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. Andy

    'm really not surprised by these school shootings anymore, they seem to happen every 2 months in America

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

      You are correct in the last few years there have been 6-7 a year though some are straight up single murders like the King murder in CA.

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

    Growing up, I was harassed and excluded by other students and I can say that what happens when a young person lives in their own mind is that they get disturbed. I fantasized about killing myself and I fantasized about killing the other students. I did not have access to a gun, however. Social isolation creates mental problems or exasperates per-existing problems. Our current society, which glorifies meanness, and self gratification, only is creating more anti-social tendencises

    February 27, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • God H8S Biggots

      I totally understand your feelings. Sometimes I wonder myself what would have happened if my parents owned a gun.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sad

      I completely agree that society as a whole need to be more compasionate when it comes to victims of bullying. They need to listen and they need to agressively do something about it. When schools say they have a zero tolerance. That's basically, at least in my experience with my son that was bullied from 3rd grade all the way through highschool is it doesn't exist. Schools need to take this seriously. A kid beat down mentally and sometimes physicially can become very isolated and no telling what will pop in their heads. Its so sad. All these kids had their whole lives ahead of them. Where's the value to human life?

      February 27, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • timmy

      "Sometimes I wonder myself what would have happened if my parents owned a gun."

      well if they were responsible with it, they would be putting the gun in a gun safe away from you so you or any child could get it. So nothing would have happened

      February 27, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
  3. mousedreams

    Schools should be treated like federal buildings: metal detectors and visual searches of all possessions.

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

      TSA come to your school soon

      February 27, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • OMG

      What different does it make? If student open fires right out the school at dismisal time? ID 10 T

      February 27, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Adri

    This kid probably had serious issues, not just be the quiet kid. Guns weren't the cause of this but they helped facilitate this kid's plan. My sympathy to the victims and their familes.

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

      Please, like a kitchen knife couldnt facilitate this attack. Maybe we should ban kitchen knives too.

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

    This kid probably had serious issues, not just being the quiet kid. Guns weren't the cause of this but they helped facilitate this kid's plan. My sympathy to the victims and their familes.

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

      Yeah right, issue created by other kids. Don't you get it. It calls bully

      February 27, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Brenda

    Does anyone remember Thurston High School in Springfield, Or. My sister worked at the school when It happen. He was the first that brought a gun into the cafeteria in the morning and open fire. He was from a privileged home. And it was later found he had killed his parents first then went to school.
    It isn't forgotten around here. Most of the schools have fences around them. And many schools have special places you have to go through to get on campus. Sad but true. Guns are easy way out of problems they feel. But it is like drugs or drinking. All it does is cause more problems for you. And Bullying has got to stop and the races talk. Grow up and stop pointing fingers. Try to solve the problem not make more.

    February 27, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  7. OMG

    What's the new? What do you expect? This is an America. People shoot each other to make money (news, media)

    February 27, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • DP44022

      So you're saying that the news media did this to make money? I guess I'm not following what you're saying.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  8. murpis

    To say that this stuff never happens around here is ignorant. You can't live life thinking you are safe from everything and that it'll never happen to me. Those are the people that stuff happens to. Anything can happen in the blink of an eye and can change your life forever.

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

      It's always a surprise, and people always say "that sort of thing doesn't happen here" because there aren't places where you have school shootings on a routine basis. Every one of them is unusual, every one is a surprise.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • bill

      I once thought as a lot of people do that it cannot happen around here then a coward decided to walk into an Amish schoolhouse out in the middle of nowhere in a very very very small town and kill some children and I lived 10 minutes from there.

      It can and does happen in places tyou would never suspect and while a gun was used, there could have been any other type of weapon

      February 27, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • murpis

      If you have the mentality that anything is possible and can happen to you or in your neighborhood, then your odds can be better of staying safe. Not saying nothing will happen but being aware of your surroundings, locking your car and home. I don't answer my door unless I am expecting someone.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Behonest

    And the NRA still doesn't think they have a major gun control problem in the US. Denial will get them nowhere. Actually my bad, it will get them somewhere, a lot of funerals.

    February 27, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Glades2

      ...and if I may go a step further – being a fan of the classic western for many years, I can say that guns might have been necessary in the days of Marshall Dillon and the Old West, but they have no place in 21st Century America, for other than those in law-enforcement...

      February 27, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Glades2

    Our "gun culture" will be the death of this country if things don't change very soon – as with Columbine and other school shootings, people will drop off flowers and balloons at the school, a memorial service will be held, tears shead and hugs given to console students, and cries will be heard to change gun laws, but in the end, as with all other shootings, nothing sincere will be done to put an end to this violence, because our shallow society has a "I don't want to hear it" way of thinking when it comes to not wanting to know the truth. Over the last week or two a TV ad for a gun range here in South Florida asks, "Have you ever fired a gun?", encouraging first-time gun owners to make a purchase, so again the problem will not stop unless society gives this terrible problem more than lip-service...

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

      Little over the top don't you think? Murder is at an all time low in America since standardized record keeping came about in the 1960s; the years before that are estimates.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Glades2

      I wouldn't tell that to the Mother of the student who died today...

      February 27, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rbnlegnd

      What change would help? It's already illegal for a minor to own a gun. It's already illegal for a minor to carry a concealed firearm. It's already illegal to carry a firearm on school property. It's already illegal to point a firearm at someone or hold in a threatening manner. It's already illegal to discharge a firearm in that location. It's already illegal to attempt to kill a person. It's already illegal to kill a person. It's already illegal to kill a person using a gun. So, what additional law would you propose that would have prevented this?

      February 27, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  11. OMG

    What's the news? What do you expect? This is an America. People shoot each other to make money (news, media)

    February 27, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • DP44022

      So you're saying that the news media did this to make money? I guess I'm not following what you're saying.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  12. jason

    Why aren't the daily shootings in inner city schools reported on?

    February 27, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Thomas

    Driving and texting is banned in my town, but folks still do it. So if someone is rundown by someone who was texting, should phones be banned?

    February 27, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  14. FrauSchmitd

    Check for ADD/AntiDepressents ! You are poisoning your children with these medications.

    February 27, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Uhts44118

    I posted on Facebook who the gunman was well before the news even knew! they should just learn to read facebook and they'd find out more current information than what they could get from anyone else.

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

      Nice brag, do you feel better?

      February 27, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • DP44022

      You and a bunch of other kids knew before the media did, but they have rules they follow before posting information without verifying it through an official source, not just a Facebook post. If you are a student at that school you also knew about it before the media, but how could you not? I'm also guessing that the media has given you news about stuff you didn't know anything about.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
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