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.

FULL STORY
soundoff (2,226 Responses)
  1. MaryM

    Very sad.

    February 27, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Virtual4fun

    I Don't Like Mondays – Boomtown Rats
    What a shame. What is wrong with kids these days? Parents and kids must learn to communicate with each other.
    And schools they need to be involved also but Parents – First, Schools – Second, Peers you need to be involved also.

    February 27, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Ken

    Oh but of course this is just a necessary casualty because responsible adult should have the right to bear arms right?

    Good Lord, what people don't understand is that although a gun may be obtained legally by an adult...that gun is still in the household and it doesn't take long for a kid to go rummaging through your house or to come across something like this...and then you have incidents like this. How many school shootings will it take?

    Anyway, so yeah, keep donating to that gun lobbying group.

    February 27, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Angela Kim

    This is why students should be nice to each other. You can drive a classmate insane.

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

    More handguns finding their way into children's hands.
    Hope the NRA is proud!

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

    I guess I will chime in with an assumption like everyone else. Maybe this is a case of revenge against specific bullies or just some disturbed kid's desperate cry for help, not realizing the magnitude of his chosen action. Anyway, we will see at a later date and time the who and why this happened so all assumptions and finger pointing can rest.

    February 27, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • worktolive

      Really does not matter if this kid was bullied or not-hasn't this young generation ever heard of "Sticks and Stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me"? Bullies have been around forever-I don't remember kids shooting kids like is happening nowadays. Get those chips off your shoulders and consider the source for goodness sake. Killing anyone is WRONG and surely kids have been taught this. Stop trying to find excuses for kids who kill.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • w.s.

      If this was a case of being caused by bullying? Don't get me wrong. I do not excuse the shooter. BUT; this is no different than the child who is abused by their parent for years, no one helps or saves them and finally they snap and kill a parent. Something has to be done about bullying once and for all. In some places it is considered a crime and the police are called. Maybe this needs to be done everywhere. I know if I were a kid and a cop showed up on my doorstep and I was in legal trouble for bullying; I would think twice about the way I treat other children. Find a way to get bullying under control and you'll have fewer school shootings. Keep excusing it as a rite of passage in childhood. Using ineffective consequences that teach bullies nothing and the shootngs will continue.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  7. FogHOrnLegHorn

    When ANYONE can have a gun, ANYONE can get shot.

    February 27, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thinking7

      Yes, and if the teachers had a gun, maybe they could've stopped the kid. The kid didn't need a gun. He could've used a knife or anything else. Your argument against guns is invalid.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      No it's not. If teachers all had guns more people would be shot accidentally than are shot now. Also he couldn't have stabbed 5 or 6 people with a knife before being stopped. Talk about invalid arguments.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mott the Hoople

      "Thinking7" is right! We need, as a society, to go back to the ideals of the "Old West": everyone should pack heat. Not just teachers or school janitors, but the students as well.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Idiot

      You're a complete moron and anyone that agrees with you. It could have been a knife or a bat. Someone that wants to kill will do it regardless. If you don't like guns move to the UK. You know, where guns aren't allowed, but the crime rate is still incredibly high.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • SmallPaul15

      Argument against guns is invalid? Check crime rates around the world! There is a direct correlation between violent crimes and gun control, and it is not going in your favor. It is common sense: more guns, more times things like these will happen. The sad thing is that I'm sure his parents were just like you! "Oh well we need to have a gun to feel safe against threats. If good people have guns that will cut down on crimes." Now look what happened.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • USAF13

      Look at Chicago, there have some of the strictest laws on guns in the US, but 80% off all murders were done by a firearm. Just because they are banned, doesn't mean people stop using them. Speeding is illegal, but people still speed. Drugs are illegal, but people still use them. Making guns illegal only makes it impossible for the victim to defend themself.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  8. wonfish

    What do all these shootings have in common? Think hard!

    Guns!

    When will our nation get the cajones to stand up to the NRA (and Texas) and say enough.

    February 27, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rg

      I live in Chicago where there's a handgun ban...it's not stopping the murders.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mr.Mister

      So we can outlaw guns like we do with drugs? Yup, thats going to work.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thinking7

      Criminals will always have guns. The average citizen needs to be able to protect themselves.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nissan

      I agree with you 100%!! If we could just outlaw guns completely, then NO ONE would have them and there would be no more senseless killings, armed robberies, etc. It would be a better country because NO ONE (not even the criminals) would have guns. Why? Because they would be against the law! While they're at it, our gov't should outlaw drugs too. That would eradicate that problem as well.....oh wait, what's that sound? Oh...it's my alarm clock...must have been a dream.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      Right – it's all the gun's fault, or the NRA, or Smith & Wesson. The little puke that did the shooting is just misunderstood and needs counseling.

