February 27th, 2012
02:13 PM ET

Student shot at Ohio high school dies, police say

More on this story from CNN affiliates WOIO-TV, WEWS-TV, WJW-TV and WKYC-TV.

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[Updated at 4:04 p.m. ET] Chardon Police Chief Timothy McKenna said in a press conference today that two of the victims in Monday's shootings were in critical condition, one was in serious condition and one was in stable condition.

[Updated at 2:58 p.m. ET] Danny Komertz, a student at Chardon High School said that he saw shooter T.J. lane point a gun directly at a group of students before shooting them.

"I looked straight ahead and I saw a gun pointing at a group of four guys sitting at a table and he was able two feet away from them," Komertz said. "He just fired two quick shots at them. I saw one student fall. I saw the other hiding, trying to get cover underneath the table."

Komertz said that he felt that by his demeanor, the shooter was targeting that group.

"It was clearly to me that he was aiming right at them," Komertz told CNN. "He wasn't shooting around the cafeteria at all. He was directly aiming at the four of them."

Komertz said he then ran out the door with his friends. While he was trying to escape he said he heard another two shots fired from behind him.

"I just can't believe it. I don't think it's real," said student Danny Komertz, who witnessed the shooting. "And I just, it kills me that I saw someone hiding, and now that someone is now dead."

[Updated at 2:13 p.m. ET] A fatally wounded student was identified by the hospital that treated him as Daniel Parmertor.

"We are shocked by this senseless tragedy," Parmertor's family said in a statement released by MetroHealth Medical Center. "Danny was a bright young boy who had a bright future ahead of him. The family is torn by this loss. We ask that you respect our privacy during this difficult time."

[Updated 1:19 p.m. ET] A student who hid in a classroom at Chardon High School said that T.J. Lane, the suspect in Monday's shooting, "was a nice guy" who he never suspected would shoot anyone.

“He just came from a really broken down home and he was living with his grandparents," Evan Erasmus, a senior at the school told CNN.  "He was more of a quiet type of kid. He was really nice, though, if you did talk to him.”

Erasmus said that Lane and some of the victims "used to be friends" but more in middle school and early high school.

“He was one of the nicest kids there…," Erasmus said. "It was really shocking that it was him.”

Erasmus told CNN that he believed T.J. Lane was either a sophomore or junior at the school.

He said that Lane was sitting about a table away from some of the victims.

Erasmus said he heard the victims "were all sitting there and then he just stood up and that’s when it all started."

Meanwhile, he and the other students in a nearby classroom, "turned the lights off and we headed into a corner" after the shooting.

[Updated 12:52 p.m. ET] Witnesses and one of the shooting victims have identified the gunman as T.J. Lane, according to The Plain Dealer of Cleveland.

[Updated 12:04 p.m. ET] Police say one student has died from the shootings at Chardon High School this morning. Five students were shot in total, officials said.

[Updated 11:58 a.m. ET] A parent of children who attend Chardon High School says the gunman in today's shooting had specific targets and was not shooting randomly, according to a report from CNN affiliate WJW-TV.

[Updated 11:43 a.m. ET] The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives says it has been given one handgun from the Ohio high school shooting scene to do an emergency trace.

The Geauga County sheriff's office is executing searches in the case with the assistance of ATF agents, a law enforcement official said.

[Updated 11:13 a.m. ET] Geauga County Sheriff Daniel McClelland says a K-9 unit tracked the shooting suspect, who was apprehended "some distance from the school," according to a report on CNN affiliate WJW-TV.

[Updated 10:54 a.m. ET] The suspect in the shooting of five students at Chardon High School turned himself in to bystanders in Chardon Township, a law enforcement official told CNN affiliate WKYC-TV.

[Updated 10:43 a.m. ET] A student at Chardon High School, Evan Erasmus, told CNN affiliate WEWS-TV that the suspect in Monday's shootings may have posted a threatening message Sunday night on the social networking service Twitter.

"I think he said that he was going to bring a gun to school and I think that everyone just blew it off like he was joking," Erasmus said.

[Updated 10:34 a.m. ET] Law enforcement officials say they received reports that a teacher chased the shooter at Chardon High School out of the building.

[Updated 10:31 a.m. ET] There are five victims of the shooting at a Chardon High School in surburban Cleveland, law enforcement officials said.

[Updated 10:05 a.m. ET] Those wounded at Chardon High School in Ohio are students at another school in nearby Auburn, said Evan Erasmus, a student at Chardon. They had been waiting in the Chardon cafeteria for a bus to Auburn when they were shot, Erasmus said.

[Updated 9:53 a.m. ET] Four students were wounded when a gunman opened fire in the cafeteria of a suburban Cleveland high school just as the school day was beginning Monday, law enforcement officials said.

