not we get rid of all the criminals regardless of what color their skin is?

      February 27, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert R

      James B, I think the word you were looking for is "moronic."

      February 27, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • James B

      No I mean Ironic; when you talk about tolerance and killing off a race in the same sentence that is irony.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Blake

    Kill all the kids, problem solved.

    February 27, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Rob

    Tom, I'm not sure what the NRA, nor Ohio being a CCW/CHL state have to do with a crime committed by a clearly unhinged student, who is too young to hold a valid Ohio CHL, and likely not an NRA member. Nothing can stop people from doing insane things. You can't reverse technology, even if we were to get rid of all the firearms in the world at the same time, one could still construct a bomb from readily available materials, or even a crude firearm from parts at the hardware store. Owning and carrying firearms for defensive purposes only gives one a chance they might not have had before, which I assume anyone staring down possible death would want. To assume it will be a cure-all for the ills of the world is a faulty assumption.I understand people tend to have knee-jerk reactions to topics such as this, though you may just be looking for any opportunity to soapbox your agenda publicly. I wish only the best for the victims, and their families.

    February 27, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. w.s.

    I do not believe this about guns. Thiis not the fault of the gun. I believe this would of happend whether it had been a gun, knife of anyother weapon. This is about a child that is hurting; most likely because of bullying. Or mental illness. And there is a group of kids that are even more at risk here. And it is not just a child being bullied. But in some unknown or known and no one does anything is also abused at home. Stop blaming the gun. It was only a tool used for a child that probably snapped. When people pay attention and change the reason these kids do; then things will get better. And to the person on here who said most of the shootings were not connected to bullying? Don't know where you were when the shootings occurred but many of the cases it was reported the kid was a long term victim of bullying. No; I do not excuse their methods at all. The solution they come up with to the bullying or the punishment they dish out to these bullies does not fit their crime. But; I can understand how it can happen. Some kids can take it and get out of school with only the very low self-esteem and wounds bullying causes. And some cannot. They snap because they cannot take the abuse anymore. It may be kids on kids. But it is still child abuse. And not all kids have the ability to endure it.

    February 27, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • hilo, hawaii

      Right, "Guns don't kill people". People with guns kill people.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  12. mark

    Let the anti gun BS begin as usual.

    February 27, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. toad

    this is all because of the wealthy gun companies. OBAMA 2012

    February 27, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  14. pUCKLES

    I am sure this students was bullied. Maybe this will be a lesson to some of these disrespectful kids to show some respect to others.

    February 27, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Mesfin

    I think we are stuck in the 400 years old militia mentalitiy and some of us even still think the Brits are going to come to "colonize" us. What baffles me is why on earth do we need the right to bear arms when we have the mightiest army sophisticated armament and the best internal police force!!
    It is well overdue to amend that law by deleting it!!!

    February 27, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Abby

      When seconds count, the police are minutes away.

      And the 2nd Amendment isn't about self defense anyway, it's about the right of citizens to protect themselves from the government.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • timmy

      Because places like the city of Chicago cut back on law enforcement and the gang bangers think they can hold you up and take your money. We in Illinois don't have concealed carry, but we should, for law abiding citizens to protect myself against thugs who think everything should be given to them and if not, they should take it from people. I Didnt know the military helps its citizens in times like those.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
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