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. Tom

    Read "Beyond this Horizon" by Robert Heinlen. "An armed populous is a POLITE populous!!" So the next step is simple........SHOOT BACK!!

    February 27, 2012 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
    • TriXen

      So you're saying all the school children should have guns in their backpacks?

      February 27, 2012 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Patrick

      Not helpful.

      February 27, 2012 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Boo

      Um, it's science fiction, buddy.

      February 27, 2012 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
    • ana

      If you're going to quote, at least spell populace right. Populous is an adj. that means 'having a large population.'

      February 27, 2012 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
    • MNTaxpayer

      An ignorant populace is still an ignorant populace, even if they spout some meaningless quote.

      February 27, 2012 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
  2. SeveRheaD

    I don't think the second amendment is the problem....its parents who own guns and give their kids free access to them. How hard is it to keep your weapons locked up...what I think would be better than abolishing the 2nd amendment is any parent who's child commits a crime with a weapon obtained from their parents possession should face the same charges as accused as well as a charge with supplying a minor with a deadly weapon. These parents are a disgrace. And this is coming from someone who doesn't own a gun, so I'm not blindly supporting the 2nd amendment for fear my firearms will be taken away

    February 27, 2012 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
    • mommaH

      People need to stop being so lazy, and ingnorant. IWe have lots of guns in our home some are locked up some are not but my kids are tought about guns. No parent should have guns and not teach there kids what it is and the proper use for it! I was raised with guns in the homes and never had the urge to play or shoot them just to do it!

      February 27, 2012 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
    • MarkinFL

      Most kids do not have that urge to shoot people. However, predicting who will is not always obvious. Anyone that fails to lock up their guns is completely responsible for ANYTHING that happens with them.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
  3. anti-brainwashing

    If you think the 2nd amendment is the reason You are wrong. Outlaw them and they will become like drugs. Laws do nothing from stopping criminals from getting them. It will only create a bigger black market.

    February 27, 2012 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
  4. Thinking7

    Very sad story and one that seems to common nowadays. Schools seem to be the choice of rage. Why? Because they know that students don't carry guns to school. So, the criminals have the guns, and the teachers and other higher personnel in schools should have some way to protect themselves. A gun can be used for protection. All these people who are against guns have probably never had their life threatened by a hardened crimninal. Guns can save innocent lives.

    February 27, 2012 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Summer

      i agree.

      February 27, 2012 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
    • ColB

      Perhaps arming teachers would be a good idea. They should be issued a 9mm Sigsauer with a full clip-metal jackets preferably. Then when a student displays threatening behavior, they could take them out– for the safety of the class and betterment of society. Sawed off shotguns would also be a nice addition, better at short range in the classroom and reduces collateral damage. I mean isnt this what the gun advocates want? The real problem lies with parents and society not taking responsibility for raising our children to respect others.

      February 27, 2012 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
  5. pressbox01

    Here we go again, GUNs, GUNs GUNs...How about we get the number ONE killer of innocent people off the streets! CARS…that’s right CARS, because everybody knows it’s not the driver behind the wheel KILLING innocent people, it’s the CAR!

    February 27, 2012 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      I'm sure that you're mildly retarded, but I'll spell this one out for you.

      Please give me the statistics that show how many guns are actively ***being used*** in the USA vs cars being driven on the road. In the same statement, please let me know how many people carry accidental/negligent discharge insurance on their guns.

      Gun in a holster being carried = car parked in a parking lot. Sure, it can malfunction and go off, just like the car's emergency brake not being properly set can cause the car to roll. The damage would be to your leg or the car and whatever it slowly hit.

      Gun in an unloaded safe = locked car in a locked garage, with NO gas in the tank and the wheels removed. No chance of it being used whatsoever.

      Since the only places where guns are being used are in hunting areas, shooting ranges, or in the committing or stopping of crime, statistically you can't compare them to cars.

      Not to mention, there's the efficiency of using a gun to commit a crime. You can't conceal a car and use it to rob or kill.

