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. English

    We had school shootings 50 years ago TJ. The only thing that has changed is the lvl of involement the media has in our lives now.

    February 27, 2012 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
  2. Jim

    I'm sure the shooter could've killed just as many people in the same amount of time if he'd used a butter knife which he just nonchalantly grabbed on the way out to school just as he did with a gun. See it's not guns that kill people it's BUTTER KNIIFE!!!

    February 27, 2012 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Larry

      Multiple stabbings are not rare. A knife doesn't need reloading! Why assume he would use a butter knife? And it's not clear yet that anyone died.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  3. HeyZues

    Did he get a kill streak?

    February 27, 2012 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
  4. jack

    This is a really sad event...what i think is even sadder is that people on here use it to push their personal agenda. People kill other people every day (Drunk or sober) with cars Yet i never hear anyone wanting cars banned.

    February 27, 2012 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Oy

      You say this yet you are pushing your own pro-gun agenda!

      February 27, 2012 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
  5. K.

    The gun issue is another story-I just hope everyone is ok as well as their families.

    February 27, 2012 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
  6. Jones

    BLACKS, MEDIA, and RACISM..... YEAP....

    February 27, 2012 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Norman

      Dude, there are plenty of racist web sites, white national websites, neo nazi websites that you can post on. Go there where you will have plenty of folks that will pat you on the back and tell you they are with you.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
  7. Matthew

    I am in High School and I think that some teachers and administrators push the students into a corner this kid was crying out for help and all people can think about is what a monster this person is. Yes it is true that this person should be brought to justice yet what about the people that pushed him to that point?

    February 27, 2012 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
    • justageek

      You are kidding right?

      February 27, 2012 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Oy

      1st World problems.
      People in this country need to gain some perspective. Stat!

      February 27, 2012 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
    • The REAL Truth...

      Matthew – you may be partially correct, but that is a teenagers viewpoint. I have 2 kids (twins) graduating this may/june and they are a jumbled mess of hormones, rebellion and invincibility. We've all been there, it's just that in the world of today, social media pressures, political correctness, school budget deficits and cost cutting are all having an impact on you kids. It's a tough world out there. Resorting to guns to resolve a dispute can be terminal. No reset button!!

      February 27, 2012 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
    • High school... right

      If you're really in high school you must be one of those parents who walks his kid to the school bus stop because you're in the same grade.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  8. Feast of Beast

    I knew Twitter or Facebook would be involved. They always are.

    February 27, 2012 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  9. Vence

    Thank god the shooter is an american citizen and not these ruthless killers from across the border!

    February 27, 2012 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Larry

      We haven't heard anything yet about his citizenship status. The crime rate among illegals here in California is a major problem though, no matter what happens in Ohio.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
    • LC in NJ

      So let me get this straight. It's ok if your child gets killed by an American citizen....but you'd be upset if he/she were killed by a foreigner?

      February 27, 2012 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  10. Respect

    To the people that are anti-gun on the thread here is a question you could answer for me:

    On the ATF website, it tells us that more violent crime in America is committed each year using bats and knives than guns. That being said, will you also be clamoring for the banning of baseball and the culinary arts?

    I've asked hundreds of anti-gunners that question over the past 15 years, and the only answer that they can come up with is that "It's easier to kill a person with a gun than a bat or knife". As if you will be any less dead after the assault.

    Atta boy anti-gunners, keep burying your head in the sand like a good little ostrich.

    February 27, 2012 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
    • That's not all

      Don't forget ballpoint pens and letter openers. Bottom line: If someone really wants to cause harm to someone else, they'll find a way.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  11. Ivan Tofock

    I don't own a gun, nor do I want one- but even I'm not stupid enough to blame guns. Guns do not kill people, the crazy person using it does. Bad parenting is what is to blame here. A parent should know their child well enough to see a change in their behavior and know if something is wrong with them, if they don't, they're neglectful parents... meaning a BAD parent. To further prove my point, how the hell the did the parents not know that he somehow acquired a gun? And if the gun he used was one of his parents, its further proof that they're bad parents because you've got to be a complete idiot not to lock up your gun.
    Let's say that the parents aren't bad though, and the kid was just very good at hiding everything from their parents. There will NEVER be a way to prevent crazy people from using guns like this, with the exception of background checks (if they purchase the gun themselves from a legal vendor). But even background checks are useless if the person doesn't have any sort of history to indicate violate tendencies. Sometimes people just snap. There's no anticipating it, and I doubt there will be any practical way of preventing it.

    February 27, 2012 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
  12. Retired Army

    Only you and your son, so far as I can tell.

    February 27, 2012 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
  13. Laura

    We need more gun control and regulations in the states !

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

      No, we don't. We need to figure out what is wrong with our society that causes people to kill other people. We need to figure out how to spot the warning signs of a killer. We need better parenting.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
    • You must be blonde

      What we really need is legislation to shallow-thinking ignorant fools from posting to a public forum. Step to the head of the ignorant line.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  14. Retired Army

    Exactly Fitz......exactly.

    February 27, 2012 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
  15. Andrew

    ... and just as thousands of gun related 'crime' that happened this kid is probably a 'good law abiding citizen' before he started rampaging.
    The notion of only criminals having guns is a fallacy. Every single 'law abiding' gun owner can and has the potential to turn into mass murderers anytime anyday. I personally know a few gun owners who are mentally not right BUT because they have never had any problems with the law or have never been caught doing anything illegal, they can buy as many guns as the law allows.
    Gun owners live in the paranoid world where they think someone is out to get them BUT they never realize that they themselves are the very people who are a danger to society.

    February 27, 2012 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Get it right next time

      You posted: "The notion of only criminals having guns is a fallacy."

      The "notion" is "IF GUNS ARE OUTLAWED, only outlaws will have guns." It's not a fallacy. Believe this.

      You wouldn't look quite as foolish if you'd at least make an attempt to educate yourself before you hit the enter key.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      I just have a problem when kids are labelled as a "'law abiding gun owner". While kids can certainly use a gun, such should always be with the supervision of an adult, and ownership (ie, control) of that gun needs to remain with that adult.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Jan

      You are an idiot. There is no hope for anyone of your mentality.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Larry

      Teens have always been prone to fights and other violence. If you ban guns, they would use knives, bombs, or cars. In Europe, the mass killings are by those weapons when guns are unavailable.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      If guns were outlawed, then outlaws could be arrested BEFORE they even start to do a crime using that gun. A kid with a gun could be arrested while still simply walking to school, long BEFORE he gets into the school and opens fire.

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