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.

iReport: Are you there? Let us know but please stay safe.

[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. David

    Even during the apparent "rash" of school shootings around the time of Columbine, Pearl, etc., the fact is that school violence and shootings were on a decline then, and have continued to decline, compared to prior years. The difference in awareness is due to the "media age" where more people are plugged in and the business of media hype, but it doesn't mean that it's more prolific than it used to be. It's certainly not to blame on the "lax gun laws" which are far more tight today than they were 30-40 years ago.

    February 27, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Michele

    I can only imagine the emotional hell this kid has been through over the years. He probably finally got back at the bullies who ruined his self-esteem years ago. Sticks and stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me. Yeah right, that went out in the 70s. So, if you're out there name calling, maybe you ought to be watching over your lunchtable for that "stone". Stop the name calling!!!

    February 27, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
  3. CC

    Ok, can some one who is advocating guns for self defense educate me why you need more than ONE GUN in your life time to protect yourself, assuming that you can do so?

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

      Guns are a right, you do not need a reason for owning one.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rbnlegnd

      I have much more in my life than the bare minimum that I need. I understand that we can't control people, so you feel safer by trying to control what people own, but, it doesn't work that way. It was already illegal for this kid to own even one gun, illegal for him to carry that gun concealed, illegal for him to take it to school, illegal for him to own the bullets, illegal for him to point it at a person, illegal for him to hold it in a threatening manner, illegal for him to shoot it, illegal for him to shoot it at a person, and illegal for him to kill a person. How would restricting a law abiding adult to owning a single gun have changed his behavior today?

      February 27, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Been there

      My wife and I were approached by two men this weekend trying to get money from us. As we were walking away they started following us. I pulled my gun and they turned around. I didn't aim my gun at them nor did I say anything to them. They saw the gun and left. Did it make me feel good to pull my gun? No. Did it make me feel more like a man? No. Would I do it again? Yes.

      I do respect ant-gun people. So if I ever see you in trouble and needing immediate assistance I will respect your view point and not use my gun to protect you.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Luke

      Different situations, different guns. I concealed carry a small 9mm because it is light and easy to conceal. I would never use that gun in my home. There I use a 12 gauge shotgun because the shot is less likely to go through a wall and kill or hurt someone I don't want to kill or hurt. I use a .22 semiautomatic to practice on the range because .22 rounds are cheap. I use a .30-.30 to hunt deer because I want to kill the animal humanely with one shot. I carry a .44 magnum revolver when I hike because I want something heavy for wildlife issues and concealment isn't a concern. Different tools for different jobs.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Coy Swint


    February 27, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  5. A.A

    Oh my gosh my Condolences to the Victims and their Families.

    February 27, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  6. destani swan

    it's sad but it is very true the media dosen't lie...

    February 27, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "On The Lunatic Fringe"

    This is a very tradgic event to happen here in Ohio this morning. I cannot believe half the things I'm reading as to reactions from some of these bloggers, on here, running thier mouths. Don't ever think "your" neighborhood "is" immune from something like this.
    Please say a prayer for these kids instead of expressing your hate for the world.

    February 27, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Whazupman

      You hit the nail on the head.......

      February 27, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mark in NJ

    Perhaps the NRA can send one of its political lobbyist to the family of the murdered student to expalin "guns don't kill people." We need to tighten gun control laws in this country – not long ago a daugther of a pastor was shot in her father's church because some idiot felt a need to "legally" carry a concealed weapon with a round in the chamber to church – and then "show it off!"

    btw: An "unarmed" teacher chased the murderer out of the school before he could shoot more students.

    February 27, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • James B

      Nonsense logic; the NRA support keeping guns from kids and strong sentences for people who illegally sell guns or are irresponsible with them.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      @Mark in NJ: If you don't like guns move to the UK. You know, where guns aren't allowed, but the crime rate is still incredibly high. If you are unwilling to move please do me the favor of putting a sign in the yard that states "I do not believe in the Second Amendment and do not own any guns." One last thing Mark if you are so worried about everyone's safety to state that guns should be banned. I bet you are still driving a car? Cars kill more people than guns, so ban cars first!! BTW doesn't your state have strict gun laws? Do you feel safe in Newark?

      February 27, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Whazupman

    It's getting more and more obvious that there needs to be a mental evaluator or psychologist handy in these schools during these tough and challenging times we live in. Someone who could hand down training to the teaching staff and administators and guide everyone who enters the doors of these schools. Instead of blaming everyone we can think of lets just come up with a solution.

    February 27, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Me

    Sincere heartfelt sympathy to all those touched by this tragedy.

    February 27, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • hilo, hawaii

      The most decent, non-agenda post so far.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Cindy

    Kid on kid crime is not cool.

    February 27, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Valene

    Yeah, it is usually the white kid that does these random shootings, but it's usually black kids in gangs killing far more, e-ver-y day! So, all you ignorant racists need to shut the heck up!

    February 27, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Coy Swint

      Oh, that poor gunner, I'm sure he's a great kid. He's never been in trouble before and he's so bright! He probably was just having a bad week or maybe his medication caused this suprising behavior:)

      February 27, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  13. sapo mal

    white people. .... SMH

    February 27, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  14. timmy

    dont worry, there is bound to be a story on a black gang banger killing innocent people on the street during a drive by after picking up his 8-ball and crackrocks soon. Actually, happens EVERYDAY in my city.

    February 27, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  15. LibraGirl

    Really?! A child lost his life and all you idiots can think about is race?! LOSERS!!!

    February 27, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • David

      Well the Daytona 500 is supposed to be today now so.....

      February 27, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      People, including men women and children, die every minute, so should we not talk or enjoy anything? It's a part of life. Sometime after this post, within the next minutes, a child somewhere is going to die. Face it, stop being a brat.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Regina

      this isnt about race. we cannot pin everything on race. Thats just not right. Whether the kid has problems or not, he did something wrong. He could very well be a nice kid... but he also tried to take lives and successfully did so with one. Let the courts deal with him. They dont look at nice. they look at the facts. So lets keep race out of it and have pity for that poor soul that died just for going to school today.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
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