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.

FULL STORY
soundoff (2,226 Responses)
  1. Jen

    I am a gun advocate....The gun did not kill the boy did....It is a mental state not a weapon making a choice....Even if you took all the guns away from the good people then the bad would still get them and use them....I can have 20 if I want and I still won't use them to harm someone....So get really....The boy told people so it could have been stopped before it started...

    February 27, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • hilo, hawaii

      OK, Jen -when we start having mass garrottings, we can revisit that piano-wire issue.

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

      So what part of your comment changes the fact a gun was used here? If the gunman had no access to a gun, it wouldn't have been used. Can't think of a better argument for gun control than that.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • beckyc444

      But a gun does help... I mean if he walked into the room just shouting "Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang!" and point his finger at people it really isn't all that effective. And yes anyone can use anything as a weapon; however, have you stabbed into flesh before? I bet it's not as easy as they make it look in the movies. Guns make it easy. Walk in shoot and leave. Done deal. Why do you think hunters use guns instead of spears or throwing knives?

      February 27, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • anti-gun

      %

      February 27, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Pope

      Every gun in America that kills an innocent started out as a legal gun owned by someone like you. Your 20 guns will kill and it's your fault. Guns don't kill, people like you do.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • The REAL Truth...

      Jen – this NRA propaganda to distance the gun from the shooter is so old and passe, it's laughable. Sure guns kill people. Oh wait! No... make that the disintegrating BULLET, FIRED from the gun, RIPPING a HOLE thru the targets body is actually the culprit. So it's NOT the gun that kills people, but the bullet ??
      Have you ever tried to kill anyone with a 2×4? It REALLY TOUGH to do – standing right in front of them in the school cafeteria. Much harder than point and shoot. Not terribly effective, but readily available at most DIY stores.

      To say that if we remove the guns the only people that will have them will be the bad guys is ludicrous also. It's partially correct, but since we have an over-abundance of easy accessible guns of all kinds its sort of a moot argument. Remove the guns and the illegal availability of guns will decline. We're not in the 1800's any more Jen. We don't need guns in a well regulated militia (you know, that 2nd part of the 2nd Amendment that the pro-gun lobby ignores) – we have the Military, the Reserves and a whole host other options now.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • James B

      Why do so many people ignore the fact the Iceland and Switzerland have huge gun ownership and rank lowest for violence? It is not the gun it is society. Until we fix the social issues that lead to violence nothing will change.

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

      Nobody, NOBODY, would have a problem with completing banning guns if you could show that doing so would eliminate murder. But you can't. Go around the world and study country by country, or around the us city by city, and there is simply no CLEAR correlation between gun control and reduced crime. There isn't even a correlation between the number of guns in an American city and crime compared to the SAME city ten years later. There are real problems that need to be solved, and pretending that "ban guns" is an answer is just not serving anybody. We have to address the real societal issues that make people capable of these kinds of things before we start taking away other people's right to defend themselves.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • timmy

      "And yes anyone can use anything as a weapon; however, have you stabbed into flesh before"

      Have you ever cut steak or chicken? its not much different

      February 27, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Puhleez

    This is one of those teachable moments . All the crazies will show up, talkin their crazy talk. Pro gun, anti gun, pro bully, anti bully, good parents, bad parents, etc.,etc.,etc. Then,after a week or so, the truth will come out. The shooter likely announced his intentions,as usual in these scenarios,and nobody took him seriously. Kids, if one of your peers threatens to bring a gun to school, REPORT THEM! It is the only way to stop these events from happening.

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

      Ok....

      February 27, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • gah

      yes, in one of the article posts it said he threatened to bring a gun via twitter. parents, teachers, friends, students all need to learn that saying something like that is NOT a joke! even if they are not being serious, they need to be taken serious and acted on – i'd rather one kid who was just being dumb spend the night at the police station getting scared straight than another young child lose their life when it could have possibly been prevented

      February 27, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mad Rocket Scientist

      Reports I have heard, the kid was an outcast and bullied. One of the students shot started dating the kid's girlfriend, likely he felt the bullies were destroying his life. From a broken family. The parents of the bullies will (and already are) denying their kids picked on the kid. Students in the school say they did. When one feels hopeless, even if you appear to be a quite and nice kid, if you are bullied and feel there is no way out... Society needs to watch out. I do not condone the violence, nor excuse it. Neither do I condone nor accept the bullying. I was bullied terribly thru grade school and way into high school My son (a nerd) was bullied, even by his two step sons and his sister. He learned how to turn that around in laughter, yet I know it still hurt. Bullying can not be completely stopped, but it must be recognized, the bulliers must be identified, and the situation resolved to the best that society can... Drugs are not the answer. Changing schools is not the answer. Removing the guns is not the answer, they will find another way to equalize their problems. Let's work to solve the problems, not skirt around the real focus...

      February 27, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mad Rocket Scientist

      Typo... Step brothers, not step sons...

