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. Me

    You better watch your back if you are going to be a bully..

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

    A teacher chased an armed murderer out of the building:
    Keep this in mind the next time you hear somebody ragging teachers or teacher unions.
    They have to put up with all of the problems parents cause or ignore and they do it every day.

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

    Well here we go again..
    Social media sites are causing a lot of this.. And I bet it will go right back to one of those..
    I tried facebook for awhile.. And even at my age, I realized a couple people were stirring things up within the "friends" I had.. Who were "friends" with people I did not have..
    Little back stabbing remarks..
    Even at my age, I got upset.. then I decided, this is like communicating with people you hoped to never hear from or see again.~! 'Because' they were never really nice or accepting of you..And realized OF COURSE this is upsetting.. And the only way to ignore it was to get off facebook and stay off~!
    Kids are tied to social media sites, in the way they were only socializing at school years ago.. They had a safe place when they left school.. could build a different world where they were accepted outside school..
    NOT anymore.. Now their whole lives can be stirred up and hurt feelings,a sense of being outside and anger can be stirred up 24-7..
    And it is..
    I totally believe these kids are provoked, and without a safe place they can feel important, or safe from it.. Some are emotionally tortured until they do something like this..
    Even if its an over reaction to some minor comment.. social media sites can cause a LOT of hurt feelings. And those that know it and use it for that.. Need to STOP IT>~!
    Think before you say anything that could make anyone feel hurt, rejected or angry...And never do it on purpose...
    NEVER..

    February 27, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • The REAL Truth...

      Totally correct! That is why I will not EVER have FB or Twit accts... who really cares that you just got out of bed! Certainly not I.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Wanderer

    One student is too young to die and the other one is too young to be a criminal now. I am sorry for both. Should I blame on God, Satan, society, gun inventor and gun-business, the right to bear arm, people, parents, or the students? This kind of strategy will never end, I am afraid.

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

      Sorry, but NO you are not correct that out right to bar arms is the problem here.. It is the mind of the person who picks up a gun to shoot any innocent person ...
      Guns have always been a way to protect many.. And they protect far more than they harm.
      Every time this happens some people start crying about our "right to bear arms" and I have a right to protect myself and will always see a gun as that..
      It is the truth that if guns were out lawed only outlaws would have guns.. All you have to do is look at what goes on all around us with crime.. And criminals.. They get guns.. They will always get guns..
      it is people who need to protect themselves from them that wont have them..
      Then you will find there truly is no safe place.. Not even inside your home...
      Scary.. and people should never call to outlaw guns.. Just punish the criminals appropriately~!! That might do a lot more good than getting rid of everyones protection..~!

      February 27, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
  5. JD

    So once again the idea of burrying our heads in the sand and thinking gun free zones work has claimed another life. . . When will we start working on the real issues and stop blaiming the tool? This kid obviously needed help, didn't get it and now killed someone. . . our system is broken and no one will take a real look at it. Can't wait for the gun control BS to start like that would have done anything. . . He is too young to have a gun and they are illegal at school. . . Ya that law worked out well. . .

    February 27, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • C.Sherwood

      Sigh . Another gun nut sounds off.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Yeah, the anti-gun freaks would somehow like a ban of all firearms in the whole country. The ATF themselves acknowledge that it's virtually impossible to recover even a worthy PERCENT of the firearms in America. They'd never get criminals to turn in illegal firearms, obviously. Then they know even innocent law-abiding American's would lie about their guns and keep them. I'd rather go to jail for having my gun still, then give it up and be killed one day. The only way they'd know you have it is after you use it to protect yourself. So these anti-2A losers want the innocent to be unarmed. Despite the fact that guns are used in justified SELF DEFENSE TENS OF THOUSANDS of times per YEAR, they'd rather the 30 people who die a year be saved. The gun ban would keep the guns from innocent families where the kid snaps, or dad snaps in the work place. How many murders come from legit legal gun-owners a year? Less than 1%. So, save a few people and give up the THOUSANDS of lives saved from owning legal firearms? Smart -___- not

      February 27, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • dumbdemo

      You are 100% correct.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • CS

      Children die and all the gun nuts can do is circle the wagons. How sad.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Here's the problem ...

