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. PHIL RICE

    I'D BET MONEY THAT HE WAS BULLIED & MADE FUN OF.

    February 27, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "On The Lunatic Fringe"

    Over 2000 comments posted in this thread, and not one prayer for the student that died.

    February 27, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Colt45

      We don't pray via CNN on a comments section. :)

      February 27, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chach

      I prayed that people would stop shooting each other. I prayed that we live in world without guns. I prayed that the victims of guns wouldn't die. I prayed really really hard too. Then I figured out that prayers don't work. Either god isn't listening, god doesn't care or god isn't there.

      February 27, 2012 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
  3. JW

    It will be interesting to see in the coming days, if the investigation of this tragedy uncovers yet the same story. A young kid bullied and tormented by the "popular guys" who finally has enough and does the only thing he thinks he can, take them out. How many kids and teachers knew of the bullying? was anything done about it? or were the poplular boys "protected" because they are jocks. Kids don't just snap and kill for no reason, these shootings are almost always the end result of brutal bullying that is ignored by the school, teachers and most of the kids. Then everyone is SHOCKED when something like this happens. Its been 13 years since Columbine and not a thing has changed in terms of dealing with abusive bullies and their carte blanche ticket given to them by the adults and other kids. It saddens me that this has happend and that people have been hurt and killed, but until adults start raising their kids to respect others this will continue to happen, its a sad state in this country.

    February 27, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Arden Clement

      I had the same thought running through my mind...,

      February 27, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
  4. frank

    What a waste of costly ammo!

    February 27, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mark

    Regardless of the reason we should assign him an inmate number and only refer to him as that so he gains no fame. Then swiftly and quietly hold trial, pass judgement and carry out the sentence. If we punish people for these types of crimes they wouldn't be commited as much. Most of these murderers are cowards and wouldn't do a dang thing if they thought they were going to be put to death quickly. Notice the POS didn't do this in Texas where they actually use the death penalty.

    February 27, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Matt M

    He was probably being bullied, and he had enough. Not condoning shooting anyone, but now a days, you gotta watch what you say and who you say it to. Send someone over the edge they will shoot you.

    February 27, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • bruce

      THE KID NEEDS A GOOD CORN HOLE

      February 27, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • luckydog

      Thank you NRA for insisting that it the 11th commandment that we should carry guns, The rightwingnuts have blood on their hands. Funny–no other western countries have this sort of access to arms and somehow no one is stealing their freedoms!

      February 27, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kimberly

      agreed. some kids think they can act and say whatever they want to people. they don't realize people snap. people have a breaking point.

      February 27, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mia

      Bullies deserve to be punished, but not this way. It's stupid to waste your own life by killing these junk.

      February 27, 2012 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
  7. You Say What

    CNN is pretty doggone lazy. Did the reporters take the day off? For 6 hours we have had a "blog" that gets updated about every 2 hours... this is real reporting my friends!!!

    February 27, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Pri

    We all go thru a bad patch and are on the edge sometimes...but that resulting in somebody dead
    will not happen so easily if it not were guns being so easily accessible.
    We will cross the rough patch.. but put with guns in the equation and a small rough patch becomes a death sentence
    for more than one person!

    February 27, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Brian

    Send the kid straight to death row...

    February 27, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mia

      There is a reason for the kid to shoot the others. Sending the kid to death row doesn't stop these things from happening. If he was bullied, then this tragic event can send the bullies a good message. There are consequences to people's actions. If this kid chose to use the gun on himself and commit suicide, should be bullies be sent to death row too?

      February 27, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
  10. PM

    This is seriously the worst format possible CNN could have used to break this story.

    February 27, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Phearis

    You think you were bullied in High School? Just wait till your pretty white butt gets to prison.

    February 27, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
  12. the man

    Jews caused this

    February 27, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
  13. rlowens

    At least, the shooter is still alive so that we might get some kind of explanation of what was going through his head that he would try to kill five people that he had known for years.

    My condolences to the families of all involved.

    February 27, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
  14. JS

    Unfortunately, kids are just a product of their environment. Most adults are complete morons- and kids act accordingly....Thus, kids don't know right from wrong or how to deal with tough situations. Then, we have the dumbest government in the world that allows for easy access to guns. It's amazing 'more' stuff like this doesn't happen in fraud filled, SCAMerica. For the most part, kids are the best people to know- because, at least, they're honest. The adutls are the ones to blame.

    February 27, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Johnny

      How did a country with the dumbest people, become the most prosperous country in the world?

      February 27, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • GCX

      Johnny, we weren't always full of dumb people. We have become such a litigious society that the idiots and criminals are more protected than the smart and law-abiding.

      February 27, 2012 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Fiona

    Please, please stop with the "senseless tragedy" statements. Of course it's senseless.

    February 27, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
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