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. Ron Perlstein

    I'm wondering why CNN and other news media is not questioning the gun used in the Ohio school shooting. Ohio has vertually no restrictions on hand guns and has recently passed legislation allowing concealed weapons in many public places. There is a new law proposed to allow concealed weapons in churches, too. I have not seen any reporting so far on this key issue in this horriible tragedy.

    February 28, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
  2. lovebug_r

    3 students have now died confirmed

    February 28, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
  3. JZ

    At least he didn't off himself.. He has to live with the pain and guilt the rest of his life.

    February 28, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  4. doug

    MMM..just wondering...when Witney Houston died all cnn did was cover her story and nothing else...A horrible moment of loosing three children to a gunman only gets maybe 5 minutes every 30 minutes of reporting....I guess celebrity dying is more important to cnn than the loss of three innocent children that never experienced life...shame on you cnn...lshame on you!

    February 28, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Ellen

    When will families realize the importance of both the mother and a father under the same roof in a family. This is the problem with these unfortunate situations. Children require good roll models and a stable two parent family. This seems very apparent to me. How about you. This did not need to happen. Children these days are at a disadvantage unfortunately. Children suffer and the adults get on with their life.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Lesley

    Fiirst, I would like to send my condolences to the family, that was affected by this hideous act. It has now come to this: when you send your children off to school in the morning, you do not know if they will return back home.. My opinion is that metal detectors and security should be installed in schools, regardless of the location – the suburbs or in the urban city. A word to parents: talk to your children, find out if something is troubling them, if so – seek for outside
    help if you can't control the situation...Back in my day, a fist fight was the worse thing that could happen and it was not even acceptable!
    May God be with the families and give them healing and strength to cope with this terrible tragedy.

    February 29, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
  7. David

    thanx everyone for your support. we all hope everything goes back to normal. it will take time

    February 29, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jim

    This type of situation will end when bullying ends...the kids who have unfortunately died were probably and I'm just guessing here, not very nice to this kid. I'm also guessing the ones that have survived will find it in their hearts to maybe be a little nicer to people from this day forward. Stupid all around...

    March 1, 2012 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Kei

      I agree, The GOP have given free passes to kids that want to Bully and Torment others in the name of religion. The real victim is the shooter, i bet there is a long history of being bullied, and school officials didn't lift a finger to stop it. This should be a lesson to all who thinks Bullying is just a part of growing up, because it isn't! Once more kids become intolerant of bullying, they will take their own safety into their hands. I believe this was self defense. The person that was shot was 2 feet away probably because they were bullying her yet again.. and she was just defending herself. It changes peoples minds very quickly when someone ultimately stands up to a bully, to acknowledge that bullying is wrong!

      March 1, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • tim

      This is BS. One kid shoots another and you side with the shooter. Also do your homework on this one, the shooter hardly knew the victims and was charged with assault for attacking his uncle only two years earlier. You're an idiot

      March 4, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Ron

    Every night on every channel someone is murdered in some show. We live in a violent, gun-driven society. I can't believe this doesn't have some effect on kids who grow up in front of a TV set.

    March 14, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Josh

    Nice, quiet, shy kid specifically targets a group of boys and shoots them? Story reeks of a bullied teen who lashed out.

    As a kid who was relentlessly bullied in my teenage years, I admit I sometimes dreamed of killing my tormentors. Never did, and never would have mind you – I knew that two wrongs didn't make a right. But I can certainly understand why a kid did cross that line. He'll pay the price for it with his freedom.

    Maybe in 10 years kids will be too afraid to pick on other students and hurt/humiliate them? Always trying to see the glass as half full.

    March 14, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
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