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. Mike

    This is an outrage. They need to ban guns from schools immediately! That will solve this problem. Once guns are banned kids won't be able to take them to school anymore.

    February 27, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aaron

      umm guns are banned from school.... Its not like there is a sign welcoming fire arms on campus they all say no firearms

      February 27, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stacey

      Mike, guns are banned from High Schools, just like at most college campuses. The problem isn't the guns, it's the people who are used them.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • clay

      Do y'all understand sarcasm?

      February 27, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • TK

      This is just terrible.

      How come the school didn't see any signs of this kid getting angry enough to bring a gun to school?

      February 27, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jon

      I'm fairly certain that guns are already banned from school. Banning guns altogether wont work because the only ones who will have guns then are the people who don't care about the law. So you want only criminals to have weapons? This id definitely a tragedy and my heart and prayers go out to anyone hurt by this, but we need to correct the source of the issue. Guns don't kill people, people kill people.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • MJ

      Is this a serious comment? No schools allow firearms on their grounds, other than police officers of course. Also, it's not like banning something stops somebody from doing it.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chantal

      Mike is trying to make a point about gun control. He's pointing out that even though guns are banned in schools, bad kids bring them any way. He's comparing it to how if guns were illegal everywhere, criminals wouldn't care and would still find and use them.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Amber

      Guns ARE banned in schools. So is weed and many other things. that doesn't stop people. Since when did you think guns were ever allowed on any academic property? Not at all! Teachers shouldn't be allowed guns either though because you never know when someone else will snap. I think this just means schools need real security. Officials who are licensed to carry weapons. trained and guarding.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • George

      The problem actually is that society has become uncaring, hateful, and mean toward everyone. Rules without compasion and reason will lead to more of this! As an example to how uncaring society is .... my wife is learning to drive ... she drive slow but is driving fine. She gets SCREAMED at and people laying into the horn for basically ... no reason. It is an entire society treating people like dirt ... then you wonder why someone flip out? What is wrong with society? This is not acceptable! All of this behavior is wrong!

      February 27, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • ObamaFlop

      In 3.....2......1..........It's George Bushs fault right libs?

      February 27, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Barb

    welcome to wild wild west – guns serve one purpose and that is to kill. I find it ironic that the people who want everyone owning a gun are the same people who profess to pro life.

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

      Hmm. I have never seen a gun take a life by itself. It requires some force acting on it to make it shoot. Plus owning a gun in no way requires the person owning it to use it to "solve" their problems. Just like having a hammer in no way requires you to build something.

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

      Wrong. Pro-choice, educated, liberal, and I love my guns.

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

      But guns are ILLEGAL on school property! How can this happen?

      February 27, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sybaris

      Barb, drama much?

      February 27, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • James B

      Only 7 % of people in the USA want to totally ban gun and less than 30% want more restrictions. It is not just pro Life people who support gun ownership.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Duane - St. Pete FLA

      that's right Barb, guns can kill....if in the wrong hands. You see, if you make gun ownership Illegal, then the only ones with guns will be the criminals. I carry because I take reasonability for me and my wife’s safety. The cops, for the most part, only "respond" to crimes that have already happened. I refuse to be a victim so I carry a gun.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • ObamaFlop

      Wow Barb nice try........In the hands of responsible people GUNS are meant to preserve life.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Because guns are leagal outside of schools.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Because guns are legal outside of schools.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • sam

      As I myself will never have the need to own a gun I am not certain that banning guns will solve the problem. In some countries banning firearms HAS proven to be effective. Other countries like Sweden have very low crime rates yet have a very high percentage of gun ownership. I think it has more to do with american culture than anything else

      February 27, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • sam

      I personally would have no problems with tighter restrictions of firearms. for the person saying guns preserve life, you obviously have never dealt with people who have no regard for life.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • ObamaFlop

      With all due respect SAM........that's why I own guns....to protect against those that do not value life...mine.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • SteveO

      Hey Sam, name one country where banning guns has been 100% effective

      February 27, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jeff S

    Sad that kids turn to violence over something that involves people that will only be around for a few years. I never cared much what other kids said to me or what they thought of me because in the scheme of life their participation in my life was so minuscule I didn't give it any weight. By the time this kid was in college no one would have cared much less remembered what happened in high school.

    February 27, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • sam

      Media has taught kids that this is an easy way of achieving revenge and instant fame.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • George

      True however the school has a responsibilty that the enviroment be conductive to education. Basically it is the same "hostile" work environment problem. Unlike a job where a person can simple quit (even though it is not that simple) .... there are laws requiring a child to be at school.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Debra

    My prayers go out to the kids and families. This is something that should not be remembered like your prom or first kiss. How sad that we have that hidden fear of saying goodbye to your kids before they enter school and maybe not seeing them again. I don't own a gun, don't believe the public should and I don't want to leave the U.S. so save your comments and I live in Michigan where you can open a bank account and obtain one. How many more senseless killings will it take before its enough?