      "burrying?" "blaiming?"

      Dude, get some schoolin'.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Here's the problem ...

      @Mike:

      Canada has far more gun owners per capita, so I do not think it is access to guns that is the issue.

      It is the lack of Americans' ability to resolve differences peacefully.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Exactly! It's not the guns, it's the people. This kid was probably bullied and picked on, he had specific targets they said. If that's true, it's the parents fault on BOTH sides. If this kid was getting bullied, then the victims and the attacker are BOTH at fault, along with the parents not seeing the problem in the one who snapped and those not raising their child better than to belittle others.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Common Sense

    I don't want to be disrespectful to any of you, but this is becoming pathetic. Look, there are several things that contribute to a student being pushed to this. Bullying is one. Family situation is another. Socioeconomic status comes into play. Psychology plays a huge part. Biology has it's influence (real biology, not racism). The teachers' and school administrations' reactions to bullying often can lead to such things. The influence of gun control plays a debatable role. There are a lot of factors at play here, and it is wrong to assert that any one caused this. There's a time and a place for discussions on race, gun control, and whatever else. This is not the right place. A student DIED today. Find another medium to talk about your beliefs. Blog, write an editorial, whatever. Just show some respect for the victims and their friends and families. After all, it could very well be that one of them may read your comments. Instead of flaming each other, try making a better use of your time and energy by offering thoughts and/or prayers to everyone involved in this tragedy.

    February 27, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • dfergenson

      Everyone wants to figure out what caused this to happen. It's an understandable first step to attempting to prevent it from recurring. But here's an alternative action that everyone reading this can take in their own personal lives. Everyone knows someone who is resentful and marginalized. KINDNESS WORKS BEST AT THE LEVEL OF THE INDIVIDUAL. Seek out a person in your own life who needs your kindness and share it with them. It will be impossible to know if you will have prevented a tragedy such as this from occurring but it's better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.

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

      I don't know that CNN would let me post a link here, and I doubt it, but go read The Onion's op-ed on the Giffords shooting. The one that mocks our "let's learn a lesson from this" approach that leads to no one learning anything at all and just doing it all over again the next time.

      Honestly, there's no point trying to hash out the reasons. The shooter's alive in this case, so maybe he'll share. Either way, it won't achieve a thing. At most, we'll all collectively shake our heads and say, "Wow, we really need to do something about [insert common adolescent problem here] so this doesn't happen again" and go back to our lives, having utterly forgotten it. At least we're consistent, though, you've got to give us all that.

      "Those who don't learn from the past are something, something," to roughly quote one of those animated shows.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Here's the problem ...

      @dfergenson

      Great post. American men will not heed this because it is not manly.

      To them I say try holding your brother as he dies in your arms and see how manly you feel.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Nunya

    I blame the parents. I used to get bullied and picked on a bit when I was a kid. I didn't go running home and writing down names in a little black book. I got over it, learned to ignore them and eventually everyone started getting sick of the other kids. Kids these days don't want to take personal responsibility for anything and neither do their parents. You know what else I blame? All these emo vampire teen movies.

    February 27, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Here's the problem ...

      "I blame the parents"
      "Kids these days don't want to take personal responsibility for anything"

      Huh?

      Loser.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Tim

    Bullying is no escuse for murder. He should of dealt with his problems like a man, not killed people. I hope he gets life without parole. I also tracked down his Facebook profile for anyone interested: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002040079941&sk=wall

    February 27, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Here's the problem ...

      He "tracked" it down.

      What a loser you are.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  9. NASCAR RACE Starting soon...who cares about this kid.

    I dont really care about any of these kids. I just want to watch nascar racing and drink my beer with cheese. Please just remove this negative news story because I dont want to hear about this crap anymore.

