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. Wow...

    Hey this looks fun! Kids are being shot, and I have nothing better to say than calling people losers! I have no imagination, no writing ability, no valid opinions, and nothing better to do with my life than name-call on a news website! I'm so cool! Look at me guys!

    February 27, 2012 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  2. Curious

    To those saying it's the parents, it's the kids, etc. and NOT the guns; that anyone can snap. I agree with you. ANYONE can snap. But, if my kid snaps there's no gun in the house for him to grab and run off to school with. He would need to FIND one after snapping and, being an attentive parent, I would notice something seriously wrong with him in the time of his "snapping" and when he would be able to (maybe) get a gun. Easy access = preventable tragedy.

    February 27, 2012 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Musser

      I like to believe firmly that i know as much about my 5 kids as you do about your's. Just a note to keep you on your toes, it's not the gun in your house you need to worry about, it's the .357, .40, .45 that can be easily bought on the street for less than $100.00. An easy trade for a Ipod or Iphone. Don't believe me, look for yourself....

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

      Not likely in my area. I know this.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
  3. Ravi

    Let's all say in unison: "People kill people, not guns" "Let there be even more guns"

    February 27, 2012 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Jay from TN

      You're missing the point. Yes, people kill people... most often with, say it with me now, GUNS.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Not All Docs Play Golf

      I've worked many ERs in my career....and I can tell you, despite your stale NRA slogan..........guns kills people.

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

      that's absurd..

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

      Folks, please. I was being sarcastic.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
    • BOB

      In the right hands anything can be dangerous and no guns dont kill, people kill and a gun is just a convenient way to kill. lack of education, being poor and desperate kills more people then guns.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  4. Jay from TN

    Events like this are symptomatic of a sick and decaying society. What is happening to our youth in this country? Something is very wrong when a young man feels his only path of recourse is to bring a firearm to school and start shooting innocent students.

    February 27, 2012 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
    • BOB

      Obviously, the kid has mental issues. You're from TN; you should be able to relate to that.

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

      Bob, your response only serves to underscore Jay's point.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  5. TisJustMe

    This is what happens when we let nutjobs run around loose among the public. They belong in mental hospitals where they can be properly treated, and learn to deal with their issues in a constructive, non-violent way. Yes, it would cost money. How much is a human life worth?

    Given that you folks in the news media report on this ad infinitum, does this event really surprise you? Constantly reporting such occurrences only serves to egg on deeply troubled souls, people to which such ideas would otherwise likely would have not occurred. Stories like this make them think extreme violence is an option, and an acceptable (?!) and customary way to deal with their problems. Bad, bad, bad! The media, including CNN, needs to show some restraint and stop encouraging these loony tunes characters.

    February 27, 2012 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  6. Erin

    You people are idiots, 3 children are being treated at a level 1 trauma center, 2 others at another hospital and you're using this as an argument for or against gun control. How assasine

    February 27, 2012 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  7. Peter

    And that's why there are no violent offenders in women's prisons, right?

    February 27, 2012 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  8. Not All Docs Play Golf

    It would be interesting to know which video games this kid has been playing over the past year. I'm just saying. Some of the violent ones glorify shooting multiple victims, as if it's all fun, and might stoke the fantasy of someone who is unstable.

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

      Get serious, video games have nothing to do with it. What a sorry excuse. "OH, it's the violent bad video games I play that completely destroyed my ability to distinguish dreams from reaity". Are you kidding me???? Give it a rest.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  9. BDC

    Sounds like we need more laws to ban those pesky guns. We only have about a zillion laws on the books on the subject as it is, I guess one or two more won't hurt, right? Let's see, what should we have this new law accomplish, hmmmm? Ok, how about we make it illegal for anyone except law enforcement/government to own and carry a gun? No guns, for anyone, at any time, anywhere, unless you are law enforcement/government! Ta-da!!! There, now only the cops and the crooks will be armed, and the rest of us will be at the mercy of BOTH. Yeah, brilliant idea, eh? NOT!

    February 27, 2012 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  10. Craig

    If you violate a child you should be hung....period....no matter the age. That will stop this crap, hang em in public where everyone can see, no more politically correct discipline... hang em

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

      that's moronic, anti-American as you can get. What you are looking for is revenge not justice. You have no idea about who the shooter is. His mental health etc... Quick to make snap judgements is ridiculous.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  11. rd

    It's a great thing that every loser can have or get a gun in the good old USA!! I don't want to hear from the gun nuts that say guns don't kill people blah blah blah. Guns DO KILL people. If you want to live somewhere where everyone has guns, go to Iraq or Somali, cowboy. Case closed!!

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

      Right, and McDonald's doesn't kill people, heart disease does...

      February 27, 2012 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
    • You're stupid

      Knives kill people, cars kill people, etc. Should we do away with those also? Let's get rid of guns and all trouble will be solved right? You're an idiot.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
    • What?

      Guns are weapons, either to kill animals or people. Cars are not usually used to kills animals or people. It's not like you can cary your car into school. Knives are just as bad, but you have to be close to someone. Get real, gus are a problem.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Nick

      You my friend are one confused individual, don't worry though you're not the only one.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
  12. Dave

    According to the article there was only on person who was violent and no indication that he was trying to resolve anything.

    February 27, 2012 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
  13. kajsa

    So you believe children should be able to have guns? You believe they have the life experience to use them appropriately? Also would you explain the parallel relationship between a Nazi and a Liberal.

    February 27, 2012 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
  14. streedude66

    Isnt Ohio 1 of the ststes Sarah Palin said to "Lock & load" on? Just sayin

    February 27, 2012 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
    • yomammy

      take your pills

      February 27, 2012 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  15. JustAThought

    Here goes a thought. How about pressing charges on the parents. Undoubtedly this will be the same MO as every other incident in the US. A kid is bullied and feels like there's nothing left. Instead of committing suicide, they decide to take out whoever they can with their parent's gun. Parents share the responsibility of what is done with their weapons. Your child shoots someone? You go to jail. We can't police parenting, but we sure can police what your child does with YOUR gun.

    February 27, 2012 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
    • You're stupid

      Maybe you should be charged if your child skips class, smokes and drinks before legal age, etc. I'm not condoning the kid, but kids do way more than you can imagine that the parents don't know about and don't have control over. The parents have every legal right to possess guns in their home. If this kid take it upon himself to steal it from his parents, how about you charge him with that in addition to attempted murder, acts of terrorism, etc.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
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