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. jja

    This is a tragedy, but unless schools want to get serious about bullying, expect more of it. My kid's school's philosophy – "You have to learn to put up with bullying...." Really??? Kids are kids, they do not process as adults. If you are being tortured by the school bully day in and day out, sooner or later someone is going to become desperate to make it stop.

    This principal is all over this now with his sound bites, apologies and explanations but who would like to bet his past response to bullies has been tepid at best.

    February 27, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Kendra

    I wish teenagers could just understand that high school really does end and it really isn't even close to the biggest thing that happens in life. It sure feels like it at the time, but it just doesn't define your life in the end. I'm almost 15 years out and I don't even remember much of it, or care – and I was one of those kids who was bullied all the time. You know what, now I run my own business and have so many good things in life. High school is just something I can shrug and say "that sucked" about now. All this killing (suicides and mass shootings) for something so short is just not worth it. This kid threw his life away and ended another, and they never even got a chance to really see what life was about. What a terrible shame. Kids just need to hang in there, or get help if it is getting that hard for them. My heart just breaks over these tragedies.

    February 27, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
  3. colliersf

    it was over a girl. The guy he shot was the guy who stole her from him. Cleveland stations interviewing students are as usual giving the scoop. Plus one of the kids grazed on the ear gave a interview..Tell these kids hold out for money instead of running off at the mouth.

    February 27, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
  4. ohbehave

    It is fascinating that people have this idea that a law against guns will do the trick. So a guy who disregards that EXISTING law against murder will somehow worry about a petty gun control law?
    Conversely, if I were a bad guy, I would LOVE to see guns made illegal! Oh my gosh... talk about being a fox in a hen house!

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

      oh: "It is fascinating that people have this idea that a law against guns will do the trick. So a guy who disregards that EXISTING law against murder will somehow worry about a petty gun control law?"

      Shh, people on CNN aren't very intelligent. They don't understand the contradictions in their beliefs.

      February 27, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lopkk

      true

      February 27, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • hilo, hawaii

      It would indeed work -is at least worth trying.
      JAIL ADULTS FOR FAILURE TO SECURE THEIR WEAPONS -when negligence is proven. Less easy access after a few good examples are incarcerated, or at least these morons who put gun-rights at risk, as well as innocent lives, are in jail.

      Your kid breaks a window playing ball, the parents pay to fix it. You screwed up from bad parenting freak brings your AK7 collection to school -and it's "Don't look at me."???

      get real, NRA lobbyists. (I own, btw.)

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

      Exactly! Why don't those liberals understand that if the school armed all students so they can defend themselves this would have taken a much different course with an honest shoot-out in the school cafeteria. When will they see the light all of us tea baggers have seen, the more guns the more safer we get? Duh. (sorry that I spelled everything correctly; snobbish, I know)

      February 27, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • mm

      VERITAS – yeah Obama, the liberals and the elite media did it again. When will we learn?
      If we only armed school kids so they could shoot it out themselves.
      Did you even go to school, moron!

      February 27, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mike

    Yeah Rick and then people will blame youtube for not notifying the school officials or the internet provider of the IP

    February 27, 2012 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
  6. jp

    The stupid anti american liberals should be held responsible for this, they are the ones that believe victims should not be able to defend themselves against crimes like these.

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

      So the other 4 students should have had guns at school to fire back?

      February 27, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • cashmeremafia

      The victims were high school kids – not sure if you want tweens and teenagers running around with guns

      February 27, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • JRYDAF

      You are sofa king stupid

      February 27, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • gepids

      So are you suggesting that high school student be allowed to carry loaded weapons while at school?? You mean the same age group that is not allowed to drink, buy cigarettes, enlist in the military or enter into binding legal contracts, yet you feel the average 15 year old has the sound reasoning to carry a loaded gun. You might want to check your knee, seems to be jerking a bit to fast.

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

      I don't know of many folks, regardless of political party, who think that guns belong in schools.

