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. GNP

    BAN ALL HANDGUNS!

    February 27, 2012 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
    • justageek

      And sticks and stones and knives and keyboards and ...

      February 27, 2012 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
    • jim

      "Banning" them does not get rid of them, it just makes having them illegal. Who cares?

      February 27, 2012 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  2. crazyvermont

    as someone who works in field of psychology.....wondering where you get your information that video games have no impact on violence? There are numerous studies that tie violent video games and TV violence to aggression.

    February 27, 2012 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  3. headcheese

    the shooter had racial motivations...he was trying to start a race war! Coached by Charles Manson.

    February 27, 2012 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
  4. Hobbes

    If you are looking for someone to blame...look no farther then what you all see in the mirror each morning. Look at the role models feeding our children in America. Trash in = Trash out.

    February 27, 2012 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
    • k

      parents should be the kid role model and i know i have two parents that are great role models

      February 27, 2012 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
  5. Naked

    BAN ALL HANDGUNS NOW!

    February 27, 2012 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Charles

      Oh ok Naked, that will solve the problem just ban all of the guns! Law abiding citizens will turn all of their guns in and then I am sure the criminals will turn them in too! Really, seriously? Drugs are illegal, does that solve that problem? Why don't you come up with something intelligent to say with an informed opinion for starters!

      February 27, 2012 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  6. headcheese

    I blame the trigger on the gun...it got pulled releasing bullets!

    February 27, 2012 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
  7. Jim J

    Muslims again.

    February 27, 2012 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
  8. The NRA Serving America

    As the 99% get more lost and disenfranchised this is going to occur with greater frequency.

    February 27, 2012 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
  9. studdmuffins

    Why is the FBI involved?

    February 27, 2012 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  10. geeto

    This ballistic madness continues year after year and still the NRA has offered no plan to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and crazy people. Presumably that's because if they found a way to keep weapons away from crazy people, half the NRA members would not be able to buy more guns.

    February 27, 2012 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
    • bfpierce

      1.) It's not the NRA's job to find a way to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and crazy people, that's the Governments job.

      2.) Even making guns illegal entirely will not keep guns out of the hands of criminals and crazy people. Criminals and Crazy people don't care about laws remember?

      3.) Even if you somehow manage to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and crazy people (See point 2), the violence will be committed by other weapons and you'll be complaining about how we need to find a way to keep Bows and Arrows out of the hands of criminals and crazy people.

      February 27, 2012 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
    • seonddavid

      Yes, because if you are going to shoot someone, the first thing you are thinking about is where can I buy a gun legally.

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

      Oversimplification maybe??? Taking away guns obviously doesn't do much good, since this guy (presumably) wasn't able to have a gun either (just guessing since he is in high school). Think critically. Don't you think there may be some systemic problem involved? Guns have been around for a long time...but only now is there a huge upswing in school gun violence. Anything else change? Like the ever-boundary moving entertainment industry?

      February 27, 2012 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Mavent

      To bfpierce:

      1: Funny how Gun Nuts scream their heads off every time the Government attempts to "keep guns out of the hands of crazy people", isn't it?

      2: Using your "logic", we should just abandon ALL laws, since "crazy people" just ignore them.

      3: Yes, let's pretend that "bow and arrows" can cause the kind of widespread death that guns can cause.

      February 27, 2012 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
    • w1ck3d13

      As proven here and many many many times over GUNS don't kill people....People kill people! Instead of complaining about the NRA why don't you take steps to insure that you and your community are safe. In the history of our great country nothing has ever been fixed by complaining.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Naked

    I AM A GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL, AND I'VE COME TO CONFISCATE ALL YOUR GUNS!

    February 27, 2012 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
    • jamest

      Come get them mr gubby official i will have them ready for you one at a time.

      February 27, 2012 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
  12. Jeff Lebowski

    Bush's fault. No wait Obama's...

    February 27, 2012 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
  13. Liquidcobra

    The solution to school shootings is proper parenting but they'll never tell you that.

    February 27, 2012 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
    • k

      10000000000000000 % right. that is the smartest comment i have seen all morning.

      February 27, 2012 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
    • TJ

      This is spot on!

      February 27, 2012 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
    • jamest

      TRETRUE TRUE TRUE

      February 27, 2012 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Cedax

      That and have staff at the school that actually handles situations in the schools before they go out of hand. Teachers are blind to everything but a paycheck these days.

      February 27, 2012 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
    • D

      Most of the time in reality the kids have an underlying mental illness, I'd hate to paint every parent terrible in history who were unfortunate enough to have offspring that do crazy stuff. You can blame the parents, the upbringing, the situation or whatever you want to blame it on....but ultimately the responsibility is the person who pulled the trigger. The same goes for the countless individuals in life who have done many wonderful things and are quite brilliant – the parents can't always take credit for those outcomes either.

      February 27, 2012 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Duke5343

      Correct in our BLAME someelse society it is the answer Parents dont want to face

      February 27, 2012 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  14. Greg M

    One of the students at this school asks, "Why would this happen?" Very simple answer: this would happen–this DID happen–because we live in a country that lacks even the simplest, most commonsense gun control laws. Politicians are afraid to stand up against the powerful, wealthy elites of the NRA and the firearms manufacturers, who have many Americans convinced that more guns mean more safety.

    February 27, 2012 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      So you mean less guns means more safety? Less guns mean more victim of CRIMINALS using guns! if these cowards that shoot DEFENSLESS victims had to ask the questions is my victim going to shoot back, most would not have the guts to shoot. so, more guns DOES mean more safety!

      February 27, 2012 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Michelle

      This didn't happen because of a lack of "gun control". This happened because there's been a degradation of society. We don't parent; we don't teach; we don't discipline. We hide behind political correctness and fear. We've been raising animals - not children - for the better part of the past twenty to thirty years and we're still surprised when we see these kinds of acts. My only surprise is it isn't happening more often. No amount of "gun control" is going to stop a maniac from doing damage. They'll just find some other way without the education and boundaries necessary to help them understand this kind of violence is not the answer.

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

      Greg M you are full of it. We have many many gun control laws in America we just differ from other nations.

      Other social ills we have that lead to violence other nations don't have, lack of medical coverage, lack of mental health care, a giant drop out rate.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  15. SandyA

    All the comments above about worrying about banning guns. It's time to think about the students who were shot and there families. There are no excuses for shooting anyone. This brings back horrible memories for my family who saw first hand what it is like to lose a person in a school shooting in Springfield, OR. Please pray for the victims and the families and the students who had to watch and runaway from this lunatic kid who did this.

    February 27, 2012 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
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