Monday, February 27, 2012 at 9:45 AM
WOIO reports that one "student gunman is in custody" after a shooting this morning at Chardon High School east of Cleveland.
CNN is reporting that it appears that only one person was "responsible for the shooting." Superintendent Joseph Bergant told CNN that he believed that person was a student. The Aurora Advocate reported earlier that there were "conflicting reports that there is a second gunman in custody."
[Scroll down for updates to this story.]
The shooting happened at about 7:30 a.m. when, as CNN reported, "at least three students were wounded" by gunfire in the school's cafeteria:
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 High School has about 1,100 students and is located next to Chardon Middle School and across the street from Maple Elementary School, WKSU says.
Classes have been canceled at all Chardon schools today, WOIO reports.
Our partners at WCPN and WKSU are on the scene and will have updated reports throughout the day.
Chardon school district superintendent Joseph Bergant told WKSU that "the school campus is now safe:"
“I believe there was one person who committed the act. That person is now in custody and the school campus is now safe, however we are now dealing with large crowds of people coming to get their children.”
WKSU reports that the FBI and the Geauga County Sheriff's Office are now saying four people were shot.
Update, 11 a.m.:
The Cleveland Plain Dealer is reporting that five students -- four boys and a girl -- were injured in the shooting. They say that the boy arrested in connection with the shooting was arrested after fleeing the school building:
The youth who was arrested had fled the high school building, but was caught on Woodin Road in Chardon Township, a law officer said. The boy is being processed at the sheriff's office, according to reports about 9 a.m.
Expect more from after a noon press conference at the school.
School district and Geauga County Sheriff's Office officials held a brief press conference.
The sheriff's office said:
"We feel so disheartened. We certainly hope those families know that they're in our thoughts and prayers."
The school district will hold a vigil tomorrow night at 7 p.m. at the Church of St. Mary in Chardon, Bergant said. There will be grief counselors at the school until 7 p.m. tonight.
Bergant praised how school district staff reacted to the shooting:
I especially want to thank our teaching staff who were well prepared.
Update, 2:40 p.m.:
The MetroHealth System released this statement from the family of Daniel Parmertor, the student killed in today's shooting:
We are shocked by this senseless tragedy. 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.
Update, 5 p.m.:
The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports on the students who were killed and injured:
Daniel Parmertor, 16, died at MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland. Two male students, identified by their friends as Russell King and Demetrius Hewlin, both juniors, remain in critical condition at Metro. Joy Rickers, 18, a senior, and Nick Walczak, 17, a junior, are at Hillcrest Hospital. One is in stable condition and the other is in serious condition, officials said.
Geauga County law enforcement officials are not releasing the name of the boy arrested in connection with the shooting. But the Cleveland Plain Dealer identified him as T.J. Lane, a junior at Lake Academy Alternative School, which serves “at-risk” students.
Chardon school district superintendent Joseph Bergant said that the Chardon schools will be closed tomorrow. Students, teachers and all staff (except for a handful of maintenance workers) should stay home and "spend some time reflecting on family," he said.
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said in a written statement that "preliminary reports indicate that if it were not for the extraordinary courage of a teacher who chased the shooter out of the school, and if not for the speedy reaction of school leaders, the toll of these shootings could have been even worse"