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. ProperVillain

    See? Gins don't kill people! Oh, wait, turns out he used a gun...and it killed someone. I think things may have been more complicated had he only access to a knife. You know, like in most other civilized countries. Ridiculous that guns are that easily obtained by anyone. Has the wacko right wing gun toters posted yet?

    February 27, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • The REAL Truth...

      you are about 1500+ comments late with that one.

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

      ya, the Dbag posted just below here.

      ...in the gutter where he belongs.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • timmy

      "I think things may have been more complicated had he only access to a knife."

      1) Grab knife from kitchen
      2) Stab repeatedly

      How complicated is that?

      February 27, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  2. banasy©

    My heartfelt sympathy to the family of the student who passed, and my well wishes for the injured to recover quickly.
    My well wishes also,are extended to the community in which they all lived.
    I'm so verry sorry; this is dreadful.

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

    some D-bag will still argue against gun control

    February 27, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Here's the problem ...

      ... there is always some Dbag to defend the need for guns.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      There's always some d-bag that lives in a fantasy world, where they ignore the statistical FACTS of their own F.B.I that reports nearly 10 million violent crimes a year in the United States, or that they also show 1 in under 50 Americans will be a victim of a violent crime. So, take the guns away from innocent people who abide the law? If you ban guns, you need to ban kitchen knives and baseball bat, because thousands are killed with those each year as well. It's not the tool, it's the person.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Here's the problem ...

      "It's not the tool, it's the person"

      Right so by your own admission, some people should not have access to weapons. Since we cannot tell who these people are, to be sure, we should get rid of them.

      Id rather someone come at me with a bat versus a gun.

      February 27, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Ann

    I always find it interesting when someone says, "Wow, I never thought something like that could happen here. It's a nice neighborhood." Have we not all learned that that's exactly where these incidents occur? It's funny, really, because parents are so pleased that their kids are going to school in the safe suburbs and not the "dangerous inner city." And there's no question that there's danger in the city schools. But the suburban schools aren't immune at all, as we see over and over. It just takes a different form.

    It's interesting that this shooter was caught...they usually try and shoot themselves. I'm also amazed the family has a statement this early, even if it's the usual boilerplate.

    February 27, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • denise10

      Thank you. My sentiments exactly.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Joey Isotta-Fraschini©™

    I continue to try to understand the thinking of these students who shoot others at school.
    When I was in high school during the 1950s, none of us in my school, and almost no high-school student in the country, could have imagined even carrying a gun into a school building for any purpose, although many of my friends hunted in the woods frequently, and we all knew how to load and fire a gun for hunting. Using a weapon against a human being was unthinkable to us.
    The thinking of young people in the USA has changed completely.
    Why?

    February 27, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Duane

      I wondered that too, although my time in high school was the late 80's we would have never thought to bring a weapon to school. If we had a need to fight, it was one on one off school grounds somewhere and usually after the fight the two became friends. We didn't think there was anything that needed a reason to take someone's life.
      I would be interested in hearing from those who have been out of school just in the past few years, why the need to bring a weapon now?

      February 27, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • sluggo

      That is a very complicated question and answer.....but I bet there is an app for that.....

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

      I was mid-80's. Everyone I knew owned guns. Heck, several of my friends kept them in their cars during the day so they could go target shoot after school. Never once did anyone even think about shooting someone. It was out of the realm of reality as randomly running over pedestrians. It just wouldn't happen. Something has changed, and it isn't the number of guns. We need to stop the anti-gun rhetoric and figure out what the heck happened in our society, our parenting, our schooling, or our kids minds to make this start happening.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • jameswestad

      WHY ? one word 1-VIDEOGAME

      February 27, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jj

      its the deteriorating family values in this country that's destroying us.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cesar The Chorizo Chimp Of Chihuahua

      There was always ol' Charlie Starkweather and his gal pal Caril Fugate in the 50's. The harbingers of mad killer youths!

      February 27, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Common Sense

      Honestly that's far too complicated for anyone to answer and get it completely right. I don't think that it's that kids these days are any different than those of any other generation. I think what the greatest cause is the environment and society that kids grow up in these days. From more graphic and violent than ever movies and video games to popular music seemingly condoning violence to abusive singers appearing at the Grammys, kids today are more and more exposed to the idea that violence is acceptable especially if they've exhausted the other options they're aware of. And this societal problem is not only to blame on pop culture.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rae

      To the commentor who mentioned video games are the factor in this tragedy, I strongly disagree, it is the lack of good quality parenting these days that results in this. The news article even quotes a witness who mentioned that the shooter came from a broken home. Not to mention the gun culture in America these days, where we are commonly exposed to the mantra that we can solve all our problems with a gun and the right to bear arms. Guns are being viewed more and more as a weapon of protection and problem solving, rather than a tool for hunting wild game and recreational (safe) shooting. Lastly, and this is purely my opinion, I feel that the precedent was set back in the Columbine high school shooting which got so much national and international press. As a result, it wasn't such an "un-thinkable" act anymore, and soon enough any student going through a tough emotional situation was seeing this as a final solution.

