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. LL72

    Great. Another person who will sit in jail for two years before getting a speedy trial.

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

    I totally understand where the shooter was coming from.

    If you bully someone long enough they may just snap – and I personally don't feel too much remorse for dead bullies.

    February 27, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  3. EFL teacher in Europe

    If you are using this painful tragedy to blog about your personal political opinion or to express anything other than sympathy for the victims and their families, you are reprehensible.

    Sincere condolences to the victims and their families.

    February 27, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • hilo, hawaii

      What about self-righteous indignation?

      February 27, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • zooni

      Fake teacher from no where, preaching non discussion. Let me get my gun and teach you a lesson. Lesson 1 responsible gun owners secure their weapons. This boy should get be charged along side his dad.

      February 27, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dick Hertz

      Guns don't kill people, people do. I believe this because I am a moron.

      February 27, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • musicdorian

      Who bullied the shooter? Where were these families in training their little darlings to be kind to others?

      February 27, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Roberto

    How many shootings and killings have to occur before realizing that guns (other than for hunting) should be banned for the general public other than the police force?

    February 27, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Me

      Yes, because we certainly cant blame the twisted mind of a murder.

      February 27, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nah

      roberto: "How many shootings and killings have to occur before realizing that guns (other than for hunting) should be banned for the general public other than the police force?"

      Yeah, and while we're at it we should ban killing people too.

      Banning guns will not make guns extinct. Criminals will not turn in their firearms if firearms are banned. And people who are intent on shooting another person won't give a d_mn if they also commit a crime by having or carrying a gun.

      February 27, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Zenichimaro

      Whatever, dude. Good luck living in your third-world country with no gun rights. I'll happily stay in the US and will continue to SAFELY and LEGALLY own firearms for my protection (as well for hunting tasty animals).

      February 27, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • melvinslizard

      How many Robertos do we have to tolerate before his mom realizes that her offspring should be banned from the general public?

      February 27, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • timmy

      so you are advocating more prohibition which will in turn create a bigger black market on fire arms getting more weapons into criminals hands giving cartels another thing to smuggle into this country?

      February 27, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • jp

      it's exactly your kind of thinking that that allows these things to happen

      February 27, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nappyrzrbk

      Time to file charges on the parents for not adequately securing the firearm rather than calling for more gun regulation.

      You liberals ALWAYS look to the government for more regulation when something tragic occurs. The tragedy here is that the parents weren't involved in their kid's life to know that something was wrong, and didn't take appropriate measure to secure the firearm.

      February 27, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sandy

      So if the kid had used a chair to beat the other kids to death, then we should all be standing up from now on because chairs would have to be banned? You’re an idiot if you blame an inanimate object for this tragedy. God be with the students and famillies that are involved in this usless event...

      February 27, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • HAHA

      Not happening Idi0t. Ever hear of the 2nd amendment? Let's say if it did happen (and it won't), criminals would still have weapons. It is senseless to think you can ban all weapons, what arrogance. I have a .40 cal Glock and even if they did band it I would lie and say I sold it off. It will NEVER happen my friend.. so get that out of your mind unless you want to move to a socialist state.

      February 27, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Let's ban kitchen knives and baseball bats too. Unless your a chef or MLB player, we should ban those items since thousands are stabbed and beaten with bats every year and killed. Shut up, murder is the crime, not the tool.

      February 27, 2012 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • The REAL Truth...

      @HaHA – This is the same ole NRA Frontier 2A logic. It convenient that the latter half of the 2A is always left out of the conversation. You know, the "control" part where it states "in a well regulated militia". Give that is no longer necessary, the "right to bear arms" is equally defunct.
      IF handguns were banned – and there is no other reason to have them except to kill people – AND each time the "bad guys" are contained and their weapons destroyed, and no new one were made, then progress WOULD be made. Not overnight but not to far down the road.
      I have no issues with guns per se. Just hand guns and CWP's in general. Evidence does NOT indicate that decreases in crime are due to either.

      February 27, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Nappyrzrbk

    Seems like a case of bullying to me. This is obviously sad, but hopefully little punks will take notice. This is what you get when you push an emotionally unstable kid too far.

    And I'm waiting for people to begin the anti-gun talk. I wouldn't mind the parents being put under investigation for not taking sufficient measures to secure the gun, but this shouldn't be used as an example to justify more gun control. This is about bullying (Potentially), and the parent's failure to adequately secure their weapon.

    February 27, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • sluggo

      I think that is the truth...loosely. You have to give props to the Teacher's. They walk into a war zone daily. No kevlar vest, and no weapons. Sure, not all teachers are wonderful, but it is sad the way people deride them and show no respect. We need to thank them........and for God sake pay them more.

      February 27, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • hilo, hawaii

      Oh, so it's not lax gun control.......instead blame it on 'the bullies'?
      Then explain the vast majority of victims of bullying who do not murder. Aren't most vics who do act out in the extreme, suicides not murderers?
      Perhaps young people ignore/avoid a fellow b/c they sense the imbalance. (I always read, the poor killer had no friends -and that is always their peers fault? Self-preservation maybe influenced this social banishment in some cases?)

