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. Reflecting Pool

    We need to start putting these school mass shooting stories on the back page because these homicidal nutcakes are playing to the media. Figure it out and stop feeding these homicidal trolls.

    Obviously, America loves its guns infinitely more than it loves its children – if it loves them at all. So let's just get used to it – let's get accustomed to this mindless violence because the mindless sociopathic gun-loving NRA-supporting imbeciles in this country own the politicians and they own Congress.

    So let's get these stories on the back page – as just a typical, trivial routine incident that is typical of a routine day in the life of the pathologically violent nation of America – a nation that LOVES IT'S GUNS and pays handsome premium box office ticket fees to watch even more violence as a leisure activity which it describes as 'entertainment.'

    February 27, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "On The Lunatic Fringe"

    You think this situation was bad? The situation in this country is about to get worse.

    February 27, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Pri

    How many of our kids are we going to loose before bring guncontrol in the US.
    In a country where good law enforcement is in place why should common man be allowed to possess a gun in the first place!!!
    In the wrong hand at the wrong time.. gun do more harm than protect!

    February 27, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Franko

    Ooohhh no we need to outlaw guns ASAP. We also need to outlaw cars, trucks, stupidity and last but not least people in general. People shouldn't be legal because they kill more than anything out there. Lets get to the root of the problem and just ban humans from the face of the earth.

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

      I didn't want to but if you insist I will. Ok, there. I set the timer for a few minutes. Not long from now I'll go poof!! No more.

      February 27, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      10 bucks says this kid was bullied by the people he shot.... just a hunch... we will see I guess....

      February 27, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Colersnk

    Shooting alwasy takes place in Redneck country. They're always spewing hate and always touting 2nd amendment. Hate mongering + second amendment = lit fuse.

    February 27, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thinking7

      This was not a redneck area. Further, a knife or a homemade bomb could've done damage. If someone wishes to hurt someone, a weapon is going to be found. All those against guns should understand that the criminals all have guns. It's the innocent who need to be able to protect themselves. I just wonder if the teachers had guns in a locked area if something could've been interrupted.

      February 27, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Arden Clement

      Good observation – statistics support this, but the interpretations vary...

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

      Right, there are never any shootings in the hood.

      February 27, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • drahser

      Have you looked at New York, D.C., Chicago, and LA shootings statistics? How is that redneck argument playing for you over there?

      February 27, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Colt45

      You lose. Try again.

      February 27, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • HurtfulTruth

      ANYWHERE that's 96.3% WHITE in THIS country today IS redneck country!!! I was NOT surprised to see the racial makeup of this community.

      February 27, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
  6. John john

    The shooter was from a broken home. A failure of parenting, surprise, surprise.

    February 27, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Toonces

    Big money says he was on, or was recently on anti-depressants.

    February 27, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
  8. sluggo

    I had no idea that Rick Astley was so angry...lol!

    February 27, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Thinking7

    From reading and hearing the eyewitness interviews, it seems that the shooter had been friends with all of the kids in middle school and early high school. It does not mention anywhere why they were not friends anymore. However, it did say that he was sitting a table away from them. He stood up, aimed, and fired. It makes you wonder if those kids had hurt him emotionally. The shooter was only a sophmore or junior. He came from a broken home. I am not condoning his behavior. It was horrid. However, just trying to understand why he did what he did. I don't know if bully was involved, but it does make you wonder why they weren't friends anymore. Very, very sad situation for all involved.

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

      I have also been wondering the same thing. Just from one report saying he was a quiet kid, those are the ones that hold in all their emotions and feelings until one day the ticking bomb just goes off. As you, I am not sure if bullying was a factor, but this is a sad, sad situation and thoughts and prayers are with all the families involved.

      February 27, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      I bet money on it that this kid was bullied by the ones he shot... watch and see what comes up later on ....

      February 27, 2012 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
  10. janetlaw

    Do you need a handgun to hunt? NO. Ask other countries (who have smart gun laws) how many people have been killed en masse in schools or other large venues. Bet its less than the U.S. Let's quit scaring each other and enact sensible gun laws, shall we, instead of being indignant jerks.

    February 27, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nah

      janet: "Do you need a handgun to hunt? NO. Ask other countries (who have smart gun laws) how many people have been killed en masse in schools or other large venues."

      You mean like the 75 people killed in Norway? How about the machine gun bank robberies in England? How about gun crimes in Mexico or South America?

      Please stop being dumb. Clinging dogmatically to a conclusion regardless of the facts tends to show you're an imbecile.

      February 27, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Colt45

      Better yet, why don't you just move to one of those "sensible" countries?

      February 27, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill C

      No, but I do need it to gun down the SOB who breaks into my house.

      February 27, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • drahser

      I agree with putting in place sensible gun laws. I hope that you can comprehend that banning guns only affects the law-abiding citizen and assures that in a two-way conflict, only the bad guy has a weapon and that in an individual v. government scenario, you have stripped the individual of a very important right (that would hopefully never have to be applied).

      Banning guns from those that need them for the safety of their home and for self-defense is almost the most imbecile suggestion that one could ever have.

      February 27, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Gina L.

    Wow. I graduated from there years ago. I am praying for the entire school and especially for the injured students and their families. Stay strong, CHS. Stick together, lean on each other, comfort each other. Things will never be the same, but "not the same" doesn't equate "not okay."

    February 27, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Ugh

    Here we go with more gun control BS. One thing we've learned from criminals is they don't obey the law, no matter how restrictive.

    February 27, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
  13. sMitterine

    Hello everyone! I'm not too bright so please help me figure out something. Now that the shooter is in jail, and if someone said he did it for a girl, isn't someone going to get that girl while he is in Jail? She must be delicious.

    February 27, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
  14. IggyStardust

    Is it me or does this kid look like Sid Vicious?

    February 27, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
  15. JagPthr

    Said it before, I'll say it again.....people from Ohio are nutjobs.

    February 27, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
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