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.

soundoff (2,226 Responses)
  1. duvo

    i like how when its a white person all about mental talks and diseases and whatnot even video games....good thing the killer wasnt black....

    February 27, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • James B

      Mental illness was a factor in a black school shooter whose father was a police officer a few years ago.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Reality

      Race has nothing to do with this. When are folks going to learn that the more you talk about race, the longer racism lasts?

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

      Hey duvo.......you sound just like the kind of person that would raise a child and produce this kind of product........explains a lot.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • James B

      Why are you trying to call me a racist, just pointing out you are wrong mental illness is explored in every case even those with black kids. You are the race bater.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Coy Swint

      Oh that poor gunman. He's a great kid really. He's really smart and comes from a good background. He just was having a bad month!

      February 27, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Dnightshade

    Sometimes I wonder if all this reporting on school shooting are causing a psychological effect on mental disturbed individuals that suicidal contagion causes. Suicide contagion is the effect that media reporting successful suicides have been linked to increasing number of suicides. Meaning a person who is mentally unstable reads about someone who has a successful suicide in media is more likely to attempt suicide after reading about someone else successfully achieving it. This is why obituaries don't often list suicides as the cause of death. There are actually strict guidelines in which a suicide can be presented in media. So my thought is, what if all this media attention is causing a similar effect? Reports of successful school shootings result in others school shootings. It seems that ever since Columbine there has been a steady stream of school shooting occurrences.

    February 27, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Vesuvio

      In the latest edition of "The Tipping Point" they talked about your exact idea. In the first edition of the book the author used the example of a teen suicide cluster on a Pacific Island. Kids started killing themselves because enough other kids did it to make it a familiar, even acceptable idea. The later edition of the book came out after Columbine, when it was clear that school shootings were also sounding like a good idea to a narrow segment of teens. It was all about the publicity, and kids' ability to "think the unthinkable" once the concept was established.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Alex

    Sooooooo glad I'm not growing up, or raising kids, today. What a effed up world we live in.

    February 27, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  4. duvo

    oh great, mariliyon manson and helter skelter will be put on trial again....

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

    Something tells me this kid was bullied just a bit too much.

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

      Kids were bullied for centuries. It's just in the modern day where human evolution seems to be taking it toward murder retaliations.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Reality

      I agree with you. With each passing generation, the kids get more and more sophisticated in their cruelty, and the victims get more and more violent in their reaction to it.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • rlj

      Yes, "Kids were bullied for centuries" – but now they can easily get a gun.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  6. James B

    hilo, hawaii – Most states have laws making irresponsible gun owners culpable for leaving guns out where kids get at them. My home state of VA is really pro gun and we have a minimum 1 year sentence for that crime as well as civil litigation.

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

    I'm tired of everyone blaming the school. I am a teacher in an urban school district. We have security as well as members of the local police force at our school every day. We do not have metal detectors and students are not subject to searches when they come to school, and yes, they are permitted to carry bags. DO NOT BLAME THE SCHOOL, THE TEACHERS, THE STAFF, OR THE DISTRICT FOR THIS INCIDENT. This incident was the act of a student who clearly has some sort of problem and dealt with it in a way, unfortunately, that he thought was the best. Obviously, as a society, we know that violence is never the best way to solve a problem. However, to ask what the school should have done is absurd. There are reports that this student put up things on social media networks that alerted to those who saw that something was very wrong. How come no one decided to call the police to check up on him on Sunday, when the alleged postings on social media sites occurred? If the student had given a warning like that, during non-school hours, is it really the schools fault?

    I've been following the coverage of this all day, and by all accounts it seems that the school and the district reacted to the situation in a quick and decisive manner. They were able to lockdown the situation and get the rest of the students to the safety of their parents in a relative quick and calm manner.

    In the coming days and weeks I'm sure we will find out why this happened. However, to blame the school or to ask what they did wrong is inconceivable to me. They did nothing wrong. They did their job when the situation occurred.