      February 27, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  3. CONCERNED PARENT

    Every school across the nation should have a mandatory assembly first period tomorrow and show the face of the child that was killed and the face of the gunman. I am sure they look no different than the children that are sitting next to your children every day. Our children need to be more aware of what is being said in chatrooms and offered ways of offering up information.

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

      While I agree with your statement and understand your concern-half of the God-less little trolls would just laugh at the murdered child.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Me

    I bet they'll stop bullying now.

    February 27, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • James B

      How do you know this has to do with bullies?

      February 27, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • bob

      this is obviously a case of the kid who couldn't fight back fighting back. What other explanation is there? Calling the shooter a sick individual implies that no one could feel like they have a legitimate reason to shoot someone, but if you are backed into a corner what other way out is there?

      February 27, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jane

    kids have to stop bullying other kids....... my nephew is one who is bullied by other kids. i dont blame the person who was bullied

    February 27, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • mullahfullahbullah

      It is his fault. It is also the fault of the kids that were bullies and the parents of those bullies and the shooter. This probably could have been resolved without killing someone. Many of us were bullied as kids. I thought of killing them in passing but would never act upon it. Having a gun at easy access made the killing that much easier. It also could be the shooter was just insane.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • nonsense

      This is not a result of bullied kids. This is a result of bad parenting. Bullied kids to not do this!!! This is a result of a sadist and a sociopath acting out on a fantasy. You could say they're a bully trapped behind a wall of morality, everyday building up until they climb over and do something drastic. Bullying will never go away. For the most part, it's a healthy course of nature. If anything, parents need to talk to their kids and get in their heads. Learn what your child is thinking and never take anything for granted or you could be talking to them behind a glass wall or worse, a coffin.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • testy

      Not a result of bullied kids. Bullied kids to not do this!!! This is a result of a sadist and a sociopath acting out on a fantasy. You could say they're a bully trapped behind a wall of morality, everyday building up until they climb over and do something drastic. Bullying will never go away. For the most part, it's a healthy course of nature. If anything, parents need to talk to their kids and get in their heads. Learn what your child is thinking and never take anything for granted or you could be talking to them behind a glass wall or worse, a coffin.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • mullahfullahbullah

      @nonsense – do you really think bullying is a HEALTHY course of nature? Your moniker fits your opinion.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
  6. TA

    why do they lockdown ? That is stupid, I always told my kids to throw anything threw the window and get the hell out of there, do not stay in the school with the ass with the gun!!!!

    February 27, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  7. me

    maybe if you parents would actually teach your children to not be bullies, they won't be attacked at school. maybe the kid deserved it.

    February 27, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  8. john

    Cut the crap guys we are all Americans Black or White

    February 27, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Amanda

    I would like to point out to our illustrious governor who tried taking away teachers' rights to be a part of a union and bargain that one put their life on the line today for their students....but you're right, just a bunch of union bullies.
    I pray for that family and the school to recover from their lost classmate.

    February 27, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • cyn507

      keep your political agenda out of the discussion. A kid died.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jack Myhogoff

      Are you saying that you need to be in a union to be a hero? A few million troops would probably disagree with you.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  10. bob

    Maybe find out what those other kids did to this kid to make him think shooting them was the only way out. I bet it's a little more severe than just name-calling.

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

    Maybe its time for Americans to once again look over their stupid gun laws

    February 27, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Abby

      Like the law that prohibits citizens from taking firearms onto school property? Oh wait, you mean that law already exists? Wow!

      There always have been and always will be crazy people. There are millions of high school students that DO NOT shoot people. There are millions of gun owners that DO NOT shoot people.

      It's scary that people are so willing to have their rights taken away because of a tragic rare event. Let's take away all the cars, alcohol, prescription drugs, spray paint, knives, etc. After all, those things can be abused/misused and cause harm/death to people as well.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • dave836

      Ya, because having gun prohibition in a country where 50% of the people who already have guns is a really smart idea.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Renee

    Comments all over the place, conclusions have been drawn that the parent(s) of this kid supplied him with the gun. I don't see that anyway in this blog. Comments all over the place about gun control, politics, bad parenting, grammar, etc...at the end of the day, a child is dead, another child has serious mental issues, and a family is grieving. The rest is just the jibberish of people from all walks of life without a clue as to what really happened, or why.

    February 27, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Terry in Florida

    This smacks of bullying and revenge. Oh I'm sure 'he was a nice kid' and all for the media, but I'd stake that students who knew them knew better. They always know better. There's just this unwritten rule that no one talks about it. That's the way it was in the 80s, I was held hostage at school by another student once.

    No one talked about it after. Not even me.

    February 27, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  14. citizen

    Has Obama apologized to the shooter for the victims forcing his to shoot them?

    February 27, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Other Citizen

      Shut the Fu@# Up !!!

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

      Kool-Aid Summit coming soon.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • The REAL Truth...

      LOL – I'm REALLY surprised that it took about 1600 comments posted before someone made this political and tried to blame it on something Obama did.. or didn't.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Kamil Zawadzki

    Reblogged this on Outspoken and commented:
    More lives senselessly lost or endangered, and again in a place where you should be safe to pursue your education... What the hell?!

    February 27, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
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