      February 27, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Veritas

      Exactly! Why don't those libtards understand that if the school armed all students so they can defend themselves this would have taken a much different course with an honest shoot-out in the school cafeteria. When will they see the light all of us tea baggers have seen? Duh. (sorry that I spelled everything correctly; snobbish, I know)

      February 27, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Veritas

      Exactly! Why don't those liberals understand that if the school armed all students so they can defend themselves this would have taken a much different course with an honest shoot-out in the school cafeteria. When will they see the light all of us tea baggers have seen, the more guns the safer we get? Duh. (sorry that I spelled everything correctly; snobbish, I know)

      February 27, 2012 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • mm

      Yep, blame Obama, the liberals and the elite media. Did I leave anyone out?
      Brilliant idea. We'll just put a gun in the hands of all school kids. Yeehaw yeehaw!

      February 27, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  7. HC

    I think the shooter was a subject of bullying to the victims that he shot today. I think this incident is obvious when the shooter targets a specific group of kids. It was obviously a retaliation to a certain incident that has occurred within this group. Our public school system needs to put in place a special department to help students with their mental health. We are living in the era of the haves and have-nots right now. Children that comes from a broken or financially disadvantaged family are vulnerable compare with the kids that come from a more affluent family. You also have to keep in mind the weaker kids that cannot really physically fight back would resort to guns instead.

    February 27, 2012 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • tekstep1

      It was over a girl. I agree though...

      February 27, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Barb Schwamberger

      You are so right. In Illinois, schools must have in place an anti-bullying program with training for staff. Social workers are the first to get cut in schools. Some kids need a listening ear and an advocate. Teachers too busy.

      February 27, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • hilo, hawaii

      So what? I was raised in this poverty, so although I appreciate the attempt to understand and not judge, it is mistaken.

      Way more ppl w/ all these problems -and then some DO NOT KILL. These excuses make poor ppl like this seem like freak time bombs. Maybe the stats are higher b/c their income stats (more poor) are also higher -less millionaire kids go on sprees b/c there are less of them to begin with?

      end of day FREE WILL.

      Also, after raised in a poor town, I can tell you....again so what. FREE WILL. on welfare w/ two poor kids? TIME TO SHUT THE LEGS, FOCUS ON RAISING THEM WELL, NOT POP OUT 5 OR 6 MORE.

      Reform welfare, stop paying drunks and druggies for breeding -watch crime drop.

      February 27, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • JC

      Really HC you got this all through what, that little peanut in your head. Come on wait till the facts come out before we play Dr. Phil. There is a lot going on and people always have to blame this or that, why don't we blame the damn kid and keep it at that. Not all kids who are poor rob and join gangs. Not all kids that come from broken homes do the same. So calm down and lets find out what really happened.

      February 27, 2012 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • justin

      some of us really do need to see a psychiatrist. frequently. it's not a BAD thing, it's just something we need to do to be as healthy, productive and positive people as possible. like eating healthy. i dont get it. we'll walk around in public as an increasingly obese population and have no shame, but if someone has a chemical imbalance due to any of a number of things OUTSIDE of their control, we view them as a problem. same goes for the less educated population. we view them as lazy and dumb, but if they would have been raised in middle class America they would be graduating college and not getting jobs just like the rest of us.

      February 27, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • HC

      I came from a poor background too. My high school had a mixture of really poor and really rich kids. It was a high school in the city that was populated with suburban kids that want to maintain a higher class rank by avoiding the private school. I saw both sides of the coin at my high school and it was a unique experience. I graduated prior 9/11 and prior great recession, but I still felt the have and have-not effects at the time. I imagine that it is much worse this day and age. Poor kids must be devastated emotionally and mentally in today's world.

      February 27, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • HC

      and this is true whether it was over a girl or the funny looking walmart sneakers he was wearing. Kids need mental health check-up every now and then. In the age of GTA and CoD video games, why not?

      February 27, 2012 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
  8. dan

    crazy to think what kind of things get into these kids minds. Its sad and unfortunate, a real nightmare for all involved

    February 27, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Bohemer

    Let me correct a few indignant posts here...Neither guns nor people alone kill other people, it's nutty people with access to firearms that kill others. It's like saying that tools do not repair cars, people do. Well, it takes both. ACCESS is the key word, and by restricting access I mean precisely that – on both state and federal level, drastically. Those that still buy on the black market should have their arms torn out, figuratively speaking..