      Finally – I probably own more guns than you do. It's owners like you that give the rest of us a bad name.

      February 27, 2012 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Please give me the statistics that show how many guns are actively ***being used*** in the USA vs cars being driven on the road. In the same statement, please let me know how many people carry accidental/negligent discharge insurance on their guns.

      Gun in a holster being carried = car parked in a parking lot. Sure, it can malfunction and go off, just like the car's emergency brake not being properly set can cause the car to roll. The damage would be to your leg or the car and whatever it slowly hit.

      Gun in an unloaded safe = locked car in a locked garage, with NO gas in the tank and the wheels removed. No chance of it being used whatsoever.

      Since the only places where guns are being used are in hunting areas, shooting ranges, or in the committing or stopping of crime, statistically you can't compare them to cars.

      Not to mention, there's the efficiency of using a gun to commit a crime. You can't conceal a car and use it to rob or kill.

      Finally – I probably own more guns than you do. It's owners like you that give the rest of us a bad name.

      February 27, 2012 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Teri

      Steve – do you not know sarcasm when you see it?

      February 27, 2012 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Dee

      hahaha thats right it's the cars

      February 27, 2012 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Wow...

      @ Steve
      Just for the sake of experiment, I want you to do something for me. I heard someone wrote the word "gullible" somewhere in your room, and I want you to find it. I'd start by looking at the ceiling, or maybe the back of your chair, or under your desk. Let me know if you find it!

      February 27, 2012 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  6. Canopy

    Actually she was white.

    February 27, 2012 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
    • sapo mal

      obviously.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  7. martin

    smith and wesson colt and
    glock put a gun on every block
    where will it all end?

    February 27, 2012 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
  8. SIG

    How many innocent people need to die before society realizes criminals will still get their hands on guns even if you ban all guns, then turn on the disarmed, helpless populace?

    February 27, 2012 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
    • martin

      riiiiight. put a gun into every high school kid's hand. can you say s o m a l i a?

      February 27, 2012 at 9:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      not students, but you sure could allow teacher who have the license to carry a firearm carry one at work!

      February 27, 2012 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
    • MNTaxpayer

      Well guns aren't banned, and this is what happens. So what's your point?

      February 27, 2012 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
    • ColB

      Yes, if guns are banned or made extrememly difficult to get like in England, criminals will still figure out a way to obtain weapons, but there would be far fewer available. How often do we read about an elementary school child carrying a gun to school (that they found in their parents bed-side night stand) to show their friends and then something happens playing with/showing off the gun to their friends.

      February 27, 2012 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Common sense over fear.

      @ColB
      Do some reading about England’s crime statistics. Yes gun crime went down…and knife (bladed) and club (blunt) crimes sky rocketed. Violent crime (including murder) didn’t stop, only the tools used changed.

      February 27, 2012 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
  9. mousedreams

    ... and they say our public schools aren't safe ... has anyone actually DIED??? Sheesh.

    February 27, 2012 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
    • ColB

      Remember Columbine you idiot! So unless the student(s) die, wounding is no big deal?

      February 27, 2012 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
    • mousedreams

      It's called sarcasm, genius (I'm using the word "genius" with sarcasm)

      February 27, 2012 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
  10. Candace Hansen

    are you for real? sad .. I thought there were fewer of you people around

    February 27, 2012 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
  11. korkea aika

    Arrest the parents and those who provided access to the firearm. If there are other children involved, remove these from the parents immediately. There is no way that this type of violent behaviour happens in a vacuum. Parents 'own' children, and when the children threaten society, the parents are 'failed' parents. Period. End of Story

    February 27, 2012 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
  12. Lenn

    They'll blame everything & everybody but the person or persons who did it. Nobody wants to take the blame for something they did. Let's blame the NRA. They pulled the trigger!

    February 27, 2012 at 9:18 am | Report abuse |
  13. Patrick

    When is the last time you heard of a multiple school shooting that was not carried out by the crazy quiet white kid? be a troll all you want but don't be a racist.

