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. KnowsMore123

    i hate everyone and everything!

    February 27, 2012 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  2. Guns Kill

    Guns Kill

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

    It's not the guns. Parents these days are idiots. No one cares anymore about what their children are doing, whether they are hanging out with morons or playing certain video games when they are not old enough to be allowed to purchase them or the music they listen to that has lyrics about murdering or raping people and both the school systems and law enforcement who don't do anything to punish youth who are out of line, bullies, gang members, etc. My mother is a teacher and the kids in her school are out of control... and she teaches in elementary school!

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

      So you think that video games promote violence in our youth?

      What promote violence is that we arent allowed to discipline our kids anymore. There are kids these days that say and do whatever they want.. its a sad generation. Some of the garbage that comes out of their mouths these days.. back in my day I would have gotten my teeth slapped out of my mouth. these days if you look at a kid wrong and they tell someone you risk alot.. seriously.. im not joking. You slap a kid on the butt in public anymore and someone reports it.. an hour later child protective services is knocking on your door. The system is broken people.. we have become too soft.. we are too worried about offending people. The world needs to take a step back in my opinion.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  4. Jasper

    gun control, Gun Control, GUN CONTROL

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

      Gun control... like laws banning guns from school property? Yep, that works well!
      Oh wait, you mean guns are already banned from school property? And the law-breaker didn't care and brought a gun anyway? Inconceivable!

      February 27, 2012 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
  5. saywhat

    Why ban the guns? We love guns and gun toters. We should work to arm most Americans in fact all, men,women, children. Guns should be allowed in schools, parks, theaters, malls and every which place including churches & Disney. That is what would make us great again.
    Havn't you heard that 'guns don't kill people do'. Guns are to be loved and coddled like pets.

    End of sarcasm alert.

    God its heart breaking to see where we are headed.

    February 27, 2012 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  6. Tutuvabene

    Could it be someone who hates Mondays?

    February 27, 2012 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  7. Scones

    Sigh he completely messed this up. First of all, it isn't reported if any of the victims died. Assuming they are alive, he completely failed in that respect. Then, he didn't even have the tact to commit suicide afterwards. If you are going to attempt public murder you had better at least go out with a bang. Literally.

    February 27, 2012 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  8. KnowsMore123

    i guarantee the shooter was a bullied kid

    February 27, 2012 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  9. Joseph B

    Guns are devastating weapons in the wrong hands. The shooter is, of course, the person who made the decision to shoot people. He or she could have chosen differently. What would be on the news today if the shooter did not have access to such a devastating weapon?

    February 27, 2012 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  10. Alexander Rogge

    I am saddened to see that one of the scenarios that I was trained to recognize has actually happened. I hate what society has turned me into, having to think about calculating how long to wait before reducing the value of a youth's life to zero. It used to be that protection was always about protecting the youth above all else, but now we think about what happens when a youth turns on his own peers for no good reason.

    These youths need an outlet for their frustrations, but too often all those outlets are cut off. Even when school employees are taught to take reports from students, they are not qualified to do anything with that information, and can actually make the situation worse by turning the blame onto the reporting student. Report a problem, and get blamed for causing it or being part of it. When parents also don't want to hear about any problems, and a few peers turn into bullies, it may seem that the only solution is to inflict harm onto targeted or random peers. Other than in cases of a sudden onset of mental insanity, there is usually someone related to the school who is complicit in the violence, if not directly a cause of it.

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

    Blacks terrified about RACISM....

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

      the shooter was white, can you read?

      February 27, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
  12. MarkinFL

    Actually, threats are not protected by freedom of speech. Of course, your silly post hardly rises to the occasion.

    February 27, 2012 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  13. Gizmo41

    LOL yeah lets ban guns, that way the bad guys will hand over theirs and we will never have to worry about this type of thing again.
    Hey, News flash, you ban guns and the only ones that'll be carry'n them, will be the bad guys.

    February 27, 2012 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  14. yomammy

    funny- I brought a gun to school as a kid- think it was about 5th grade show and tell. Even got on the bus with it....
    it aint the gun- its the person.

    February 27, 2012 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  15. Zed

    Who's going to start blaming video games, movies, and rap music first?

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

      I am.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
    • J.C.

      I blame Palin. And guns.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Ckiser

      By reading through this thread three things become very clear; 1) There is a disconnect between parents and kids. 2) Violence is readily accessible and even promoted. 3) Our education systems have failed because people still cannot use the words "your or you're", correctly.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
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