February 27th, 2012
02:13 PM ET

Student shot at Ohio high school dies, police say

More on this story from CNN affiliates WOIO-TV, WEWS-TV, WJW-TV and WKYC-TV.

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[Updated at 4:04 p.m. ET] Chardon Police Chief Timothy McKenna said in a press conference today that two of the victims in Monday's shootings were in critical condition, one was in serious condition and one was in stable condition.

[Updated at 2:58 p.m. ET] Danny Komertz, a student at Chardon High School said that he saw shooter T.J. lane point a gun directly at a group of students before shooting them.

"I looked straight ahead and I saw a gun pointing at a group of four guys sitting at a table and he was able two feet away from them," Komertz said. "He just fired two quick shots at them. I saw one student fall. I saw the other hiding, trying to get cover underneath the table."

Komertz said that he felt that by his demeanor, the shooter was targeting that group.

"It was clearly to me that he was aiming right at them," Komertz told CNN. "He wasn't shooting around the cafeteria at all. He was directly aiming at the four of them."

Komertz said he then ran out the door with his friends. While he was trying to escape he said he heard another two shots fired from behind him.

"I just can't believe it. I don't think it's real," said student Danny Komertz, who witnessed the shooting. "And I just, it kills me that I saw someone hiding, and now that someone is now dead."

[Updated at 2:13 p.m. ET] A fatally wounded student was identified by the hospital that treated him as Daniel Parmertor.

"We are shocked by this senseless tragedy," Parmertor's family said in a statement released by MetroHealth Medical Center. "Danny was a bright young boy who had a bright future ahead of him. The family is torn by this loss. We ask that you respect our privacy during this difficult time."

[Updated 1:19 p.m. ET] A student who hid in a classroom at Chardon High School said that T.J. Lane, the suspect in Monday's shooting, "was a nice guy" who he never suspected would shoot anyone.

“He just came from a really broken down home and he was living with his grandparents," Evan Erasmus, a senior at the school told CNN.  "He was more of a quiet type of kid. He was really nice, though, if you did talk to him.”

Erasmus said that Lane and some of the victims "used to be friends" but more in middle school and early high school.

“He was one of the nicest kids there…," Erasmus said. "It was really shocking that it was him.”

Erasmus told CNN that he believed T.J. Lane was either a sophomore or junior at the school.

He said that Lane was sitting about a table away from some of the victims.

Erasmus said he heard the victims "were all sitting there and then he just stood up and that’s when it all started."

Meanwhile, he and the other students in a nearby classroom, "turned the lights off and we headed into a corner" after the shooting.

[Updated 12:52 p.m. ET] Witnesses and one of the shooting victims have identified the gunman as T.J. Lane, according to The Plain Dealer of Cleveland.

[Updated 12:04 p.m. ET] Police say one student has died from the shootings at Chardon High School this morning. Five students were shot in total, officials said.

[Updated 11:58 a.m. ET] A parent of children who attend Chardon High School says the gunman in today's shooting had specific targets and was not shooting randomly, according to a report from CNN affiliate WJW-TV.

[Updated 11:43 a.m. ET] The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives says it has been given one handgun from the Ohio high school shooting scene to do an emergency trace.

The Geauga County sheriff's office is executing searches in the case with the assistance of ATF agents, a law enforcement official said.

[Updated 11:13 a.m. ET] Geauga County Sheriff Daniel McClelland says a K-9 unit tracked the shooting suspect, who was apprehended "some distance from the school," according to a report on CNN affiliate WJW-TV.

[Updated 10:54 a.m. ET] The suspect in the shooting of five students at Chardon High School turned himself in to bystanders in Chardon Township, a law enforcement official told CNN affiliate WKYC-TV.

[Updated 10:43 a.m. ET] A student at Chardon High School, Evan Erasmus, told CNN affiliate WEWS-TV that the suspect in Monday's shootings may have posted a threatening message Sunday night on the social networking service Twitter.

