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. tom

    Another proud day for the NRA. Isn't Ohio a CCW state? I thought you people said if we arm everyone then we won't have gun violence. Isn't that your position? It is the NRA's. It is a foolish and dangerous position but it is all yours. BTW I missed when Obama took away all the guns as the NRA predicted he would. When did that happen? No guns = no gun violence. Simple isn't it?

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

      Another totally ignorant remark from a gun grabbing dolt who has no idea what he is talking about.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • loliwinyoulose

      Schools are gun free zones. All mass shootings in US history happen in gun free zones because in states like ohio, law abiding, key word, law abiding people do protect themselves. Highest murder rates are also carried out in gun free cities/states like new york chicago and california.

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

      CCWs are not allowed in gun free zones like schools.

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

      Man, you got that right TA.
      Tom are you really that stupid, naive or are you a troll? The whole world just got a little dumber from you "well thought out" comment.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • toadears

      Most schools now have metal detectors. The real question is why? What is wrong with American kids? Could it be your 4000 murders a day on television maybe? Are people here so ignorant that they honestly don't think every country has guns and every country has teenagers?

      February 27, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • timmy

      only problem is you will never take away ALL the guns. Just like the war on drugs failed, the war on guns would fail as well.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marshall

      hey stop lying! How do you know the gunman didn;t have his CCW? maybe he was just protecting himself from the bullies! That's what CCW is isn;t it? to carry so no one knows you're carrying until you pull it out and starts blasting away evil people who has done you wrong!!! This is America!!!! and we have the right to protect ourselves fro evil doers...our rights to bear arms and to use deadly force is justified in the face of abuse and intimidation! I hope the NRA sends a team of lawyer to defend this kid if it is proven he was protecting himself from evil doers.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • OMG

      What's the new again? For those who own guns, is a fun day for them

      February 27, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cindy

      There will always be guns and there will always be violence. Some gun owners need to be more responsible for the guns they own and lock them up. Whoever he got this gun from shopuld be prosecuted for mutder along with the kid. I gues we should ban knves and ice picks and screw drivers and everything else that can be used as a weapon. Guns don't kill people, irresponsible and ignorant people do.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      More people might buy your argument when we have a legitimate way to get ALL the guns....until you can come up with a way to disarm the gangster/punk/junkie/criminal element, I'll continue to legally carry concealed so that I have the ability to protect myself and my family. By the way, I don't remember anyone saying anything as ridiculous as your inaccurate quote about arming everybody. Your "no guns = no gun violence" makes as much sense as "no automobiles = no automobile wrecks". If you choose not to exercise your right of self-defense, fine. But don't try to stop me from exercising mine...

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

      To have a CCW you have to be 18 yr old. So i dont think he has one second, it doesnt matter if you have a CCW you cant carry a gun into a high school. They are gun free zones haha. I wish people would educate themselves on gun laws before the open there mouths.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • holdem

      this wouldn't have happened if everybody had guns.

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

      Man u are as dumb as the government. Should we closely monitor, censor, and limit the internet because wikileaks happened? Hell no! Guns don't kill people, people kill people. The actions of one disturbed child should never dictate gun laws for all of us. Get real dude.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • TKND

      We have more guns in this country now than ever and violent crime continues to drop, according to the FBI. So actually more guns – less violence. Which makes the NRA correct, not dangerous or foolish. Science and statistics have proven that.

      Anyone with a CCW permit knows better than to bring a gun to school. Part of the training.

      Rahm, Bloomberg, and Menino are still trying to gun grab. The Brady group has publicly grumbled that no new gun laws have been wrote. Obama knows to go after guns is political suicide. I give him credit for leaving guns alone.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  2. qwerty

    I blame Video Games.

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

      I blame lack of Play Boy

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

      There is no credible link between violence and video games. Games are at an all time high violence an all time low.

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

      Really? Does it? Playing Monopoly then should make you a millionaire.

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

      I blame "Tom" above...

