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.

iReport: Are you there? Let us know but please stay safe.

[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.

soundoff (2,226 Responses)
  1. KnowsMore123

    was the shooter a small scrawny bullied kid? lol

    February 27, 2012 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
  2. Ckiser

    Lets blame Disney for giving us fantasy dreams like flying carpets and talking mice. Clearly thats why today happened.

    February 27, 2012 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
  3. USA

    I think it's great, i hope those 5 all die, way to thin out the herd, I am surprised this doesn't happen more often, go USA.

    February 27, 2012 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Alex

      It's a shame you weren't the one shot!

      February 27, 2012 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  4. Alex

    Time to set the standard and enforce Capital Punishment on this shooter! Fast and furious! Public Firing squad!

    February 27, 2012 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Waner


      February 27, 2012 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Alex

      Why's that lame?

      February 27, 2012 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
    • knowsmore123

      what should we do to the bullies?

      February 27, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Retired Army

      Alex.....it's lame because you don't know all the facts.

      You should reserve your 'judgement' until you do.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Durpson

    Bullying or bad parenting. Take your pick.

    February 27, 2012 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
    • William Stallings

      Bullying is only a problem if there is bad parenting.

      So probably both.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
    • RH

      most likely a combination of both

      February 27, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Retired Army

      Well.....bullying is the result of bad parenting.....so yeah, if this is a case of bullying.....it IS both.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  6. LC in NJ

    OK, why are there so many comments about blacks and illegals, when this act was committed by a white student? Why are some of us in such denial that we refuse to see that our white children are capable of committing inexusable acts just like everyone else? Look at Columbine, Jonesboro, that Duke Lacrosse kid that killed his girlfriend, et al. Let's take a good look in the mirror, folks.

    February 27, 2012 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
    • David M

      You're correct. It's always a white person. Black rarely do this. And yes, I'm white.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  7. ____

    I am sure your mother did her research and tried her hardest. It looks as if she did a great job! That being said, I am frightened for Sara's (potential) children by her comments and poor grammar. I am not perfect, which is why I would prefer a trained professional to do the educating.

    February 27, 2012 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
    • notbobslc

      Education doesnt require a "trained" professional – who provided schooling before the trained expert idea came into being ? Parents did, you are a better educator for your own kids than anyone else in the world – have some faith in your value as a parent and stop handing over your parental rights to the state unless your only interested in raising a soldier or an inmate!

      February 27, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  8. capnmike

    The MEDIA CIRCUS begins again, more phony "psychologists" will be yammering their usual nonsense, more insensitive "reporters" parading the other students and their families in front of their cameras, and more gun-control nuts will be howling. We will be seeing this in front-page headlines for weeks, while other news more important will be on the second page. The state of news broadcasting constantly hits new lows.

    February 27, 2012 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  9. 19 year old student

    I'm a 19 year old senior in high school. I've read alot over the years about school shootings and school massacres. You can say that some are caused by guns, but the gun didn't tell the child to shoot, did it? No, unfortunately most school attacks these days are caused by bullying and man's natural desire to be better than someone else. I can sit here and write a lecture about how horrible bullying is in public schools, how drugs and alcohol run most high school lives but we're all adults here and i think we can see that. I don't claim to be a perfect student, or a perfect child, but i think instead of arguing about gun control, how about we talk about bully control? So many kids these days are so honestly sad and depressed, and most adults blow it off as hormones or a want for attention. That's what saddens me the most.

    February 27, 2012 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Retired Army

      Hey student.....you're spot-on correct!

      February 27, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • notbobslc

      Wonderful post, you are a clear and lucid thinking person, check out on an online movie called "The war on kids" – shows how similar prisons and schools are these days. very scary stuff and it suggests that bullying is a direct result of the increased "security" in schools – treat kids like inmates and they will act like inmates!

      February 27, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • What?

      Very well done! Thanks for sharing.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • 19 year old student

      I will look up that movie thank you. I find myself interested and disturbed when people make these kind of choices. It's....sick and fascinating the choices we as human beings make and the reasons we put behind these decisions. And honestly, after looking at alot of these comments like *kids are a waste of oxygen because they don't pay taxes*, It makes me pity the people who believe such things.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
  10. RH

    Are we at the times where we are going to have to hire TSA agents and install full body scanners in our public school system just so our students can feel safe while getting a decent education

    February 27, 2012 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Retired Army


      As a matter of fact, many highschools in Chicago have, for years, run student through metel detectors as they enter the school.

      Yep.....it's necessary.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  11. sanity

    Folks, below is an excerpt for one study about legal gun ownership and murder rates. You can find many more. Seems some people just cling to their irrational fear of gun.

