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. fluteechick

    My school district is next to this one. Even though nothing happened to us, it hit us hard. It's too close for comfort. This morning in my math class, we heard the v.p of the school come on and told us to pray, be prepared, and to realize that THIS is why we have drills. Please pray for these kids, expecially the ones of the boy who passed away, and for the families that had their children shot. Thank you... <3

    February 27, 2012 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
  2. michael

    If the investigation finds that the school district ignored and/or did very little to protect this kid from being bullied there will be major lawsuits against the district

    February 27, 2012 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Evolution

    What's the fuss? Clearly, those students were weaker than he was. It's called survival of the fittest. He's an animal, we are all animals and he exerted his power over them to make sure that he survived and they did not. He killed other animals-still confused why we care?

    Of course, that's absurd isn't it? But that's the logical and rational conclusion of atheism which adheres to evolution. The same second you place value and worth on a human life is the same moment you make a distinction of being an animal and being a human with value. Sorry, but it's the truth.

    Sad that the family has to go through this. Terrible no doubt. meatcnn at gmail com

    February 27, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • KnowsMoreThanYou

      the bullies should have packed weapons!

      February 27, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • james

      Oh brother...I am an atheist and I do believe in evolution. But, I don't need to believe in god to know right from wrong. Survival of the fittest applies to nature and caveman days, but in a civilized society we realize that community supercedes survival of the fittest.

      I suppose you still believe in the tooth fairy.

      February 27, 2012 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
  4. KnowsMoreThanYou

    The only victims here are the supposed "bullies." I hope more "bullies" put losers in their places.

    February 27, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Althalos

    To those of you that say that guns don't kill people, stop yes they do.
    Quick Question:
    Why were guns made in the first place?
    Oh yeah that's right to wage war more efficiently. Guns were made with the intent to kill just like when you use it to hunt.

    February 27, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • BILLJ

      Okay, so what loads the gun, what points the gun and what pulls the trigger, PEOPLE. It is a persons choice to shoot that gun, the gun did not magically appear out of thin air and shot then disappear.

      I hope some day you are faced with a ice and each situation and a cop shows up and uses his gun, then lets see what you say then

      February 27, 2012 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nah

      althalos: "To those of you that say that guns don't kill people, stop yes they do."

      Good job at not understanding the phrase.

      "Guns don't kill people, people kill people" means that the gun itself is useless and virtually harmless without a person using it. And a person who is intent on killing another will most likely do so regardless of what weapons or objects they have available.

      Banning guns will not get rid of a person's desire to kill, and will not prevent the person from either obtaining a firearm, or killing multiple people in other ways.

      February 27, 2012 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • jonathan

      Yet if you want to kill someone bad enough you can easily kill them with no weapon or with a pipe, or knife, or car, or anything! A gun just happens to generally be the easiest most efficent way to kill someone like you said. But outlawing guns wouldn't have diminished whatever he was holding against these kids he targeted. We need to stop trying to solve all these little problems with patches and address the root of why people are killing each other at school.

      February 27, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • BILLJ

      ice and each should have been life and death, darn auto-correct

      February 27, 2012 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • LOL

      My name says it all.

      February 27, 2012 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Althalos

      So i guess we shouldn't ban Iran from making a bomb right? You guys make no sense if you ban possession of firearms their will be less cases in which people wouldn't be hurt like in certain cases of school shootings.
      If we go by what your saying then everyone should own nukes "because nukes don't kill people, people kill people.

      February 27, 2012 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Althalos

      To jonathan:
      You just contradicted yourself and made my point "A gun just happens to generally be the easiest most efficent way to kill someone".

      February 27, 2012 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • booboo

      I dont know why guns were made to make this world worse come on people think be nice we have so much hatred in this world its not even funny love is all we aske for to be free .

      February 27, 2012 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • booboo

      making guns to this world was stupid think people think we have so much hatred in this world its not even funny love is all we ask for to be free .

      February 27, 2012 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ethan

      Banning firearms will not get rid of a person's intent to kill, no. However, it's common knowledge that it WILL make killing more difficult. It's like if I have a big bag of Cheetos right next to me. I would probably eat it, just as if someone were given a means to kill a person more easily, they would if they wanted to. For instance, killing someone long-range with a gun is easier than going up to each and every one and killing them with a knife. If nothing else, a lack of guns merely would reduce the number of deaths. However, government should not "ban" guns, as they've got no right. Instead, it should be made harder to obtain weapons in the first place. This might not prevent this particular case, yet it will certainly discourage the use of guns.

      February 27, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
  6. dxdff

    Rest in PEace to the teenager who died. It was most likely caused by bullying which still doesnt make it right. Why cant this world learn to be nice to others? Love is the strongest feeling in life.

    February 27, 2012 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Ron

    The victims probably F'ed him around, made fun of him etc..If so, they reaped what they sowed

    February 27, 2012 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • KawiMan

      Amen!

      February 27, 2012 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • sherri

      Amen. These bullies need to stop. If not, suffer the consequences....

      February 27, 2012 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
  8. KnowsMoreThanYou

    Anyone else think bullying small kids was fun?

    February 27, 2012 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Richard

    People need to learn, to stop BULLYING other individuals just because they don't follow the NORM!!
    IF that's what happen to this kid! What he did was wrong. But, BULLYING People of any age, needs
    to SERIOUSLY LOOKED AT! Laws! Need to be placed! If there was laws for BULLYING Individuals.
    This kind of happenings would probably STOP!

