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. Real direct

    What's wrong with these kind of kids!!!!

    February 27, 2012 at 9:35 am | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Clayton

    Kids parents should do what my family did when I was little. I wanted to shoot the guns soooo bad... so they let me. After I fired one round, I got back up, crying and handed the gun back to my grandfather. A 6 year old who had just fired a .300 weatherby WILL NOT want to play with guns or have any illusions about exactly how dangerous they are, and that's a lesson that sticks with you.

    February 27, 2012 at 9:36 am | Report abuse | Reply
  3. soporifix

    Within one week, the NRA will hold a rally there to support gun rights.

    February 27, 2012 at 9:36 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jim Bob

      I'll bet you're right. Guns don't kill people. People that are too chicken to do something else, kill people with guns!

      February 27, 2012 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
  4. Trey

    Someone should ban guns at schools so this won't happen.

    February 27, 2012 at 9:36 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Zad

      Actually, it's illegal for anyone other than a peace officer to bring a firearm within 1000 feet of a school. Thank goodness we have gun laws!

      February 27, 2012 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Amanda

      Really? You think schools allow firearms on their campuses? What a ridiculous statement. If we "ban" firearms from school, surely this won't happen again! Seriously, be realistic.

      February 27, 2012 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Trey

      @Amanda

      You're right, it is about as ridiculous as proposing that banning guns would stop this from happening as well.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      Amanda: In Ohio guns are banned from public schools. See how good gun ban laws work? Criminals do not follow laws.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  5. korkea aika

    I oppose the indiscriminate distribution of guns in our society without a strict, national licensing program. But lately I've been leaning toward violent video games as a major factor in this type of violence.

    February 27, 2012 at 9:37 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Really?!?!

      The NRA is trying very hard to get a national licensing program that is recipricol in all states but due to all the states having different laws and not being able to agree on standardized ones the task is proving to be very difficult. Although as it stands i dont know of anywhere that you can walk in and walk out with a loaded gun with no background check or ID so you just dont make any sense. Also i have played the most violent video games you could ever imagine and i love them, i also love my 9mm and AR but i have no urge to ever cause anyone harm but i will tell you if anyone ever tries to harm my family i will put the training from my video games to good use and destroy them. Basically stop trying to blame everything other than the kid for this its not guns, video games, tv, none of thopse things put that gun to the kids head first and made them do it.

      February 27, 2012 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Jeremy

      I know, I play video games a lot and regularly go on violent rampages.

      February 27, 2012 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
  6. Joe B

    Why do I get the feeling that people are going to blame atheists for this?

    February 27, 2012 at 9:37 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • us1776

      Because they're not.

      .

      February 27, 2012 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
    • jamest

      because people will blame anything and everything they can for an idiot who had a gun in his or her hands. some say stop making guns, others say make ammo that render them useless. LOL it is human idiots who choose to act this way not a gun

      February 27, 2012 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
    • akababysitter

      Because you want to make it about religion....

      February 27, 2012 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
  7. us1776

    So which of these "victims" bullied the kid?

    .

    February 27, 2012 at 9:38 am | Report abuse | Reply
  8. jamest

    pr1958

    they are dead and wounded by an idiot not a gun it just did not walk down there and start shooting itself.

    February 27, 2012 at 9:38 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lars Babaganoosh

      Right...because if this kid walked in and started using foul language and throwing rocks it would have the same effect as SHOOTING A GUN.

      Gun owners who choose to live with their head in the sand and say it's not the guns fault are totally worthless and have sub-primate IQ's. No freaking duh it wasn't the gun, it is the fact of the ease of which the act is carried out BECAUSE OF THE GUN.

      February 27, 2012 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
    • jamest

      lars

      i did not travel the world designing flight system for the fun of it you really need to look in the mirror and say wow my friend only friend was right you not only look foolish you are foolish

      February 27, 2012 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
    • tullymd

      Our society is saturated with idiots. That is beyond our control. That's why you need to control the guns. But don't worry. The idiots have a lobby called the NRA. You know. That's the organization that said it's ok for people on the terrorist watch list to purchace a gun. 30,000 gun deaths per year in the good ole USA. So one could consider the NRA more dangerous to our society than Al Qaeda.

      February 27, 2012 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Lars Babaganoosh

      Great comeback. You do nothing to refute my point, make claims about a job that you say you have that you will never be able to prove and think that makes you an expert on gun control psychology. Come on now, at least come correct with something.

      Puppet guns firing themselves does not count as an argument.

      February 27, 2012 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
  9. JJ

    Thank you, NRA. Remember, every time something like this happens, it's because some alleged "law-abiding" gun owner did not do so.

    February 27, 2012 at 9:38 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • ang1313

      How about the blame goes to the irresponsible parents that allowed teh kid to have access to the gun - not the NRA

      February 27, 2012 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
    • jamest

      you are welcome..

      your right it is usually ignorant gun toating thugs not us registered users with a license to carry.

      February 27, 2012 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
  10. Brandon

    Look at some of these comments, you people are worse than the Fox nuts.

    February 27, 2012 at 9:38 am | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Mike

    Gun control advocates coming to spew all their anti-gun BS in 3...2....1..... ** eye roll **

    February 27, 2012 at 9:38 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • bear0402

      Violence begets violence. An endless free fall down a dark and endless hole.