    February 27, 2012 at 9:19 am | Report abuse |
    • dont be a sucker

      how many multiple shooting are carried out by crazy black kids in the ghettos ?

      crazy is crazy

      February 27, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Widow

      umm in Chicago the kids choose to shoot each other after school and not on school property and most of them are black.

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

      Uhh you know the most recent one before this was done by an Asian immigrant guy right? Yes probably a white kid, but you also can't assume that anymore.

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

      Actually most of them are that way. VT that guy was Asian. Columbine it was actually the popular kids. The most common thing between them is that they were all on anti-depression meds.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Zee

      Red Lake MN Indian Reservation a few years ago. Indian kid shot up the school......

      February 27, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      says the guy making an assumption about race
      also the v tech shooter was asian

      February 27, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • molly

      um, virginia tech, just off the top of my head... bigot.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • molly

      um, virginia tech, 2007... just off the top of my head... bigot.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • ummmmmmm

      virginia tech.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • chelsey

      Its funny how there are metal detectors in the inner city schools but where these type of events happen there is always none. All schools should have metal detectors

      February 27, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • hilo, hawaii

      New Orleans -about 2-3 months ago.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • James B

      Um VA Tech (Asian), there was a high school shooting by a black kid in the Midwest a few years ago, Red Creek was a native American just off the top of my head.

      I know you were trying to answer someone being racist but you made a racist post yourself.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • ObamaFlop

      Don't be troll or racist?????? Maybe you should consider all of the black on black gang crime. Does that not count to you?

      February 27, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • hilo, hawaii

      New Orleans -a few months ago, actually.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • hilo, hawaii

      New Orleans, a few months ago. The shooter, as well as his victims, were black.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Playjojo

      If the kid hiding was a merciless bully, I hope he had time to reflect on his actions.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stokerz

      Hi Patrick,

      How about the VTech shootings, the most deadly school shooting in American history?

      February 27, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Really?

      Someone seems to have forgotten about Virginia Tech...

      February 27, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • CBruce

      Here here! Only crazy white kids go on killing sprees at school. Black kids have the decency to keep their peer slaughter on the streets, neighborhoods, and playgrounds where it belongs!

      February 27, 2012 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ann

      We like our beers cold, our steaks rare, and our trolls non-racist, thank you. 🙂

      Eh, to the troll, it is all fair game. The uglier the better, at least short of the site censor.

      February 27, 2012 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
  14. John

    A big thank you goes out to the NRA. Lets just keep putting more and more guns out there. How else are we going to be able to control the population? Without their help I can only guess at how bad it would be in twenty years.
    Thanks again...

    February 27, 2012 at 9:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      There have been guns for a hundred years, how come they didnt have school shooting in the 1920's? or 30's, or 40's etc. Maybe people need to take responsibility for their actions, its not the guns, it is the people who use them in criminal acts, everyone needs to take responsibility for there own actions, that includes your own protection.

      February 27, 2012 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Dr Neanderthal

      Steve –

      We didn't have school shootings in the 20s, 30s and the 40s? Think again...

      February 27, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Samwise

      "they didnt have school shooting in the 1920's" Sure they did, but like molestation, it was kept completely secret for fear of copycat crimes. Remember, the government used to run all the newspapers and radio back then.

      February 27, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
  15. AL

    guns are only a small part of the problem not the cause. the biggest problem in this country today is that THERE IS TOO MUCH HATE going on. especially when you have rich powerfull people who have radio talk shows and promote their hatred. even here in these blogs people post such hateful comments.

    February 27, 2012 at 9:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Samwise

      If it was caused by bullying, they were all failed by the adults. Some of the bullies from my high school days grew up to be pretty cool guys once they got some perspective; the rest are dead or old winos. Someone should have stepped in and prevented this. It's easier for some people to just blame abstract things like "society," and others want to blame this on race or the president.

      February 27, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
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