"I think he said that he was going to bring a gun to school and I think that everyone just blew it off like he was joking," Erasmus said.

[Updated 10:34 a.m. ET] Law enforcement officials say they received reports that a teacher chased the shooter at Chardon High School out of the building.

[Updated 10:31 a.m. ET] There are five victims of the shooting at a Chardon High School in surburban Cleveland, law enforcement officials said.

[Updated 10:05 a.m. ET] Those wounded at Chardon High School in Ohio are students at another school in nearby Auburn, said Evan Erasmus, a student at Chardon. They had been waiting in the Chardon cafeteria for a bus to Auburn when they were shot, Erasmus said.

[Updated 9:53 a.m. ET] Four students were wounded when a gunman opened fire in the cafeteria of a suburban Cleveland high school just as the school day was beginning Monday, law enforcement officials said.

The suspected Chardon High School shooter - believed to be a student, according to a school official - was in custody, FBI Special Agent Scott Wilson told reporters.

Wilson declined to say how badly the injured students had been hurt.

"We just hope that they're OK," he said.

School administrators locked down schools in the city of Chardon, Ohio, about 30 miles east of Cleveland. and assured parents that all remaining students were safe.

Still, parents eager to retrieve their children hurried to school buildings, forming long lines as school officials checked identifications before releasing students. At one point, black-clad SWAT team members walked by parents waiting outside the middle school, enhancing what was a surreal scene for many.

"This stuff doesn't happen here at Chardon. Everybody's a little upset," said one parent who was preparing to pick up his daughter, a 10th-grader who had been evacuated to Maple Elementary School.

Despite initial reports that two people were involved, it appeared only one person was responsible for the shooting, Superintendent Joseph Bergant said.

"My understanding is there was one gunman," he said. Bergant said he believed the suspect is a student.

The shooting occurred around 7:40 a.m. just as school was getting started for the day, school board member Larry Reiter said. It happened inside the cafeteria, which is near the entrance to the school, he said.

It was unclear how the suspect was taken into custody.

School officials locked the high school down following the shooting.

One parent told CNN affilaite WKYC that her daughter had texted from a closet to tell her that there had been a shooting at the school, but that she was okay.

Chardon is a small city of about 5,100 people 30 miles east of Cleveland. About 1,150 students attend the high school, which is next to Chardon Middle School and across the street from Maple Elementary School.

[Updated 9:48 a.m. ET] A youth suspected in the shooting at an Ohio high school fled the building but was caught nearby, according to a Plain Dealer report on Cleveland.com.

Three boys and a girl were injured in the shooting which happened in the Chardon High School cafeteria before classes started, the Plain Dealer report said.

"Parent Jeannette Roth, who had heard from her son Joshua, a junior, said he told her the shooting happened while students were eating breakfast in the cafeteria and waiting for first period.  Suddenly a boy 'stood up and started shooting, and then it was chaos,'" the Plain Dealer report read.

[Updated 9:27 a.m. ET] Four students were wounded in the school shooting Monday morning at the high school in Chardon, Ohio, officials said. The extent of their injuries was unknown.

[Updated 9:21 a.m. ET] At least three students were injured when an armed individual entered the cafeteria of a high school near Cleveland and opened fire just as the school day was beginning Monday, police and the school superintendent said.

School officials said they did not know how badly the injured students had been wounded, but some had been taken by helicopter to the hospital.

Police took a suspect into custody, locked the high school down and assured parents that all remaining students were safe.

Despite initial reports that two people were involved, it appeared only one person was responsible for the shooting, Superintendent Joseph Bergant said.

"My understanding is there was one gunman," he said. Bergant said he believed the suspect is a student.

School officials said the rest of the high school's students were being evacuated to a nearby elementary school.

Parents gathered outside the school administration building, hoping for information about the incident and how to retrieve their children.

"My daughter is at the school and she's texting me saying they're in a closet right now and they're OK," a parent speaking to CNN affiliate WKYC said.