      February 27, 2012 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
  12. Mar10

    Honestly it is so sad that we cannot send our children to school without worrying about their lives. Are we really at the point that schools have become deadly and unsafe? My heart goes out to the wounded and their parents as well as the other kids who had to experience this fear. I wish and pray that these things don't happen everyday :(

    February 27, 2012 at 9:38 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • cuquee

      Finally a comment that makes sense. My prayers are with the family of both the victim and the shooter.

      February 27, 2012 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Teri

      "..at the point.." Sadly, I think we crossed that point 30 years ago. My parents had us kids in private school because of the violence at the public schools 30 years ago. And, that was in small-town rural America, not an inner-city school. And, in my freshman year, a girl was murdered at the school. The problems have been there a long time. People just didn't start opening their eyes to it until Columbine.

      February 27, 2012 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
  13. TriXen

    Did the gunman happen to dress in all black and listen to heavy metal? It must be the musicians' fault!!

    February 27, 2012 at 9:39 am | Report abuse | Reply
  14. onthewildedge

    Oh whatever. Here we go.......Let's start blaming the guns, not the parents or the shooter. There are too many dysfunctional children CREATED AND DISTRIBUTED if you want to get right to the point of the matter. Guns have been around for many years, why is that is recent times you read about this happening and not in past times BEFORE restrictive gun laws? Think about it. IT"S NOT THE GUNS.

    February 27, 2012 at 9:39 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • john

      Don't be stupid. It's society and it's the guns. How many Canadian school shootings have your heard of lately. See my point? We have gun laws that are too lax. Anyone can buy online without a background check. Heck you can buy a friggin bazooka online no questions asked.

      February 27, 2012 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
    • fauxhawk70

      Sure you can buy guns online but you still have to get them sent to a local FFL dealer to finish the process! They don't just send them to your address! When you pick up your handgun that was delivered you still have the background check and paperwork to fill out!

      You obviously are talking about something that you know very little about!

      Let me guess you are one of those people that do not realize just how many private citizens around you in public shopping mall, sports stadiums, restaurants, etc. conceal carry their firearm around you on a daily basis! Believe me you would probably be shocked to know just how many... Thousands and thousands yet you are safe everyday. Criminals, drug dealers, and psycos will always be able to obtain them even if guns were outlawed! For instance this kid was not legally allowed to posess a firearm yet he was able to get one anyway! If not a gun maybe a mini crossbow from the local Big5 Sporting goods which doesn't even require a background check!

      It's amazing how many people in public who are not familiar with their local gun laws freak out when someone open carries! It's like they do not think logically about the situation... People if you see somebody open carrying a sidearm in a holster do not freak out! Those are the good guys... People that are not legally allowed to carry a firearm will be the ones hiding it.

      I myself conceal carry and have a permit to legally do so... You would not be able to tell that I was concealing a loaded firearm if you walked past me in the local mall or sat next to me at a baseball game, or even on a city bus.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Greg M

      I totally agree. It's not the guns, it's the free access that criminals and mentally unbalanced peope have to guns. We need strict gun control to keep weapons out of the hands of the kinds of people who are likely to use them for the wrong purposes.

      February 27, 2012 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
    • ian

      aww....bless ur heart, miss greg. actually, it IS the guns. nice try though : (

      February 27, 2012 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Stephen Falk

      ...You're right, it's not the guns..It's the bullets FROM the guns..gosh, you guys are so smart

      February 27, 2012 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Tom A.

      Yeah, its not entirely the guns, but that's not to say guns don't play a role in this. You should watch Bowling for Columbine, I'm not a Michael Moore fanatic, but he makes some pretty good points when he's not trying to be overly sensationalistic.
      Guns laws and guns are definitely a factor, but certainly not the only factor.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      Thank you-couldn't have said it better!!

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

      onthewildedge...

      Rational, logical, level headed people understand this. The problem is, anti-gunners and liberals don't possess any of the aforementioned qualities. In short...they're morons.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
    • MSB

      onthewildedge, are you blaming 'restrictive gun laws" for this shooting?

      February 27, 2012 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
    • sadtosay

      No one blames the guns, they are inanimate objects. They blame people for making guns so readily available. Also what the heck are you talking about when you say we didn't hear about them till recently? One of the worst campus shootings I've heard about was that guy in the bell tower I thinkin the 50s? Furthermore, just cause you hear about more things with the advent of the internet doesn't mean they didn't happen before.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
    • jk

      Totally agree. I fully support the AZ bill requiring guns be allowed in kinder garden

      February 27, 2012 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Alexander Rogge

      Let's ban cars, too. The chances of being involved in a serious traffic crash are much greater than being killed by an untrained shooter with a very small gun at a good distance away. We should ban alcohol, too. Oh, wait... we did that already. And dangerous narcotics should be banned. Oh, wait... that's also been done!

      February 27, 2012 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  15. Dan

    To those people saying this isn't news, try having relatives that still go there (i graduated less than 2 years ago), and knowing several people that still go there.

    February 27, 2012 at 9:39 am | Report abuse | Reply
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