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. MakeThemEatCake

    anyone can get a gun because, well the 2nd Ammendmant. No one can be searched as they come into a building, well that would be a violation of another right against search and seizure without probable cause. so..I guess we have to go back to the good ol' days of the 1800's where if you want to go out in public you MUST arm yourself because, after all the world is a dangerous place. And instead of trying to make the world a less dangerous place, live our lives in a technical world with an 1800's mentality. So much for middle school education. Wait until, like in Arizona, it will be legal to carry on a college campus.

    February 27, 2012 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
  2. AL

    legal gun ownership IS NOT THE CAUSE! it is anger, hate, fear and vanity that drive people to these sensless acts of violence. and we see too much of that everywhere. people hating on each other over politics, race, ethnicity, economy, culture and many other things.

    February 27, 2012 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Fair Taxes

      Right, let's legalize explosive possession. After all, explosives don't kill people, it the anger, hate, fear and vanity. Handgrenades for everyone, for self defense off course.

      February 27, 2012 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
  3. Jake

    I do agree with the point that the parents should be held responsible. (to a degree) Biometric safe or not sir, the obligation of the parent, gun owner or not, is to educate their child on the value of human life first! Second educate them on the reality of death. As a young developing brain we as humans have trouble understanding the consiquences of our actions. I think we have all seen "Teen Mom".

    February 27, 2012 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Jomm

      I think you have to look deeper. Was this just an act of violent? What caused this teen to react in this manner? Was he/she bullied by others and his/her cry for someone to stop the bullying was ignored? Does this teen have a mental issue and so forth? Qestions need to be asked and answered. I am NOT going to blame the parents until I know the reason in what cause this teen to response in this manner.

      February 27, 2012 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
    • hilo, hawaii

      Jomm, and when it turns out yet another gun-nut-dad left his piece on the coffee table?
      When they win awards, parents take all the credit, but when they do bad -it's societies fault.
      Blame the parents. They raised him.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  4. angryersmell

    If kids had any hope of a future where they won't be eating gruel and eeking out a meaningless existence, they wouldn't even think about pulling this stuff. They'd be getting themselves ready for a life worth living.

    February 27, 2012 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
  5. Jomm

    And to think alot folks want to focus on Chris Brown/Rihanna instead of what is going on IN THEIR COMMUNITIES with stuff like this.

    February 27, 2012 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
  6. isadore

    My kids have a drills at their school on what to do if a gunman starts shooting up the school. Scary world we have created.

    February 27, 2012 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Fair Taxes

      I remember the good old days when all we worried about was a nuclear attack from the Russians. Those days seem strangly peaceful by comparison.

      February 27, 2012 at 9:32 am | Report abuse |
  7. glu

    I hate these cowards, too bad these types could not be aborted.

    February 27, 2012 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
  8. Mah

    As unpopular as it may seem, this is exactly why I'm strongly leaning towards homeschooling when my children reach school age. There's something wrong with our society and it's crumbling at the seams. Children should not be shooting each other, be thinking of hurting on another or even contemplating how to use a weapon. These children should have their minds wrapped up in books, learning new skills, being good companions to their friends and siblings and have nothing but hope and positivity for their future. When our children are killing each other, it simply goes to show that there is something fundamentally wrong with how our children are being raised. Oil and politics couldn't do as much damage to our country as poorly brought up children. Just think of what the stakes will be when they're adults, if killing is the level at teenage-hood.

    February 27, 2012 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
    • isadore

      I homeschooled my children. It is a very rewarding experience, and we were fortunate to have a ton of homeschoolers in our area. Socialization is NOT a problem. My next door neighbor is a public school teacher in our area, and the behavior he tells us about is unreal. Its not that teachers aren't doing their jobs; ITS THE PARENTS not doing theirs! Schools are no longer a positive learning environment..IMHO.

      February 27, 2012 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Jomm

      Not to scare you but home schooling can not limited violent in OUR SOCIETY or mean that you are islolated from violence. A girl in my city 6 years ago who homeschooled and was about to go to college but was gun down in a PARK while jogging. Her parents talked about a how she was a good girl.

      February 27, 2012 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Mah

      Thanks, Jomm, for that tid bit of information. Don't worry, I'm not so naive to think that my children would have a magical orb around them protecting them from all danger. That being said, living in the city isn't ideal, either. Definitely getting away from the city, or suburbs and finding a quiet community somewhere.

      February 27, 2012 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
  9. RAY

    this is what happens when you take prayer out of schools.

    February 27, 2012 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
    • MALAKA

      Simpleton analysis.

      February 27, 2012 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
    • bob dole

      yep

      February 27, 2012 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
    • ggc

      This has nothing to do with prayer in school. God doesn't solve all problems. If he did, this wouldn't happen.

      February 27, 2012 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Joe B

      Maybe this is what happens when guns are extremely easy to gain access to. Maybe this is what happens when American culture glorifies violence. Maybe this is what happens when High Schools are an open playing field for all sorts of bigotry and bullying.

      Prayer doesn't do anything, and it never did.

      February 27, 2012 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
    • The Butcher

      This is what happens when prayer is taken from school?? LOL
      So then explain to me how the Catholic Church ends up murdering millions of people throughout history?

      February 27, 2012 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  10. MALAKA

    We need METAL DETECTORS AT ALL OUR SCHOOLS and ANTI-BULLYING LAWS. PERIOD.

    February 27, 2012 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
    • The REAL Truth...

      NO, we really don't. What we need is parental responsibility, coupled with education (at home) of the basic values – such as the meaning of human life. I'd bet is the perp lived in front of an Xbox playing Call of Duty 4 (et al) and someone at school upset him. He reacted in the way he has been educated by those games. There is no "do over" or "reset" in real life and some of these kids just don't get that. It's really sad to see these kind of events continue.
      PS: Not blaming the games.

      February 27, 2012 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
    • bob dole

      why not just get the radioactive full body scanners in the schools and a personal security guard for every student,too?
      i had bullies in school. ya just gotta stand up and scrap with em.

      February 27, 2012 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
    • bob dole

      actually,malaka, we really need people like you to just not vote.

      February 27, 2012 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
    • topoftheworld18

      Agreed.

      February 27, 2012 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
  11. flysher

    Amazing how these school shooting happen in areas where they want everyone to have a gun. Then they say gun laws don't work and lose their children to senseless shootings When are they going to wake up!

    February 27, 2012 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
    • melvinslizard

      yeah, 'cuz Ohio is the hub of the NRA, right? Wrong.

      February 27, 2012 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
  12. Fonz

    This is a direct reflection of the shooter's upbringing. His/Her parent's should be held 100% accountable as the shooter themselves.

    February 27, 2012 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
    • MarkinFL

      Don't forget the grandparents since they raised the bad parents!

      Oh yeah, and the great-grandparents should at least be fined!

      February 27, 2012 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
  13. mattmchugh

    I'll give you 10-to-1 odds the shooter obtained the gun legally.

    February 27, 2012 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Jen

      10-1 that the gun was obtained legally? Sorry, more like 10-1 it was not, as to my recollection, NOWHERE is it legal for a teenager to buy a gun.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  14. LC in NJ

    Ever hear of Columbine?

    February 27, 2012 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
  15. Beth in Mo

    You tell em Liza! Us true Americans know the truth!

    February 27, 2012 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Us

      Yeah, Us know the truth!

      February 27, 2012 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • aps

      hey, beth, it's "We" not "Us." Learn proper grammar before spouting out your stupidity.

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

      Your not 100 percent American no one is so there are no "true Americans".

      February 27, 2012 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
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