    "Nation's Rates Of Private Gun Ownership Do Not Correlate To Rates Of Murder
    Don B. Kates and Carol Hehmeyer As published in Daily Journal.

    Many people think that nations with more firearms will have more murder and that banning firearms will reduce murder and other violence. This canard does not comport, however, with criminological research in the U.S. or elsewhere.

    An extensive study that one of us (Kates) recently published with Canadian criminologist Gary Mauser confirms the negative results of two large-scale international studies over the past 15 years. ("Would Banning Firearms Reduce Murder and Suicide: A Review of International Evidence," Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, vol. 30, pages 651-694.)

    These studies compared data from a large number of nations around the world. There were no instances of nations with high gun ownership having higher murder rates than nations with low gun ownership. If anything it was the reverse, for reasons discussed below.

    For example, though Norway has far and away the highest firearm ownership per capita in Western Europe, it nevertheless has the lowest murder rate. Other nations with high firearms ownership and comparably low murder rates include Denmark, Greece, Switzerland, Germany and Austria. Holland has a 50 percent higher murder rate despite having the lowest rate of firearm ownership in Europe. And Luxembourg, despite its total handgun ban, has a murder rate that is nine times higher than countries such as Norway and Austria.

    It turns out that in nations where guns are less available, criminals manage to get them anyway. After decades of ever-stricter gun controls, England banned handguns and confiscated them from all permit holders in 1997. Yet by 2000, England had the industrialized world's highest violent crime rate - twice that of the U.S. Despite the confiscation of law-abiding Englishmen's handguns, a 2002 report of England's National Crime Intelligence Service lamented that while "Britain has some of the strictest gun laws in the world, [i]t appears that anyone who wishes to obtain a firearm [illegally] will have little difficulty in doing so."

    In the rare case in which gun bans work, murderers use other weapons. Eight decades of police-state enforcement of handgun prohibition have kept Russian gun ownership low, resulting in few gun murders. Yet Russia's murder rates have long been four times higher than those in the U.S. and 20 times higher than rates in countries such as Norway. Former Soviet nations like Lithuania also ban handguns and severely restrict other guns, yet have 10-15 times higher murder rates than European nations with much higher gun ownership.

    Nor does the "more guns means more murder" belief square with our own experience. The earliest American figures, dating from just after World War II, showed both gun ownership and murder rates holding at low levels. Today our murder rates are almost identical, despite six decades of massive gun buying whereby Americans have come to own five times more guns than they did in 1946. The intervening years saw a dramatic increase in murder followed by a dramatic decrease. These trends had no relationship to gun ownership, which steadily rose all the while (especially handgun ownership).

    American demographic data also refute the myth that fewer guns in a community mean less murder. The murder rate among African-Americans is six times higher than among whites. Does this mean African-Americans have more guns? No, ordinary law abiding African-Americans are markedly less likely than whites to own guns. But the argument for banning guns to everyone is refuted, since fewer guns for law abiding African-Americans does not mean fewer guns for African-American criminals. Incidentally, rural African-Americans own guns as frequently as whites, but the murder rate among them is only a tiny fraction of the urban African-American rate. "

    February 27, 2012 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  12. toobad

    I blame society and it's evil mixed messages that tell kids do as I say not as I do and drink drink drink but don't drive but do drink and don't cuss but if I cuss don't tell me not to cuss – I am your mom – I can cuss – and it's okay to watch a movie about bad boys but don't be a bad boy and it's just tv it's not reality but it's okay to watch a movie about drugs and shooting and snorting but don't snort
    LOL evil mixed messages
    BTW = the people that say I am wrong are most likely victims of mixed messages themselves and sweeping all of it under the rug and trying to blame it on bad parenting

    February 27, 2012 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  13. Retired Army

    Of approximately 523 students in the 11th and 12th grades, all are White, except for six females (2 Asian, 2 Hispanics and 2 Black. That makes the Junior/Senior classes about 98.86% White.....when you do the math.

    Just sayin'.......

    February 27, 2012 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Retired Army

      Opps.....talking about the highschool where these shootings took place.....just to be clear.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alison

      Still not sure what your point is. That a case of gun violence happened in a predominantly white school? Wasn't Columbine mostly white as well?

      February 27, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  14. noone

    someone should have informed this kid he was in a gun free zone. He must be really embarrassed right about now.

    February 27, 2012 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  15. 19 year old student

    people like you make me sick. Waste of oxygen? We're the next generation genius. If we all just die, there is no future generation. there is no continuity for mankind. Most of this next generatoin, this *waste of oxygen*, will amount to more than your mother ever wished you would. People like you are why this kind of stuff happens.

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