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. Come On People

    After reading that article, it was clear to me that not only were some of the facts not checked out before it was written, but spell check was not even used. Some of the items mentioned could have been checked prior to committing that to writing so it would not look like speculation and just random comments from people who had no idea what actually happened.
    And whoever commented that the bullies would be blamed in this... your right! The gunman was obviously mad enough at a specific group of people to kill them so Yes, I would say this is probably a bullying issue!

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

    Columbine WAS NOT ABOUT BULLYING. There was a book out last year by an investigative reporter. He reported that the kids responsible for Columbine WERE NOT BULLIED and other witnessess including students said they were not bullied and actually well-liked. The media should STOP TRYING TO CREATE THE NEWS AND START REPORTING IT.

    February 27, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
  3. educator37

    Another sad day in US schools–God help the victims. The only way to fix kids is to fix parents, the only way to fix parents is to fix society.

    February 27, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • EFL teacher in Europe

      Best commentary I've read!!!

      February 27, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • KawiMan

      Agreed.

      The best way to fix many parents is to fix 'em, so that can't create more children. Too many parents are not qualified to have and/or raise children.

      February 27, 2012 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
  4. KnowsMore

    the bullies are the real heroes for putting a wacko in his place

    February 27, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Santa Claus

      fvck you

      February 27, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • CHABUK

      The bullies may have deserved this. Picking on nice guy...

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

    CNN: you do understand that kids who shoot up their schools generally thrive on just the sort of attention you are providing this kid, right? You do realize there are stories out there (Syria, Iran, Russian elections, GOP race, etc.) that are VASTLY more important, do you not?

    Not trying to be ugly towards any of the victims or their families. But, ultimately, the rest of us will wake up tomorrow morning unaffected by this.

    February 27, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • chris

      this wasnt a attention shooting it was a targeted attack at the kids who bullied him.

      February 27, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thrilla

      Interesting...and all the more reason it should NOT be the top story. I understand the problem with bullying in this country–I was bullied myself. But, as cold as this sounds, this is NOT national-news-worhty. And, as bad as bullying is, this sends a message that it is ok to blast away those who bully you-it is not.

      February 27, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe T.

      Yeah, CNN is stupid in the way it reports newsworthy events. School shootings aren't news at all!

      They should stop reporting on wars because other countries might want attention and decide to start a war.

      February 27, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • chris

      oh I fully agree that bully is terrible I too was bullied and When I tried to fight back the only way i knew how with my words I threated the bully that I was gonna pull a columbine on him if he didnt stop. The school didnt care about me being bullied but they sure cared about my few words. I was expelled. so I fully understand bullying. but I think this story due to this fact needs more attention. It should be national headlines parents should use it as a warning to there kids of what bullying could do. After all the suicides and such this isnt the typical school shooting this is almost as much as I hate to say it and please dont critize me for it. if he really was bullied a "justified shooting"

      February 27, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Samwise

      "But, as cold as this sounds, this is NOT national-news-worhty." Something is news if it has impact, timeliness, conflict, currency, or is about prominent people. LOLcats aren't news, but dead children are. YOU came to this story and commented; why if it's not news? Grind your axe somewhere else.

      February 27, 2012 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mattski0604

    Just another day in America. Remember – it's not the easy availability of guns that cause school shootings, and mall shootings, and workplace shootings, and domestic shootings, one after the other, after the other, after the other; it's the . . . . . . Mmmm? I can't think of any other factor that correlates with senseless and preventable murder and makes the U.S. the most violent country in the developed world. I must be missing something. Hey! But don't take away our guns. Right?

    February 27, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Samwise

      "I can't think of any other factor that correlates with senseless and preventable murder" FOX news has driven quite a few people to shoot museum guards and bystanders and other "evil liberals." Whipping up mobs against the elected president doesn't happen in too many other countries, either. Americans are just crazy.

      February 27, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • timmy

      so you cant kill people with knives or homemade pipe bombs? give me a break.

      February 27, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      @Mattski0604: If you don't like guns move to the UK. You know, where guns aren't allowed, but the crime rate is still incredibly high. If you are unwilling to move please do me the favor of putting a sign in the yard that states "I do not believe in the Second Amendment and do not own any guns." One last thing Mattski0604 if you are so worried about everyone's safety to state that guns should be banned. I bet you are still driving a car? Cars kill more people than guns, so ban cars first!!

      February 27, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Christopher Hudson

      The availability is *not* the cause of the shootings. The twisted thoughts & emotions that drove the shooter WAS the cause.

      February 27, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      No, its the carelessness of the parents. Guns are not sold to kids, that is why there are laws. However, to blame the availability of guns for this is ignorant.

      February 27, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • V835

      Seriously? That must explain why there were none of these terrible school shootings before strict gun laws were passed in the 80s and on. Guns obviously are not the problem because recently as firearms ownership has skyrocketed, violent crime has fallen. Its disrespectful to use a terrible event like this to further some misguided political agenda. If you don't like the people owning guns, why don't you try moving to China. It's not like anything terrible ever happens there.

      February 27, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Stephen

    I bet we're dealing with a kid that was picked-on by the four kids that were targeted. This should send a message to punks in school that bully other kids. You'd better think twice about bullying because eventually little Timmy might crack under the pressure, and decide to take out his aggression on you.

    February 27, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bala Bang

      Truer words have never been spoken! What goes around comes around. Bullying = verbal and physical bullets. Response = Real Bullets and a stop to the bullying.

      February 27, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Sirned

    Whatever color or religion this twisted lonely kid was he hurt many and killed a person. Now righties remember this before you rag on muslims or black violence. Whites aren't any better...

    February 27, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
  9. NYC

    As sad as this story is...it is unfortunate reading all the comments on this site. The truth is kids can be very cruel, much more cruel than adults are to other adults. And kids also experience hightened sensitivity. What might seem like a stupid comment to us might sound like a big thing to them. So as parents, let's not only teach our kids it's not right to use violence, but also, let's teach our kids that it isn't ok to poke fun/bully someone just because they are different from you.

    February 27, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
  10. KnowsMore

    will the bullies get medals of valor for their heroism?

    February 27, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Lisa

    Am I the only one that see parental failure here. You can try to drag gun control, government, race or anything else in to this but clearly the parents failed this child.

    February 27, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Colt45

      At what point does somebody begin to take responsibility for their own actions? I would only blame the parents if they gave the kid the gun and told him to take it school and have some fun with it.

      February 27, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
  12. idea

    Can somebody explain to me why schools still don't have metal detectors at their entrance after Columbine massacres?

    February 27, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
  13. that guy

    As a high schooler myself it is utterly horrifying imagining how this must've played out. It forces you to come to the realization that this could happen at your school, and that you could be one of the victims or someone you love and/or care about. I cannot imagine what the parents of the person who died and the people injured must be going through right now. What happened today is an indicator of the need to combat social problems before they swell out of control.

    February 27, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Concerned

    I hope his family will be ok. all too young. Shooter too young to know how he just affected his whole town

    February 27, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Chris G

    Reading comment sections like this reminds me why humanity is fail

    February 27, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
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