    February 27, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • ObamaFlop

      Make sure it's spray cheese dope!

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

      how about I give your dad the two finger mexican oil change? oh and your dad is a nig have a good day!

      February 27, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thinking7

      Do you care about the 5 kids that got shot (one dead) now? You are so selfish and shallow.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ann

      Cheese *is* good.

      People who can't spot trolls are new to the internet.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Here's the problem ...

      ObamaFlop thinks this is a real post.

      Yes, he is a tool.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  10. M.J. Laughlin

    You have to wonder what happened to the young man that he would target the group he specifically did. Was he bullied? Not saying that shooting is an answer for bullying, but having grown up with it over the years, the damage to a teens psych is much deeper than could be imagined. Now what really ticks me off – is here is another example of a child with access to a gun – why can't we start by doing something aboout that too?

    February 27, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
  11. ObamaFlop

    Of course there is no Correlation between removing God and Prayer from school and the behavior of kids today right!!!

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

      and when it comes out that he was christian, what are you going to say then? Religion has nothing to do with morals. If it did, we still would have slaves and be allowed to beat women and children.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • ape

      not sure, but if even if there is a correlation between removing prayer in school and kids' behavior today correlation =/= causation

      February 27, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • ObamaFlop

      Timmy.......nice way to dodge the real issue. You know exactly what I'm saying and you part of the problem.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Here's the problem ...

      "Timmy.......nice way to dodge the real issue."

      I only see YOU dodging the issue. Of course, with a screen name like yours, I do not expect anything of substance.

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

      Here's the problem. No substance from any of your comments. I bet you sit there and giggle at yourself.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • ObamaFlop

      Timmy........I wasn't referring to the Muslim Faith.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Here's the problem ...

      "I bet you sit there and giggle at yourself."

      No, I laugh at you and yours.

      It keeps me as warm and happy as a teabagger in an altar boy's dressing room.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • timmy

      LOL if you want to teach your children its ok to ra....pe, be..at, and ki...ll women and children, promote slavery, and di..scrim....inate against other people, keep them in private school. I will not tell you what you should teach your children. But just know that people can be completely moral without the bible or silly dogmatic religions, just as people who are completely religious can be immoral (errr, in the case of priests maybe they think they are being moral because the bible condones r...ape). Point is, religion has nothing to do with this.

      And way to bring up the Muslim faith on a topic that has nothing to do with it, purportedly assuming I am Muslim. It shows your severe lack of mental capacity and frankly you belong brainwashed on a pew.

      February 27, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Nonsense

    This is 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 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave W

      Bullying "is a healthy course of nature" ???? Did you really just type that? Are you out of your friggin mind?

      February 27, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  13. a 19 year old student

    IF people want to play the race card, think of this idiots. Most gang bangers? are minority. So while you complain that a white kid shot up this school, others can complain that the minorities are selling and transporting drugs to your kids. Race has nothing to do with any of this. You're all just being chlidish by bothering to ask the race. A bullet is a bullet, and a death is a death. These kids weren't killed because of their race. If anything, we should kill you idiots for being stupid
    -_-

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

      I like that!

      February 27, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Renee

    Someone stated early in these posts that the deadliest school killing was not at the hand of a gunman, and others who were disbelieving wanted to know the means by which it did happen...look up the 1927 Bath, Michigan School Massacre. That would be the one where an adult set off a series of explosions at an elementary school killing 48 children and adults, and injuring another 58 people. all this because his farm was in foreclosure. Gun control or not, if a person wants someone dead they will find a way. My heart goes out to the families of the injured and most certainly the deceased.

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

    sounds like a big case of bullying gone bad

    February 27, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Here's the problem ...

      You dont know what happened.

      It could have been just a sick kid. It could have been bad grades and dominating parents, it could be PUPPY LOVE gone wrong.

      You speculating helps NOTHING.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
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