    My thoughts and prayers go out to the community, the victims, and their families. I hope that as the days and weeks go by, they continue to heal from their pain and move on in their lives.

    February 27, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • JK

      Reactive yes, proactive – probably not. Hopefully more light is shed on what surrounded this outcome.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • James M.

      Well said. I am tired as well that teachers bear the brunt of the criticism when ever anything goes wrong in a school. The school cannot control everything especially when you several hundred or thousand students going through a very difficult period in life. I am glad that the school acted accordingly to prevent more violence and protect the students. It is sad that a child has died and we want to blame someone but we need to put the blame were it belongs. Not on the teachers, the school, the district, the parents, or the media but the person who actually committed the crime because it was their actions that caused this tragedy.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michele

      Schools can certainly play a role in prohibiting it. here are two examples:

      1) Ride the school bus a few days and you'll see what an atrocious experience that is for some kids! The bullies stand out like a sore thumb and should be banned from the school bus if they can't stop their abusive behavior.
      2) Don't just watch the kids at recess or talk with the other teachers, actually listen in on conversations and you'll be able to experience first hand what some kids are really saying to one another. These bullies should be banned from recess if they can't act appropriately.

      I agree, the challenge is worse when the parents too are bullies, but maybe you can help the ones being bullied get a few hours of relief from the daily abuse!

      February 27, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  8. hilo, hawaii

    Once again, who is the lawful, adult owner of the weapon used in this mass shooting, and will there be charges pressed for negligence?

    You'd think think the pro-gun set (I am a lawful owner too.) would support this common sense approach to negligent owners -if only to protect their own interests.

    February 27, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • xeno

      I was wondering about that, too. The pro gun people always seem to go into defensive mode when something like this happens. I see someone posted that there are sentences for irresponsible access, but it would seem the offensive from the NRA and others would be MUCH stricter penalties. Almost all gun owners I know are meticulously responsible as it is, so it would only effect the bad seeds anyway.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Charlie

    How come all of these shootings happen in or near CITIES. Cities are bad for your health.

    February 27, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Shamick Gaworski

    Tragedy!!! You raise your kids for so many years, you love them ... and then one day they won't come back from school because of some idiotic kid

    February 27, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michele

      I'm sure that's what this shooter's parents/guardians are saying too.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  11. ILL WILL

    OMG! The SKY IS Falling. It's in breaking news

    February 27, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  12. newaddict

    Every time the media makes one of these kids famous, it just invites and entices the next one.

    February 27, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  13. topfuel500

    My heart and prayers go out to the families of the kids who didn't deserve this, I just want the one family to know I truly am sorry for their loss. Situations like this are hard to explain much less understand, use your family and friends for support, they are there for you as are some of us who don't even know you but have dealt with such loss in the past.

    February 27, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jerome Horowitz

    I can't believe they run commercials before the video reports. Blood money.....

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

      i know...and we already have to pay for cable.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Michelle

    @Liza – I believe you are misinformed. In the last 15 years, all of the school shootings in our country have been carried out by white students. Even Virginia Tech was carried out by a man of Asian descent. I don't think "taking our country back" is really what needs to happen here.

    As per the school resource officer comments, I don't see how having one or not having one would have mattered in this situation. The student was in the cafeteria prior to the shooting, was calm and collected and showed no signs of any act of violence until he stood up and opened fire. Even if the resource officer was on campus, it's likely he/she would have been in a different area of the school and would have arrived after the incident. Even if the resource officer would have been in the cafeteria, he/she wouldn't have reacted until after initial shots were fired. This is not a time to point fingers at anyone other than the student who committed this horrible crime.

    February 27, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Randomquips

      All were white. One was even Asian? You do realize Asian's aren't white, right?

      February 27, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • FOBResponse

      take back our country – you must be a Native American, because they are the only ones who can say this WAS their country before others came. Now go back to work at your shift at McDonalds and stop talking nonsense.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
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