      February 27, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Wanderer

    Correction: One student is too young to die and the other one is too young to be a criminal now. I feel 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 tragedy will never end, I am afraid!

    February 27, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • The REAL Truth...

      and you have posted the same thing how many times now ?

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

      Thank you for reading my comment but they are not the same, read them again.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Terry

      The root cause of most high school violence is bullying. When school boards, school administrators, and parents face the facts that are clearly seen by the students, these events will shrink with time. Bullying starts in elementary school, grows during middle school, and eventually turns out like the events of today, if bullying was involved. While I do not accept the use of a gun to solve this student's problem, I am guessing that he was pushed to the end of the rope. I look forward to the release of school records regarding the bullying history of those shot, if this was a case of bullying.

      February 27, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  7. high hopes

    One word: SAD

    February 27, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Terry

    When the records are reviewed, and trust me, there are records, we will learn more about the bullying at this school. School systems that have addressed the issue of bullying are far less likely to have this type of event.

    February 27, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  9. MR. I dont give a damn

    I like Mcdonalds happy meals. But lets talk about the awards show from last night.

    February 27, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Thinking7

    Violent movies, violent media, kids with issues that their parents can't or won't deal with, sad family situations. This world is a total mess. If we don't start caring more about not just our own children but other children as well, we are in for more of the same. Very sad. Hugs to those families who were affected.

    February 27, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Andrew

    open and shut case, put a bullet in his head and be done with it.

    February 27, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  12. IHopper

    The NRA and its lobbying arm (which is all it really is...) is largely responsible for this and other pistol shootings. No one NEEDS a pistol, but baby, are they easy to get...

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

      Yeah, it is clearly the guns. Everybody knows that every gun owner shoots somebody sooner or later, often lots of somebodies. It is as inevitable as the sun rising tomorrow. Those guns will darn near shoot people themselves. Its definitely the guns that cause it.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aaron

      Really? You have to be 21 to buy a pistol. These kids got them, and carried them illegally. Banning pistols won't make them disappear.

      Don't blame the guns, blame the parents. Beat your kids, it's not going to kill them and it will teach them to obey.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • timmy

      lol ok so I take it you have never been a victim of an armed home invasion? Guns saved my life and my property. There are uses for them if put in the correct hands. Sad thing is there are so many guns out there, criminals have an easier time accessing them than law abiding citizens.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • whta

      Really? The NRA has been around since after the civil war.... school shootings never happened until society started giving kids excuses for violent behavior, like depression, and than this happened. So before you go blaming people who lawfully and peacefully use guns to recreate, look further, there is really more to it than the NRA. It is called, I believe, society.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • b

      No one NEEDS a pistol ... until you wake up at night and encounter a burglar in your house with a gun, then you may NEED something more than your anti-NRA magazine subscriptions

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

      Looks like another win for the "gun free zone...Oh wait, never mind

      February 27, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  13. sixplustwo

    Shooting at a certain group of kids tells you it had to be bullying.If true one should keep there mouths shut. After all the shootings lately you would think the bulling would stop. I am not saying it's right but you push someone to far you'll going to pay the price.

    February 27, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • The REAL Truth...

      There was an earlier comment – from a local (IIRC) – indicating it has something to do with a drug deal where the shooter had gotten screwed over. NO facts to back that up, but it appears certain students WERE targeted, and it was not an indiscriminate event like others have proven to be. So it may not be bullying at all. Drugs are a problem in HS. I could walk down to my kids school and bust as many as the so-called recent drug ring "bust" at TCU.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • timmy

      "Drugs are a problem in HS. I could walk down to my kids school and bust as many as the so-called recent drug ring "bust" at TCU."

      you can blame prohibition for that.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • sixplustwo

      Could be that too. There are several reasons out . In the end one is dead and four hanging on. Another sad chapter in this country.

      February 27, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  14. keef

    probably another bully victim that couldn't take anymore

    February 27, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  15. beckyc444

    My condolences to all of those affected by this tragedy.

    February 27, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
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