Chardon is a small city of about 5,100 people 30 miles east of Cleveland. About 1,150 students attend the high school, which is next to Chardon Middle School and across the street from Maple Elementary School.

[Updated 9:06 a.m. ET] The superintendent of Chardon schools said Monday he believes there was only one gunman involved in the shooting at Chardon High School.

[Updated 9:01 a.m. ET] A person who fired shots at a high school near Cleveland on Monday morning is in custody, a school official said.

[Updated 8:55 a.m. ET] At least three students were wounded when two people entered the cafeteria of a high school near Cleveland, Ohio, and opened fire just as the school day was beginning, police and a school board member said.

The shooting happened at Chardon High School in Chardon, Ohio, Lt. John Hiscox of the Geauga County Sheriff's Office said.

Three or four students were hit by the gunfire, said Larry Reiter of the Chardon Schools Board of Education. He did not know their conditions, but said helicopters had been called to take the injured to a hospital.

Chardon is a small city of about 5,100 people 30 miles east of Cleveland. About 1,150 students attend the high school, which is next to Chardon Middle School and across the street from Maple Elementary School.

[Updated 8:43 a.m. ET] Two shooters entered Chardon High School and and shot three or four students in the cafeteria, school board member Larry Reiter told CNN. He did not know their condition.

[Posted 8:38 a.m. ET] A shooting has occurred at Chardon High School near Cleveland, Ohio, Lt. John Hiscox of the Geauga County Sheriff's Office said Monday.

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

    Maybe all the glorification of official killers as heroes in the box office made him want to be a hero too.

    February 27, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Barry G.

      Yes, studies have found that violence in the media (including TV) cause children to be more violent and desensitizes them to violence.

      Do we even need to speak about the effects of graphic, violent video games?

      The NRA, the gun industry, the lobbyists the gun industry sends to persuade our legislators to support their right to get rich selling arms, and the politicians who take money from the lobbyists to support the gun dealers all must take responsibility for such acts of violence.

      And Charlton Heston went form playing Moses to being Judas, by taking money to be a spokesman for and industry which causes such violence.

      Judas received thirty pieces of silver for his soul, I wonder how much our senators and representatives have received for theirs.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  2. lara336

    It's hard not to feel bad for the shooter, to wonder what happened to him that was so bad to drive him over the edge like this. It's not about guns, anybody who thinks its about guns is completely ignorant.

    February 27, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Richard

      What happened? A generation raised by ex-hippy parents, with no regard for morals or consideration for others. That kind of narcissism breeds sociopaths.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Me

      Yes, surely it is the victims of this unacceptable behavior are at fault here.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  3. FED UP WITH AMERICAS HYPOCRICY

    WHILE WE ARE STARTING WARS WITH MUSLIMS, CALLING THEM TERRORISTS; WE AMERICANS ARE KILLING OURSELVES. JUST LOVELY.

    February 27, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Idiot

      Do you even know the definition of terrorism?

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

      Where have you been for the last 50 years? People have been killing people since i was a kid and since the world began. It is just that with the internet every now hears about every murder or shooting. It's a media circus. Without the media or internet you probably would not know this even happened. Now many people are panicking.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Daisy

      You are talking about two completely different things. People of all nationalities have been murdering each other since time began; it has nothing to do with terrorism.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  4. deidre

    school bullying leads to this kind of violence.....I think all school bullies should be SHOT because once a school bully always a bully in your life.....most of our politicians are bullies.

    February 27, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • markishere

      and they become police officers too

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

      Yeah, that's a perfectly rational thing to say.

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

      B.S. Lack of self-control and NO regard for others breeds this kind of reaction. This stuff never used to happen before the 1960's and bullying has been with us since time began.

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

      I believe that bullying is part of it

      February 27, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mathew

    When will this country treat these recurring events as the national tragedies they are? Why is someone's "right to bear arms" or right to kill animals for "sport" more important than a child's right to receive an education without the very real possibility being shot dead? This should not be a fact of life. Begin the inevitable outlawing of all guns now!