    February 27, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nah

      bohemer: "ACCESS is the key word, and by restricting access I mean precisely that – on both state and federal level, drastically."

      And how, pray tell, do you propose to restrict access to guns? By banning them?

      Okay. Criminals will surely listen to a gun law requiring them to turn their firearms in, while they break all other laws beside.

      And when law abiding citizens turn in their firearms - to prevent the handful of nuts killing people with guns, rather than knives, cars, explosives, etc. - those criminals will have easy targets and greater opportunity to commit crime.

      You're a smart man.

      February 27, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • The REAL Truth...

      @Nah – you sound like you need to be out in BFE on some wild frontier. This anti-gun stance is asinine – "oh u think the criminals will give up their illegal weapons"? Of course not.. that's why the existing laws need some teeth. Destroy the handguns. Ban them. Make no more. It'll clean up, but not overnight. When you reach saturation point and ease of access that we have now, tragedies like this will continue (regardless of reason). Escalation to "my gun is bigger than yours" is going to solve the problem. They'll just bring more firepower !!

      February 27, 2012 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Lily

    What is all this talk about racism? In our Literature class, we are reading a book about racism. I am suprised by how many of our Americans are still racist. Now, that Liza girl never said she was racist! Just her opinion. We are alowed to post any comment we want, so just stop putting words in other people's mouths, seriously!!! I was scared at first because my two little cousins, who are more like my brothers, live in Ohio, but it is not this school. You know what else? Mabye more of us should try to be friends with the quiet kids in school, because mabye if they just had a buddy, they would have someone to lean on. It said this kid came from not so good of a home. Mabye a friend would have given someone to lean on. I mean, lets face it, if we were all alone, we all would have to be thrown into the Loony Bin. Or the Nut House, what ever you call it. Either way, we all NEED someone, i do not think the kid was right to do that, but i am just curious why he would do that. Ok, i hope i proved my point, (what ever that was) to all you.

    February 27, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tex71

      OK, let's assume she's NOT racist. Who do you think she meant to say needs to "take the country back", and from whom?
      (chirp, chirp, chirp)
      Yeah, I didn't think so.

      February 27, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Mike

    Well, the kid is emo looking, really frail and small. So, looking like a feminine 10 year old in high school, I'm going to bet this is because of bullying. IF he was bullied and those targeted were the ones harrassing him, then I only feel bad for the shooter.

    February 27, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • rtbrno65

      That is why schools need to make a maximum effort to stop bullying. It puts both the bully and the bullied in peril.

      February 27, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
  12. arale norimaki

    I hope you chimpanzees don't have a chimney.

    February 27, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Roberto

    How many more shootings and killings have to occur before people of our country realizing that hand guns kill more innocent people than saving lives through protection?

    February 27, 2012 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • JC

      Hey while we are at it ban booze and driving while on the phone and anything else that kills people. That is not the answer, That is a knee jerk reaction. We need to be proactive not reactive.

      February 27, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  14. rtbrno65

    The solution to this is not to ban guns, nor is it to put a gun in everyone's hand. The solution is to find out why we have become such an impulsive and violent society full of selfish hotheads that do not value human life.

    February 27, 2012 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Aaron

    300,000,000 people in the country and every once in awhile, one of them flips out. Young or old, it doesn't matter. It's tragic, from the perspective of a nation, all you can really say about it is...these things sometimes happen. Human beings sometimes go off the deep end. Realistically, trying to keep some amount of national perspective, thankfully it doesn't happen that often. It's not epidemic. There's roughly 80 million students in America. In 2011 it looks like there were 8 incidents of shootings at a school. If I've done my numbers right that puts the percentage at 0.000001%

    My point is, there are two perspectives, here. For those directly effected, numbers don't mean anything to them. For them it's their whole world. And for that I am truly sorry for them and they have my sympathies. But what it means to a whole nation? In the grand scheme of things, not much. It's not something the nation needs to come together and deal with. 0.000001% is not a national problem. The nation doesn't need to introduce new laws or spend another billion dollars addressing it. It's tragic, but it's life. Humans are like that sometimes. Sadly.

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