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. Stephen

    Too bad the guy didn't get shot several times by police...

    February 27, 2012 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  2. rharri

    I bet the shooter was a crazy picked on lil white kid

    February 27, 2012 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  3. canamera

    I lived across the border (Canada) and knew lots of people who had guns although I personally did not. The recent gun registry laws in Canada are now being repealled becase they didn't save any lives. This situation with these school shootings is so sad, but these types of incidents come down to lack of parenting in the end. If we as parents don't take our job more seriously, then you can't blame video games and movies and guns. Parents need to parent their kids!

    February 27, 2012 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  4. Matthew

    The use of guns and God is not the approach. The approach is that the teachers and administrators at the school are failing these students. I am in High School. I know. These students need guidance on issues and the only way anyone will listen is if they do an act like this or commit suicide. Think about it the generations are chnaging and the way we approach theings are changing so we need to think. We need to structrue some sort of plan of action to help these children they are getting picked on and overun. Think about it if Twiiter and Facebook existed when you were younger and texting how would you deal with things look in the mirror and see a heart to heart for yourself.

    February 27, 2012 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
  5. John

    @Bob – I realized I made a mistake. But you got my point, didn't you Bob? Do you have kids?

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

      Of course I got it. You're a parrot for the fear mongering of the left side. Weird how both sides do it right? Your claim is not only baseless, but utterly absurd.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  6. GFY

    See..... THIS IS THE REASON THEY SHOULD BAN............ SCHOOLS!

    February 27, 2012 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  7. Judith in California

    Too many guns, too little brains. Of course, guns don't kill people, right?

    February 27, 2012 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
    • angel611

      You get it.
      Guns do not kill people.

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

      @angel – people with guns kill people, genius.

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

      The general idea is, if you lay an unloaded gun on the ground, and nobody touches it, who is it going to kill? It takes intent to make any weapon dangerous. Outlaw guns and these same idiots will just start using the next best thing, home-made bombs. Besides, think of how many people will die if guns are outlawed.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  8. streedude66

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

    February 27, 2012 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
    • yomammy

      dude- wow- really-
      frigging left....

      February 27, 2012 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  9. Matthew

    Instead of causing issues we need to find a firm solution.

    February 27, 2012 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  10. angel611

    I think it is those violent video games that teach kids to kill and brainwash them.
    But a lot of money being made by big corporations, so I guess our kids will just have to die.

    February 27, 2012 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
    • beckyc444

      It’s not the violent video games fault. It’s the idiot parents who don’t check the video game ratings before letting their child play them. I’ve seen parents buy Call of Duty games for their 10 year old child and told me to but out when I tried to inform them that it is a rated mature game. Oh and a side note, maybe these parents should be outside with their child throwing around a baseball rather than plopping them down in front of a TV to play video games. Just saying, don’t blame an industry for human stupidity.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
    • TheButcher

      beckyc444 has it right. It all comes down to the parents. Games have rating systems.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Greg

    Thank goodness, America does not have a gun problem.

    February 27, 2012 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
    • pointless1

      Not a problem when you know how and when to use them. Guy who broke into my house at 3 am surely didn't have my best intentions in his heart. Now he doesn't walk but at least he still is breathing.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  12. Matthew

    Think about it and firmly grasp what the situation is first.

    February 27, 2012 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  13. Not All Docs Play Golf

    Guns don't kill people.....incompetent parenting kills people....Oh, correction, yes, guns do kill people, too.

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

    Why don't schools just have a class in handgun training and how to shoot when fired at by other crazies??? I bet the kid that did the shooting here was a six year old! And you have cops walking around outside like buffoons in 2 inch thick armor piercing (from a 37 mm round!) flack jackets parading like so many fools...Man this country is too far gone for help of anykind. Iran might as well go ahead and obliterate the US!!!

    February 27, 2012 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Jamie

      You're an idiot. Teach people how to shoot at other crazies? Nobody carries a gun in Ohio except for the kids who plan on murdering other students when they come to school. Seriously stfu, you barely even know what happened. Don't lump this school district together with all the other schools of America. We don't live in a bad area, we aren't aggressive people and we certainly aren't morons. What the police are doing is keeping us safe, making sure there is no other threat inside the school like a bomb or other weapons.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  15. Dude

    Guns are not the problem. People are the problem. Parents should lock guns up in a safe, unloaded and locked. Also, guns should only be owned for hunting and safety. It seems simple, but parents need to be smarter.

    February 27, 2012 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      Safety? What "safety"?

      Thousands of paranoid gun nuts with easy access to guns doesn't make America "safer". It makes us the laughingstock of the world as we slaughter one another with handguns.

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