    February 27, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  5. reality

    as the life line flows running some souls are meant to be left behind or exterminated .... don't you see it ppl it is life we are in ...... there have to be death so there can be life .....i have my pov and i aint gonna change it ...

    February 27, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Naked

    TOO MANY GUNS AND GUN SHOWS!

    February 27, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Duane - St. Pete FLA

      that is like Rosey Odonald saying "I'm fat because there so many forks around!" People kill poeple.....not guns. The Swiss have assault rifle in just about every home...no problems there. It;s the people dummy....that BS is just anti-gun BS.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Luke

      OMG! You're right! It has nothing to do with people at all, it's all about the guns! Good call.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • timmy

      TOO MANY CRIMINALS WITH GUNS.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
  7. R. Boudreaux

    check their kicks, see if they were pumped up....

    February 27, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bryant

      Haha Epic...I love this song! "all the other kid with their pumped up kicks better run, better run faster then my bullet"

      February 27, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Observer974

    Go take a look at the politics of the reported shooter's family – Democrats! – more senseless slaughter at the hands of Obama's lemmings.

    February 27, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Donna

      Oh so this is Obama's fault too! What about all the school shooting prior to Obama; those his fault too? STUPID!

      February 27, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • headcheese

      Democrats, eh? Then the shooter was more than likely a man of color! Also with CNN's failure to show a mugshot, we all know the persusion of color of this gentleman!

      February 27, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Mark Roberts

    BIG PHARMA strikes again. ALL school shootings involve Forced medications: Prozac, Aderol, Ritalin etc. The Dept of Education has teamed up with Drug Corps to attack US, the American Family. They put rat poison in the water (Google: FLOURIDE, the Douglas Report), the use light bulbs that emit M toxic Mercury vapors that poison the air, they use GMO "foods" and High Fructose Corn syrup to poison our kids, they force toxic VACCINES that attack the immune system/health. You Tube: Dr. Carley (VACCINES R WMDs), Gary Null, 20 Lies Every American Should Know, 911 Press 4 Truth, Ron Paul Revolution trailer to 2013 film The UpRising...

    February 27, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jay

    I totally agree that at this point extreme gun control would do nothing to help the gun problems in this country. It very well may make it worse. HOWEVER, it is a shame that we ever allowed it to get to this point. The main pro gun argument is that the criminals have them so the good guys need them. We as a society should have never made it to where guns were so accessible and prevalent. Now we're dealing with the consequences.

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

      Realistically our violence problem is not about guns; our non gun violence alone is higher than any other 1st world nations gun violence and non gun violence combined.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Joe

    Is anyone really surprised? This is what happens when guns are available to virtually anyone.

    February 27, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • timmy

      LOL your argument is laughable. I own a few handguns...doesn't mean I am killing people.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Portland tony

    Lot of folks out of work........no life of their own........savin' the world this morning.

    February 27, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  13. headcheese

    I say, is the shooter a man of color???

    February 27, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • junebug

      crime/killing knows no color

      February 27, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • headcheese

      I taught school for five and a half years before calling it quits (1969-75). Back then, right before schools were fully integrated in the south, this type behavior was miniscule...in fact weapons were never found on students. I did decide to get out of teaching in 1975 and am very glad I did (although I liked the job for the first two years or so quite a lot!)...Long before now I would probably have been killed by one of the animals that inflitrate classrooms today. Public schools today are havens for murders about to happen and do so!

      February 27, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Donna

      If he had been the picture would have been published. So now that you know he wasn't a minority, what is your comment? Another bad decision on this kid's part? Yeah ok.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • DP44022

      NO, he is not a man of color. Are you a man of intelligent thinking?

      February 27, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  14. A. W.

    Public schools in the USA have been dysfunctional since the 1970's. It gets worse and worse every year. I graduated in 1991 as a secondary math teacher licensed in 2 states. Taught for 3 years and then realized I made a HUGE career mistake. Leaving teaching in 1994 was then best decision I have ever made in my life. I feel sadness for parents, children, and school staff and what they have to endure. All these decades the Secretary/s of Education and the national government have done nothing to improved public schools. What a waste of tax payers money!

    February 27, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Eric

    Maybe if teachers were allowed to carry guns, this wouldn't have happened. When was the last time a shooting happened where people were allowed guns?

    February 27, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andrew

      Eric, "arm the teachers"...even this is meant to be high level satire, or you are undoubtedly one of the most ignorant people to post.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
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