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.

soundoff (2,226 Responses)
  1. Ryan

    It bothers me that people read this and all they see is "gun". The gun had nothing to do with it. He could have used any weapon of his choosing. He could have crafted a homemade explosive from household materials and taken out a whole classroom. Get real, if somebody wishes another harm, they're capable of doing it with or without a handgun.

    February 27, 2012 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • dazzle ©

      @ryan, a voice of reason in a blog riddled with blame placed on the weapon. As a young woman, I taught high school at Eastside High School in Paterson,NJ. My principal and life long mentor was Joe Clark. Our problem in that school was drugs. When Joe chained the door to the school,he was locking out dealers. He said in the late 80's that one day all schools will need metal detectors. He was right.

      February 27, 2012 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Gosto Tothiwim

    The day will come when every weapon will be required to have two live webcams, one showing the target and one showing the shooter's face, and the penalty for noncompliance will be draconian, as it should be.

    February 27, 2012 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • CW

      Boy are you a bright one!?

      February 27, 2012 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Alisa

    My local news just told that a 2nd person has died.

    February 27, 2012 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
  4. hicham

    there is in the the criminel justice a basics said born to be bad. that's mean many peoples kills another peoples by defferents reasons.in this incidents i think the psychic reason play the importent role. i mean the killer may be has a psychic problem caused by his entourage .
    the killer kill the kids by gun and his goals was not get money or something like that , i think its a psychic crime.

    February 27, 2012 at 8:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hello

      most likely a bully problem... kid had enough and took out the problem.

      so what happened to the schools anti bully program?
      each school needs to set up a team that a kid can go to .. to report bullying...and get results to stop it.

      February 27, 2012 at 8:22 pm | Report abuse |
  5. CW

    yup, lets give um some more blood and guts shootumuper movies and video games...then ask why....... and where do those Kids come up with this............and then blame guns and everything else that is not the problem.
    Heck lets ban cars because they [yes Cars] get into the wrong hands and Kill more people then almost anything else.

    February 27, 2012 at 8:19 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Hello

    where did he get the gun?
    grandparents have to explain that.
    Time to put TSA inspections at schools.
    Kid needs to be tried as an adult and executed...for murder.

    February 27, 2012 at 8:19 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Marina2003

    Please tell me why and how can a kid get a gun?Where are their dumb parents?Oh! I will be able to get little Johnnie off with saying he was being bullied.I am sick and tired of these kids getting away with murder.man can let them go but people God will punish them.Some people move up in so call safe neighborhoods to fine their crime in their home or next door.The only way you will get away from crime is put yourself in a grave.

    February 27, 2012 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
  8. > CARRIE

    I Got Even at the PROM !!

    February 27, 2012 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Vick

    Bully people & they'll eat your eyes out!

    February 27, 2012 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
  10. BJ


    February 27, 2012 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Shannon

    I think Africa is better then america you never hear this in a school in africa..

    February 27, 2012 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      If you think Africa is so much better than the United States of America.....then please MOVE there and stop your complaining!

      February 27, 2012 at 10:40 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Ciara

    In some cases parents or the childs surrounding are an issue. However, more then anything the states have taking the parents, teachers, and authority figures rights away to disciple our children. Child Protection Services needs to be eliminated and restructured. Give parents and teachers back their rights to instill in these children that their ARE consequences for their actions. Regardless of if they have good parents, bad parents, both parents or just one parent these kids know right from wrong. NO EXCUSE!!!! I am a single mother of 5 and I work full time and my children are not out getting into trouble.

    February 27, 2012 at 9:42 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Comonsenseie

    Statistically this is bound to happen, and even increase now that we have declared that Bulling is a problem.
    Also, as far as the talk of only “Americans does stuff like this” ? Well don’t go to Mexico or the Narco will cut off your head, don’t go to the Middle East or the religious nuts will cut off your heads. Germany 1930’s (all I need to say). Bosnia, Russia, the list goes on of humans declaring war on other humans. This is normal behavior, the problem is we accept this Human kindness as the norm, but we truly are naturally animals that’s why tis cannot be explained.

    February 27, 2012 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "On The Lunatic Fringe"

    Maybe Lucy Lawless can help us out. No..I forgot Xena's in jail getting drilled or something.

    February 27, 2012 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse |
  15. LaChanna

    I Homeschool!!!

    February 27, 2012 at 10:38 pm | Report abuse |
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