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. Ron

    Yeah I bet life in your home is just peachy compared to a public school.

    February 27, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  2. lillbit

    Behind this and all school shootings is usually a dumb parent who 'didn't see the warning signs' (from both the shooter and the bully's perspective).

    February 27, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Thecentrist11

    Wait, a girl did this? That's really unusual.

    February 27, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Batman

    I've never understood committing a crime and then (relatively) immediately turning yourself in. Why not be proactive on the situation and go to the Police, or some sort of help services, and tell them what you're 'thinking' of doing. Get the help needed before ruining a bunch of lives. Now he will be in Prison for life, and many families lives will be shattered.

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

    Because we all know theocracies govern so much better and give everyone opportunities. . . (only if there was a sarcasm font.)

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

    Really people..Someone just lost a child and you want to pull out the racist card, Gun laws, Republicans, etc! Shame on you! May God Bless the students & family's that have suffered today.

    February 27, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  7. daniel hunter

    wow i bet it had to do with bullying

    February 27, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • ps

      Bullying does not kill as fast as guns! Guns really are killer machines! All you need is short temper and anger, then off goes a gun.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Francois2012

      OK

      February 27, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve Lyons

      Or drugs.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • westward

      Bullying is no excuse to kill people.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • hilo, hawaii

      Or try gangs & bad parenting -on the tax payers dime.

      Try the Freedom Killing Gun Lobby. (AMERICANS ARE NOT FREE FROM BEING SHOT. How about mandatory jail to negligent gun owners for giving minors access, at the very least. Enough of the, "I left my assault rifle collection where my 16 year-old whack job got it. Oppps, sorry." Oh, wait, that would violate their rights.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Vittorio

      Daniel, i agree, this is similar to the VA tech, they bully and push a kid to the breaking point, they push back with a gun.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Common sense over fear.

      @westward
      No one said it was an excuse. That kind of comment seems very defensive, are you or your child a bully?

      @hilo, hawaii
      It’s clear you don’t know what you are talking about so let me help you.

      >about mandatory jail to negligent gun owners for giving minors access, at the very least
      Most states ALREADY have this.

      >I left my assault rifle collection where my 16 year-old whack job got it.
      You need a class three federal license to own an assault rifle. This is much harder said than done. The number of people who actually own ‘assault rifles is extremely low. Don’t be one of these ignorant fools who calls something an assault rifle just because they THINK it looks like one.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Stacey

    Shame on you! Your poor children!

    February 27, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Raymond

    Click2BSure Emergency Alert

    My company has developed a Personal Security App to help people alert their friends, family and 911. Whether you are a walking down the street, there a knock at the door, you are home alone or a have a domestic violence situation, Click2BSure is always there to keep you safe.

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    February 27, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • lara336

      This really isn't an appropriate comment for this article.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brownstain

      No place for advertising.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Christine

    Most likely a bullied or harassed student who felt trapped. The harassers were probably good 'Christian' kids, of course it's not harassement if it's not one of your own right?

    February 27, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • James B

      Funny bullying always gets blamed in these cases but serious studies of the incidents have found that rarely does bullying have anything to do with it.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Common sense over fear.

      @ James B
      Post your source James.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  11. David

    Fact: The worst incident of school violence in the US did not involve a firearm.

    February 27, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mork

      well that justifies everything then.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • David

      It doesn't justify anything. Its just a simple fact.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Fact: "99.99% of online fact are made up on the spot" -Abraham Lincoln

      February 27, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jumbotron

      So what was the worst incident of school violence? You going to share that?

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

      Its not made up. Research it.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • David

      Bath Township Wisconsin. May 18, 1927.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • brandon

      link please...?

      February 27, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • David

      You have the internet. Not going to hold your hand about it.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      @David. Bathtown was long time ago, but we should not let this current incident off as a "at least it wasn't as bad as Bathtown".

      February 27, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • David

      Never said it should.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • brandon

      a car bomb? thats why you posted this, because the real real culprit of school violence is car bombs?

      February 27, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • David

      No it’s just a fact. Take from it what you will.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Common sense over fear.

      @David
      That’s the problem you run into while arguing with people who have no real argument. Instead of addressing the fact, they will imply, misdirect and twist the discussion.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Izoto

    Lol wut?

    Kids barely learn math much less be indoctrinated.

    February 27, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jumma

    Sick feelings when you turn on TV after dropping kids at bus stop and hear this. Very sad for the families who are hurt by this. Yes, Iran shouldn't get the nukes cause it is an irresponsible state and YES! people shouldn't have access to guns if we apply the same logic. Don't tell me these are two different issues, no they are not, both are designed to kill people and both should be banned.

    February 27, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • David

      Wrong. They are very different as a nuclear device cannot be owned by a civilian and all firearms used by civilians are used for recreation and defense purposes. A nuclear device is an offensive weapon and not used for recreation. It can be used as defense weapon in theory I guess but the situation would have to be very very bleak.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • David

      correction- should have said that all civilian firearms are INTENDED for recreational and defensive purposes.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Common sense over fear.

      @Jumma
      I’m telling you…they are two different issues. When every single U.S. citizen has sworn to wipe their neighbors off the map…THEN and only then would your ridiculous comment be even relatively close.

      Try again.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • James W.

      Can't blame guns for parents failure to teach their kids kindness its all about i'm better than you mentality. Countries that have banned guns have seen home invasions climb in some cases 700% that's insane we need to be able to protect ourselves look at what's happening around the globe. I bullied 25 year ago in school and I think about it and when my Dad found out he beat my ass and he was wright i deserved it. People will let their kids bully and cyber bully and laugh it off. NO MORALS LEFT IN THIS COUNTRY, EPIC FAILURE PARENTS.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Mork

    meanwhile in every other western country, and even in China, Iran, and other 'evil countries' the school yard bully was dealt a blow to the nose that required a time out in the nurses room before being lectured by the principle and sent back to class.

    February 27, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • ps

      Americans live in the wild west! Frequent gun crimes on the innocent in our own country does not bother us one bit!

      February 27, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mork

      Bunch of cowboys.

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

      PS most gun crimes in America do not affect the common person. School shootings are not even 1% of gun crime in America. The most common cause of gun related deaths are in this order: Suicide, gang activity, drug activity, arguments, other, cops related incidents.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mork

      Well that justifys it then doesnt it James B. Cmon man,, why are any of these crimes on the list? Because gun manufacturers FLOOD THE MARKET with guns and have been doing so for decades, because the american citizen demands gun rights. Its ridiculous.. you can own an automatic handgun because you were sane and sober the month you applied, or you can walk down the street and buy a stolen one or an older used one, that was easily accessible because everyone has a gun kicking around and so they are easy to steal, meanwhile someone wants to smoke a joint after work and thats a crime.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Common sense over fear.

      @Mork
      That’s incorrect actually; knives are very common in those cases. Read before you post.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  15. nitadf

    Who cares? Do you people have any idea how many kids die every year because they are starving? But nobody talks about them.

    February 27, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • yuri pelham

      Your comment is very comforting. It also makes me feel better about the slaughter in Syria.
      I do worry about the intellectual failure of the human brain, however.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • mkchicago

      I'm sure there could have been a more tactful way to get your message across other than "who cares" – just saying.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      @Nitaf. I bet you are one of those people that just talks about starving people around the world–yet do anything about it. Because you hope that someone else would do it, and the fact you 'aware' other's is good enough.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • TriXen

      @mkchicago Well said.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michelle

      Problems such as starvation aren't as easily solved as problems with guns. And btw, people DO care and DO talk about starvation all the damn time. Don't you watch TV?

      February 27, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
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