The suspected Chardon High School shooter - believed to be a student, according to a school official - was in custody, FBI Special Agent Scott Wilson told reporters.

Wilson declined to say how badly the injured students had been hurt.

"We just hope that they're OK," he said.

School administrators locked down schools in the city of Chardon, Ohio, about 30 miles east of Cleveland. and assured parents that all remaining students were safe.

Still, parents eager to retrieve their children hurried to school buildings, forming long lines as school officials checked identifications before releasing students. At one point, black-clad SWAT team members walked by parents waiting outside the middle school, enhancing what was a surreal scene for many.

"This stuff doesn't happen here at Chardon. Everybody's a little upset," said one parent who was preparing to pick up his daughter, a 10th-grader who had been evacuated to Maple Elementary School.

Despite initial reports that two people were involved, it appeared only one person was responsible for the shooting, Superintendent Joseph Bergant said.

"My understanding is there was one gunman," he said. Bergant said he believed the suspect is a student.

The shooting occurred around 7:40 a.m. just as school was getting started for the day, school board member Larry Reiter said. It happened inside the cafeteria, which is near the entrance to the school, he said.

It was unclear how the suspect was taken into custody.

School officials locked the high school down following the shooting.

One parent told CNN affilaite WKYC that her daughter had texted from a closet to tell her that there had been a shooting at the school, but that she was okay.

Chardon is a small city of about 5,100 people 30 miles east of Cleveland. About 1,150 students attend the high school, which is next to Chardon Middle School and across the street from Maple Elementary School.

[Updated 9:48 a.m. ET] A youth suspected in the shooting at an Ohio high school fled the building but was caught nearby, according to a Plain Dealer report on Cleveland.com.

Three boys and a girl were injured in the shooting which happened in the Chardon High School cafeteria before classes started, the Plain Dealer report said.

"Parent Jeannette Roth, who had heard from her son Joshua, a junior, said he told her the shooting happened while students were eating breakfast in the cafeteria and waiting for first period.  Suddenly a boy 'stood up and started shooting, and then it was chaos,'" the Plain Dealer report read.

[Updated 9:27 a.m. ET] Four students were wounded in the school shooting Monday morning at the high school in Chardon, Ohio, officials said. The extent of their injuries was unknown.

[Updated 9:21 a.m. ET] At least three students were injured when an armed individual entered the cafeteria of a high school near Cleveland and opened fire just as the school day was beginning Monday, police and the school superintendent said.

School officials said they did not know how badly the injured students had been wounded, but some had been taken by helicopter to the hospital.

Police took a suspect into custody, locked the high school down and assured parents that all remaining students were safe.

Despite initial reports that two people were involved, it appeared only one person was responsible for the shooting, Superintendent Joseph Bergant said.

"My understanding is there was one gunman," he said. Bergant said he believed the suspect is a student.

School officials said the rest of the high school's students were being evacuated to a nearby elementary school.

Parents gathered outside the school administration building, hoping for information about the incident and how to retrieve their children.

"My daughter is at the school and she's texting me saying they're in a closet right now and they're OK," a parent speaking to CNN affiliate WKYC said.

Chardon is a small city of about 5,100 people 30 miles east of Cleveland. About 1,150 students attend the high school, which is next to Chardon Middle School and across the street from Maple Elementary School.

[Updated 9:06 a.m. ET] The superintendent of Chardon schools said Monday he believes there was only one gunman involved in the shooting at Chardon High School.

[Updated 9:01 a.m. ET] A person who fired shots at a high school near Cleveland on Monday morning is in custody, a school official said.

[Updated 8:55 a.m. ET] At least three students were wounded when two people entered the cafeteria of a high school near Cleveland, Ohio, and opened fire just as the school day was beginning, police and a school board member said.

The shooting happened at Chardon High School in Chardon, Ohio, Lt. John Hiscox of the Geauga County Sheriff's Office said.

Three or four students were hit by the gunfire, said Larry Reiter of the Chardon Schools Board of Education. He did not know their conditions, but said helicopters had been called to take the injured to a hospital.

Chardon is a small city of about 5,100 people 30 miles east of Cleveland. About 1,150 students attend the high school, which is next to Chardon Middle School and across the street from Maple Elementary School.

[Updated 8:43 a.m. ET] Two shooters entered Chardon High School and and shot three or four students in the cafeteria, school board member Larry Reiter told CNN. He did not know their condition.

[Posted 8:38 a.m. ET] A shooting has occurred at Chardon High School near Cleveland, Ohio, Lt. John Hiscox of the Geauga County Sheriff's Office said Monday.

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

    The kid who died is so MAD right now haha

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

    I wonder how long it will be until Marilyn Manson ends up blamed for this shooting.

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

    what a boring event

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

    The only thing that needs to be addressed here is proper parenting for all of these juvenile killers. If we spend more time parenting and less time on the computer blogging, our society as a whole would be so less violent.