      Pathetic.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mott the Hoople

      Your argument is specious: "what do all shootings have in common?" "Guns". That is like saying, "what do all knifings have in common?" "Knives!"

      February 27, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • wonfish

      Other nations seem to be gun free. Also, a person on drugs is only killing himself - not me. Unless of course he has a GUN!

      February 27, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • haha

      @ RG Check your stats. Since the handgun ban.. murders and crime have gone down 400% coincidence?? lol

      February 27, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • MarkinFL

      down 400%? Are they bringing the prior victims back to life or something?

      February 27, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • wonfish

      Its not a specious argument - because its not an argument. Its a fact. The common denominator is guns. The 9/11 crashes all had one thing in common - terrorists. Is it then specious to argue against terrorism?

      February 27, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      Wonfish: If you don't like guns move to the UK. You know, where guns aren't allowed, but the crime rate is still incredibly high. I bet the NRA may even pay for you to move and re-nonce your citizenship.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • wonfish

      Didn't I hear this argument during the Vietnam protests - "Love It or Leave It". The response was "Change It or Lose It.". The homicide rate in England and Wales is less than in the US. And homicides by guns is virtually non-existant.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Corey

    I wish these losers would just eat a bullet in the quiet of their own home, rather than take out their inability to hack life, on everyone else.

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

      I have to say, I somewhat agree with you. I do not condone suicide at all, but if you're going to do it, do it quietly, don't leave a huge mess for your family to clean up, and don't take anyone else with you. It's VERY sad that people feel they have to resort to these types of situations however.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Daniel

    Let me guess, people will now be sympathetic to the shooter after people say he should at least get life in prison?

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

    Thank goodness the 2nd Amendment is alive and well, good to see that all is well with the right to bear arms and that there needs to be no accountability...

    GO NRA, the single LARGEST LOBBY that murders and gets away with it!

    February 27, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thinking7

      So, what next? Take away knives, rat poison, etc., etc.? Please. Guns will always be available to criminals. Guns can protect the private citizens of this country who just want to stay safe.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      Barbara. Please put a big sign in your yard stating the following, "I do not believe in the Second Amendment and I own no guns." Until then quit ridding the coat tails of those that believe in this right!

      February 27, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mott the Hoople

      Jim: please, stop pasting your canned answer. You are just making yourself look like an idiot, and working against your cause.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  12. MichiganMom

    My heart is just breaking for all those involved in this senseless & tragic shooting!! Lots of prayers going out to this whole community today!!

    February 27, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jim

    DP44022 makes a good point. In Ohio it is law that no one under the age of 21 is allowed to handle a handgun. So, the shooter was banned with a anti-gun law. Its such a good thing laws work on criminals too.

    February 27, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • SmallPaul15

      Do you really think that gun was bought by the boy illegally? If there was a ban, his parents would not have had the gun, therefore, he would not have had the gun. Wow, the amazing things that happen when you think.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Mott the Hoople

    The kid should have been packin' heat! If there is anything this country needs, is more guns! NRA, where are you, now that we need you? Charlton Heston, where are you, now that we need you? "Get your paws off of me, you stinkin' apes!"

    February 27, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mork

      oh yes everyone has the right to defend themselves. And it also makes it easier to get revenge when you are mad, when a gun is so easy to attain. But god forbid anyone suggests to the righteous american populace that guns are evil and need to be banned out right.. really, why are gun manufacturers allowed to flood soooo many guns onto the market. Guns should be for police and military only. But if anyone even comes close to suggesting this to the american red neck they get trashed.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mork

      oh yes everyone has the right to defend themselves. And it also makes it easier to get revenge when you are mad, when a gun is so easy to attain. But god forbid anyone suggests to the righteous american populace that guns are evil and need to be banned out right.. really, why are gun manufacturers allowed to flood soooo many guns onto the market. Guns should be for police and military only. But if anyone tries suggesting this to the american public they get trashed by the self righteous 'Im a cowboy' vigilante mentality.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      Mot the Hoople Please put a big sign in your yard stating the following, "I do not believe in the Second Amendment and I own no guns." Until then quit ridding the coat tails of those that believe in this right!

      February 27, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mott the Hoople

      Mork: thank you for agreeing with me! But your spelling and grammatical errors make you appear as an idiot.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mott the Hoople

      Jim: I DO believe in the Second Amendment, and I DO own guns. Why are you commenting on this article? Shouldn't you be in school today? By the way, tell your teacher you have spelling issues.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Mork

    Well thats terrible news to wake up to. Yah guns are awesome, everyone should have them hahah. Wow. Another american slaughter probably by a non-criminal with a legal weapon.

    February 27, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
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