      How about PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY.
      This murderer made a conscious choice. Gun availability made it easier for him to harm more.

      February 27, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nah

      hilo: "This murderer made a conscious choice. Gun availability made it easier for him to harm more."

      And how do you propose to make guns less available? By banning them?

      Lol. Okay. Ban guns. Criminals will turn theirs in. I mean, they already break other laws and commit greater crimes, but they'll follow a law banning guns.

      You're smart.

      February 27, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Marko

    Well Hay, Lesson Learned ... You Bully You GET SHOT.. Simple Enough... Just Don't Bully.. its sad yes, but those kids had it coming .. maybe people will learn next time...

    February 27, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Well, they don't deserve to be shot, but the true victim is those who are bullied. Who would pity kids who ruin the social lives of others, when their victims fight back and shoot them? They've brought it on themselves, they're not victims. That's like saying a mugger who gets shot is a victim of violence.

      February 27, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • hilo, hawaii

      Maybe he was picked on (if even the case here) b/c ppl sensed he was a cold-blooded hater?

      Wouldn't mass attempted murder qualify as a form of bullying?

      Why was he living w/ grandparents? Meth mom and molester boyfriends were perhaps worthier targets, then the guys who didn't invite this one to a party?

      February 27, 2012 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Hilo, your trying to justify the reasons for him being picked on. Your a moron

      February 27, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
  7. oops

    guns don't kill people and in all reality they kill far fewer people then cars or swimming pools anyway, don't blame guns because its people that kill people guns are just a tool, this kid would have found some way to kill them if he realy wanted to guns are not the issue here

    February 27, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Althalos

      Quit it with the guns don't kill people. Can I ask you what were they made for? Oh thats right for WAR! So yes guns were made with the intent to kill nuff said.

      February 27, 2012 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Tenorlord

    Apparently, the suppression of bullying is important to the bullies too! The poor, sweet bullies are the ones that end up getting shot first when their victims finally snap.

    February 27, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
  9. me

    I live in the Greater Cleveland Area. This hits pretty close to home for me. Any time a student makes a threat of ANY kind, it needs to be taken seriously.

    February 27, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Chris

    These kids are cowards these days...it's sad..if you were going to confront someone in the past...you did it like a man. With your fists...now this country has a huge yellow streak running down it's back. It's evident by children who are doing these things...and I feel that the parents should get charged as well...and the case shouldn't be about whether they could have stopped it...because they could have. They should suffer the same fate their child does. This country flat out sucks anymore. Parents need to take some responsibility...and children need to grow a spine...

    February 27, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • jja

      You are clueless and thus, part of the problem. I recall one very small stature student in my high school who was bullied every single day, by two punks who had linebacker builds -what "spine" was he supposed to grow??? Eventually, he brought a box cutter to school to settle the score – cut one of his tormentors badly. My response? Good for him. The bullies parents were mortified that their "darlings" had been injured by the "monster" – Yeah, spare me.....

      February 27, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • SomeonesMom

      Things are different "these days". Come on. You know this. Schools have a "no tolerance" policy. So if a child being bullied hits back or stands up for themselves and throws fists then THEY get suspended. When really the child being bullied doesn't want to fight or even have anything to do with the bully. It's the relentless attacks from the bully that push children into depression, suicide and yes even deadly attacks. Think of how bad it must be for a child being bullied to decide that either taking their own life or taking the bullies life and ending up in prision is the best way out??!! Being the mom of a bullied child, it wasn't until this bully started calling home that we found out what was going on. If I played you a recording of the phone call from the bully it would turn your stomach as it did mine. Every curse word you could imagine. Multiple threats. All while my child kept asking this bully to leave me alone, stop calling and I don't want to fight, I just want you to leave me alone. Maybe the bullies parents should pay more attention to the stuff their kid is doing. But why should my child not be able to go to school in a safe environment. Just because this bully has decided to make him a target. The teacher knew of at least one major incedent and never even called us. Guess my bullied child should have sucked it up and just dealt, right!

      February 27, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
  11. musicdorian

    The shooter was probably bullied by some other parent's little darlings.

    February 27, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Mork

    But I thought if EVERYONE except criminals had a gun we'd all be so much safer. Guaranteed this little pip-squeek was a hardened criminal long before he went postal at school. If all the other students had been packing heat, maybe this wouldnt have happened, right Heston!

    February 27, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Andrea Pinky Fontenot

    Reblogged this on andreapinkyfontenot and commented:
    This is just absolutely awful and must be stopped.

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

    OMG, it's horrible! Why did YouTube allow this to be posted?

    February 27, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
  15. cpc65

    "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" ~ How the hell can just just blow something off like that in this day and age? I realize that sometimes zero tolerance policies have been taken too far, but even talking about bringing a gun to a school is not something to be joking about and should be reported as soon as someone hears or reads it.

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