    February 27, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jason

    I wish this event didn't have to become a platform for everyone to rant about gun control and race. Another kid just shot up his classmates. This is a tragedy. I guess we're all just used to school shootings now. Shame.

    February 27, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mike

    If it turns out that his victims were indeed bullying him, then the shooter is the only one who's a victim here. I've done my fair share of ball-breaking in high school and jokes, but I've never took part in the common REAL bullying. Embarrassing kids about everything and in everything, ruining their projects, hiding their gym clothes so they get an F for the day, locking the door so they're late and get detention, etc. If these kids were really bullying him like some media outlets are saying already, then I do not pity them. It's high school, our society commonly charges high school students as adults in their crimes. If they're 16 years old and breaking someone down, then it's on them

    February 27, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      I agree with you. maybe the bullying will stop if the victims keep shooting them. Thats the only thing that seems to get through. Sorry but thats what this has to come to. The school wont help, the parents of the bullies are always in denial. What are you supposed to do? I guess shooting them is all you can do.

      February 27, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Don Brown

      So you're saying any time a kid gets bullied, it's perfectly OK for him or her to get a gun and kill their classmates? Wow....

      February 27, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Don Brown

      Dang, what happened to you, dude? Are we a little bitter about our high school experience?

      February 27, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Don Brown – I never said it was okay, I'm saying I pity the shooter more than the victims. If bullied, they pushed him to the breaking point to hate his life so much, that murder and all of the consequences, are worth it. If I had to choose between two teens and save one from a burning building, I would take the one who's bullied over the bullying, is my point. The one who's REALLY wrong here and the root of the evil, is the ones tormenting others until they're broken and pushed to this point. I don't think anywhere in anything I wrote, is supporting or even hinting that it's 'okay'

      February 27, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Bitter? Haha, Michael Marco. Go facebook me, varsity football and wrestling, home-coming king. All the dated pics and comments from the past 5 years on facebook to back it up. I get more ass than you'll ever get in your life.

      February 27, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • GOPDisillusioned

      In my day, if you were bullied – typically by those who were more popular and athletic, you just took it and pressed on with the comfort that eventually you would succeed academically, and financially, while the dumb jocks, 99.9% of whom would never realize their NFL "dream" wound up as the pathetic subservient low-wage losers most of them become. It's too bad that this no longer seems to be the case.

      February 27, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • JGross

      I agree the parents are always in denial, every stupid parent thinks thier child is gold or an angel. Be real and open yours America, get off your butts and make a difference. Not shooting them is right either.

      February 27, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • KIZZ60

      Bullying isnt right in any way shape or form but your basically saying the kids that were shot deserve it and the shooter is the victum... WHAT THE HELL.... Are you crazy.? They may or may not of bullied this kid but it doesnt mean the kid brings a gun to school and ok to shoot and kill them.. Good lord dude... The shooter has issues thats obvious but it doesnt mean its ok to take a life unless your life is in danger .. I want to know where he got the gun, who is the actual owner and why was this kid able to get it.. By the way its not guns that kill its the idiot who has it in his hand who kills. Its ok to own guns .I own several but it doesnt mean when you get your feelings hurt you go kill someone ..

      February 27, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      GOPDisillusioned – That's the problem, it's not old school bullying like you guys saw. I graduated 08 and it wasn't just us in sports and the partying or the 'popular' doing the bullying. Once some people had labels of being 'losers' or 'freaks', they got picked on by EVERYONE. Jocks, preps, druggies, even the band kids picked on the all out 'losers'

      February 27, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • RP

      I want to be clear in this reply. Although I definitely disagree with anyone taking another person's life for any reason, I also definitely feel that bullying should be a serious offense, even by law. There should be a more serious penalty attached to bullying because this is what it leads to. More and more cases of school shootings and teen suicide are appearing in the media and its time to address bullying for what it is...borderline harrassment! It's horrific how far these bullies go...and the kids that are the victims grow to hate themselves and the bullies which is the bully's ultimate goal in their actions so yes, the punishment should border on the penalty for harrassment and even a hate crime, depending on the actions of the bully. Kids need to know that it is a serious matter, one that is more and more prone to ending in the death of someone.

      February 27, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Kizz60, I never said it was right or justified, I'm just saying I don't pity the victims IF they were bullying the shooter. It's their fault, I don't feel they're a victim of anything if it's because of what they'd been doing to the shooter

      February 27, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  7. DJ

    Reason number 1 why I am raising my son in Germany and not in the US. Fewer guns here and much lower crime rate. Never realized how good it feels to be able to walk around an inner-city without feeling nervous until I moved here. Gun laws are much stricter here and thus the murder rate is about 20%of that in the US (0.84 per 100,000 in Germ compared to 4.8 per 100,000 in US) . Tragodies happen everywhere, but the simple fact is guns are made to kill, and the fewer of them in the hands of people, the fewer people who will be killed.