    February 27, 2012 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Dawn V.

    This is every parent's worst nightmare! You think every morning that you just send your kid off to learn, that there is no real danger except from the food in the caff...The idea that another child could be so distraught with their lives, that the only solution they could come up with is to do something like this is so, so horrifying! My heart breaks for the students who were shot...but also for the child who thought that this was the only and best solution to his problems.
    My thoughts are with the parents of the students...such a sad, sad situation.

    February 27, 2012 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Beam

    Yea lets not blame the actual shooter. I never will understand why blame goes everywhere else, except the person that actually did it..except in the court room. The one that actually commits the crime is the one that goes to jail regardless of what others think. At any rate my thoughts and prayers go out to these teens that were shot and their families...and for the shooter because of the hatred in his heart, regardless of the reason. He is old enough to have gotten help...to have gotten control of himself...he allowed this hatred to ruin his life and will likely spend the rest of his life in prison. Its not worth it...no matter the reason for wanting to hurt others.

    February 27, 2012 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • deb

      I think we all speculate as to "the why"....Neither you nor I or the thousands that have posted here have "walked in his shoes." ( the shooter) We have no idea what his life is like. Yes, he could/should have gotten help, but perhaps, for him, this was his way of dealing with what was troubling him. WE don't know. It is extremely tragic situation for all involved !!! And, when someone witnesses a traumatic event, it lingers. I hope the students at this h.s. get the help they need to deal with this tragedy. My prayers are for everyone involved.

      February 27, 2012 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ann

      While I can't condone his actions, I can understand that he must have had some ugly experiences for this to happen, and I doubt he was "evil" (although I guess we'll find out). People can be driven to do all sorts of nutty things, and those people aren't "evil." They themselves would tell you that they were a perfectly normal person who was driven to something. It doesn't make that action right, of course. But it means that perhaps no one here is "bad" in any inherent soul-based fashion. It may be that things just snowballed. Of course, we don't know. But simply waiting until these events occur and then locking up the shooter for decades solves nothing at all. We need to be doing more to help out, at all kinds of levels. Oh, and adolescents often make really poor choices. I know I made a ton of decisions as a teenager that I now think were pretty idiotic. At the time, those were the "right" choices. In hindsight, not so much.

      February 27, 2012 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
  12. sherri

    To all the bullies out there...consider yourselves warned...

    February 27, 2012 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Glynne1964

    I'm guessing bullying. I know people are speaking out against bullying, but is the message getting through? I don't think so! I'm not condoning what the kid did, but I understand it. Once you've been trampled down emotionally so much that it seems there's no way out, you have to do something. Many kids kill themselves, but some "fight back".
    I'm sure that there were people who knew about it & did basically nothing. I hope you feel guilty. Just cause someone is being picked on, doesn't give you the right to look away. Stand up! Say something. Or the person being bullied may take karma into his/her own hands!

    February 27, 2012 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • deb

      I agree....Stand UP to bullying.....if that was indeed the reason for this tragedy.

      February 27, 2012 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Lean6

    Wrote a song 'bout it. Like to hear it, here it go:

    Robert's got a quick hand.He'll look around the room,he wont tell you his plan.He's got a rolled cigarette hanging out his mouth.He's a cowboy kid.
    Yeah! He found a six-shooter gun in his dad's closet, with the box of fun things.I don't even know what, but he's coming for you. Yeah, He's coming for you! Saying...
    All the other kids with the pumped up kicks,You better run, better run, outrun my gun. All the other kids with the pumped up kicks,You better run, better run, faster than my bullet.
    All the other kids with the pumped up kicks,You better run, better run, outrun my gun. All the other kids with the pumped up kicks,You better run, better run, faster than my bullet.
    Daddy works a long day.He be coming home late, and he's coming home late. And he's bringing me a surprise.'cause dinner's in the kitchen and it's packed in ice
    I've waited for a long time.Yeah the slight of my hand is now a quick-pull trigger. I reason with my cigarette,Then say, "Your hair's on fire, you must have lost your wits, yeah?"
    All the other kids with the pumped up kicks,You better run, better run, outrun my gun. All the other kids with the pumped up kicks, You better run, better run, faster than my bullet.
    All the other kids with the pumped up kicks,You better run, better run, outrun my gun.All the other kids with the pumped up kicks,You better run, better run, faster than my bullet.
    (Run, Run, Run, Run. Run, Run. R-Run, Run, Run. R-Run. R-Run, Run, Run. R-Run. Run, Run. Run, Run. Run, Run, Run.)
    All the other kids with the pumped up kicks,You better run, better run, outrun my gun.All the other kids with the pumped up kicks,You better run, better run, faster than my bullet.
    All the other kids with the pumped up kicks,You better run, better run, outrun my gun.All the other kids with the pumped up kicks,You better run, better run, faster than my bullet.
    All the other kids with the pumped up kicks,You better run, better run, outrun my gun.All the other kids with the pumped up kicks,You better run, better run, faster than my bullet.
    All the other kids with the pumped up kicks,You better run, better run, outrun my gun.All the other kids with the pumped up kicks,You better run, better run, faster than my bullet.

    ("Pumped Up Kicks" – Foster the People_)

    February 27, 2012 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
  15. daftshadow

    "We are shocked by this senseless tragedy," Parmertor's family said in a statement released by MetroHealth Medical Center.

    It wasn't a senseless tragedy. Sure this is awful but something within the group of people who were shot probably provoked the shooter into doing this. Most likely bullying.

    February 27, 2012 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
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