      February 27, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
  3. chimo in jc

    Yay! Let's all commment loudly on something we don't have a clue about yet. Probably just another kid who takes depression pills, whaaa! just like the ones in all the previous school shootings! I wonder what the connection is...

    February 27, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Dan

    You have to admit that guns make it very easy.

    February 27, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • loliwinyoulose

      You also have to admit that if they didnt make schools gun free zones, teachers could arm themselves. And that would make it much more difficult.

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

      If it weren't a gun, it would be a knife, if not a knife it would be a bludgeon. Guns don't make it easy.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • DP44022

      @loliwinyoulose: Even if the teachers were armed, it probably happened so quickly that the victim who died would have still been shot and killed, it probably would have only meant that the shooter would have been killed too (not a bad thing), but wouldn't have saved the life of the one victim.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  5. petemg

    We should all concentrate on the fact that there are young people are hurt. Their lives will never be the same. Yes while in school I was ridiculed a lot. I was the kid with the funny last name who walked to school, wearing hand-me-downs. It hurt a lot, but I lived through it. We do not know what the cause was, but it happened. As far as guns go, people want something bad enough, they can get it.

    February 27, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Dan

    You have to admit that guns make it a lot easier.

    February 27, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  7. civic

    they guy was probably bullied.

    February 27, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  8. toadears

    Lots of countries have guns. Lots. It's not that difficult to get a firearm, even in England. Case in point was the Hungerford massacres. The difference is that this has actually become a deadly fad in America high schools. And ONLY American high schools. This society glamorizes violent youth. Movies, videos, music. And now this has set the precedence for another shooting in the near future. It's only in America.

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

      This specific form of violence is, somewhat, specific to america. It's very rare here, but it happens just enough, in a nation of 300,000,000 people, to make us think it is more common than it is. More kids die in slip and fall accidents than in acts of violence, in our schools. More kids die in motor vehicle accidents going to and from school, than die in acts of violence. But this is what makes the news, and this is what scares you.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  9. nutz

    Parenting isn't about how many activities your kid can be in or that you are the best soccer mom. Parenting is getting in their faces to remind them who is boss and why you are boss and they are not.

    February 27, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • DP44022

      Actually, you don't have to get in their faces to teach them things. I didn't get it my children's faces as they were growing up and now they're intelligent, compassionate adults. Whoopin' a$$ isn't the only way to teach kids right from wrong.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  10. whatAhit

    I agree with Jeff S. Banning guns does not prevent murder, just like banning drugs does not prevent illegal trafficking. There had to be a sign of some sort that he was troubled. Problem is no one wants to get involved.

    February 27, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Traveling One

    For every gun, there's potential for death. Need not say more.

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

      For every car, there is a potential for death. See this could go on and on for thousands of items.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • PF

      For every birth, there is a death. For every knife, there is the potential to cut. For every person there is the potential for evil.

      Let's ban all tools! They are the tools of evil! Especially if they work as intended!

      February 27, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Merc

      @Travelling One: For every morsel of food, there is the possibility of choking...let's ban eating....unless you can prove to us that you can eat responsibly.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Joe

    is in our destiny to destroy ourselves one way or the other.

    February 27, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  13. toadears

    Reinstate the draft and give them something to really fight against! The government.

    February 27, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  14. cxd

    This never happens out in the country or in suburbia where kids are raised correctly........ Right ?????

    February 27, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Actually, if you read the book Rampage, in which a bunch of sociologists spend 3 years investigating school shootings, they determined that it is MORE likely to happen in smaller communities that feel they are close-knit. Its because those communities everyone knows each other and picks on the same "outsiders." In larger communities, the socially awkward are more likely to find other outcasts to build social connections with. Social connections are the key to preventing isolated people from deteriorating.

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

      Seems to be the ONLY type of place that stuff happens!!

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

    For all you people who want to make guns to be Illegal, drug are not legal and they are everywhere now... making guns Illegal will not help...

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