    February 27, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • lara336

      Typical response. Outlawing firearms will show no reduction in crimes like these, provide some credible information if you can. Ever heard of "if there's a will there's a way"? Outlaw guns and kids will either still bring them illegally or bring some other type of weapon, even a bomb, maybe you should rethink what you are saying.

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

      Are you going to outlaw knives, pens & pencils, art supplies, scissors, etc.? What about cars, those are readily available and can kill a number of people quickly. You're treating a symptom, not the cause.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Me

      Yes, because outlawing guns will make them all go away.
      Take a minute to think about marijuana, cocaine, etc. Those are all unavailable now, right?

      February 27, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  6. markishere

    Glad I finished high school in the early 1990s.

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

      I agree, me too, and which is why we have decided to home school our little ones, also which is why I finish my education degree this summer.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • TriXen

      @Janie It's sad to say, but that's probably a good decision these days. Hopefully you'll still keep them involved in enough social activities to make up for the fact that they won't have classmates the way other kids do. Socialization is a big part of a child's education.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  7. TriXen

    Tragic. 🙁

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

      I agree
      we should be praying for the victims & their families

      February 27, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Thomas

    This is so sad. I am not far from this small city. What was even more sad, folks was making comments on our local news, that it was a ghetto black kid that did the shooting. This was a white kid that did shooting. We need to stop playing the race card. They are saying this kid has photos on his twitter account, holding two guns in his hand. Kids have to much internet time.

    February 27, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Richard

    Zero tolerance to schoolyard fights sure does have dire consequences, doesn't it, liberals?

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

      So, if we could get them to have fist fights in the school yard, this won't happen?

      February 27, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Greek American

    Oh yes let's arm and train "willing" teachers. Perhaps some of those "willing" educators will be like that psycho teacher in California who molested and video taped multiple innocent children. I'm sure he wouldve loved to use gun play as a part of his sick video productions.
    My thoughts and prayers go out to all of these students and faculty and family in Ohio.

    February 27, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Eric of Reseda

    Looks like the NRA will be holding it's next convention in Cleveland.

    February 27, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      Thanks Michael Moore.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Nick Uselis

    Why can't these people shoot up an NRA meeting or a Republican gathering. Then at least their shooting their own.

    February 27, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Joe

    I wonder if the governor of New York will lower the flag half-mast for the child that needlessly got shot and died today in Ohio. He did it for Whitney who died of a drug overdose but not for all those American service members that died for our country that day or any other day!

    February 27, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Janie

      I agree, what a waste of a flag lowering for a drug addict, lower the flags for these children!

      February 27, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • 0>

      That was New Jersey, not New York.
      What does that have to do with anything?
      This shooting happened in Ohio.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Melissa

    I graduated from this school and lived in this town forever. This is not a case of race but what can happen when you are not paying attention to you kids. This town is not like this at all. People come together and help each other. It's amazing how people interpurt the worst in a town by watching something on television.

    February 27, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Smarter than you

    All the morons on this site need to be put into a concentration camp and systematically killed. You are what is causing all the problems in this country. Sitting in your chair, growing fatter but complaining about everything but never doing anything to help fix the problem. How about you do less arm-chair quarterbacking and actually get a job and do something for society. A child dies and all you talk about is Politics and Gun Control and other crazy talk. Do us a favor and jump off your nearest bridge.

    February 27, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Not as Smart as you think

      No, the problem with this country is people that cannot tolerate a viewpoint that differs from their own, and instead of intelligent debate they resort to "Do us a favor and jump off your nearest bridge"

      February 27, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Smarter than you

      @Not as Smart as you think. Obviously you are not that smart if you think that talking about Politics and Gun Control after a child dies is intelligent. Obviously it is someone else's fault....point's finger....point's finger...

      February 27, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
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