    February 27, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      It's society, not the guns. Look at some of the most densely gun populated areas in America, they have the lowest crimes! Look at Canada, they have more guns per 1,000 people than America does, and has a crime rate lower than Germany. Stop blaming guns.

      February 27, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • WDinDallas

      Glad to hear you are gone. Don't look back.

      February 27, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Schwandy

    How is it that someone can post something about bringing a gun to school on Twitter and no one reports it? If someone posts stuff like that on Facebook, Twitter, blogs etc, you should notify someone. And if it's a joke, then they deserve to have the cops all over them.

    February 27, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Sickofthesystem

    Let me guess...another bullying victim going off? Too tragic and happens too often. The down side of all the Internet jamming !

    February 27, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jack Handy

    When are the doctors going to stop screwing up kids with Prozac and Ritalin and such? Hold the doctors responsible for the carnage!

    February 27, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
  11. L

    If he was bullied, then its 90% the school's fault. These teachers know what is going on, they just decide to ignore it. And this is what we get. These school's need to get a clue in regards to bullying, and STOP IT before it gets this far. Tragic.

    February 27, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • losethefear

      You just posted part of the problem. I sent my children to school to be taught by teachers. Behavioral issues were MY problem. Teachers teach. Parents need to raise the child properly.

      February 27, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • DLK

      Stop blaming the schools and the teachers and start taking responsibility for parenting your kids, already! Teachers cannot be everywhere at once, and they are NOT aware of everything, especially when it comes to teenagers this age. It's so easy to point fingers when tragedies occur, but the fact that people do this shows why tragedies like this happen in the first place. No one ever wants to be accountable and wants to shove it off on someone else. What does that teach kids? It teaches them that nothing is going to happen to them because they can just blow it off onto someone else. Sheesh!

      February 27, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  12. ProF

    Why is anyone on here trying to blame anyone or anything but the perpetrator? It's not the gun's fault, it's not his parent's fault, it's not the school's fault, it's not the bullies' fault. Bottom line is that this is ONLY the fault of the alleged gunman; nobody else loaded the weapon, put it into his hands, and pulled the trigger. Let's not go crazy trying to assign blame to any and everything that fits our perceptions, political motivations, and world views.

    May I also take a moment to point out that there has been no trial and no conviction, and that he is innocent until proven guilty? However, if found guilty, he should be quickly and efficiently put to death, regardless of age. If this crime was premeditated, (which it appears to have been) then the perpetrator knew exactly what he was doing and should pay for his crime accordingly.

    February 27, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • navynursemom

      I find your comment myopic. While there are no excuses, IF the report is true the kid came from a bad family situation that absolutely could have contributed, and BULLYING is REAL I have seen it and it is awful how it demoralizes a young person. I do blame the parents and the school and the bullys everyone played a part. This young mans life is over, but he clearly recognized that a long time ago and that is what is sad here. I pray for the victims and for the young man who felt that at 16 or 17 years old this seemed to be the best option, truely heartbreaking.

      February 27, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • losethefear

      Let me guess. Pro lifer?

      February 27, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Ohplease

    TJ's facebook rant suggests that perhaps he has taken part in all of the "class warfare" that has been encouraged. People need to start minding their words and ideas. Life is not a joke! Everyone asks why kids today are so messed up... Because they do not have proper guidance and role models. Kids need to learn problem solving skills, not how to blame someone else for everything and anything that might go wrong!

    February 27, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Ohplease

    Bullies have been around forever. That is a cop out.

    February 27, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      They have been around forever but the time to act is now. Theyve been coddled by the school sand their clueless parents for long enough. If enough people retaliated violently they'd stop in a hurry. Maybe not shoot them dead, but severaly injure would work. This is what happens when noone does anything about this. Remember if you do NOT bully people then you wont be a shooting victim. Just like not putting your hand on a hot stove keeps you from getting burned. Simple.

      February 27, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ohplease

      I remember being bullied in the sixities. I remember other kids that were too. No one reacted in this way. The "bullying defense" is another agenda. Most bullied kids would never consider doing something like this. Most do not even fight back. There is much more going on here...

      February 27, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
  15. mary

    When it gets right down to it.. I am sure they will find this boy had been left out, treated with disdain from others who were acting smug and uncaring towards him..
    Pushed to a point that all that was left was a total and brutal declaration of how much misery, pain and anger he had built up inside..
    this is always about a student who has been treated like crap.
    And always about those that did it continuing to pretend or even worse believe this only proves they were right to treat them like outcasts...
    When will kids and even older people learn, cruelty destroys other people.. Everyone should be treated like they are valuable and important..
    Shunning is the cruelest and the most emotionally devastating thing any child can be subjected to.

    February 27, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
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