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Official: 1 dead, 4 hurt in Ohio school shooting

Law Enforcement and school officials speak in Chardon, Ohio,  where one student was killed and four others were injured in a shooting incident at a high school.

Updated 11:15 p.m. ET: CHARDON, Ohio - A teen gunman opened fire inside a high school cafeteria at the start of the classes on Monday, killing one student and wounding four others, police said.

The suspect was taken into custody near his car a half-mile from the suburban Cleveland school after a teacher chased him from the building, according to FBI officials.


Police have not formally identified the suspected gunman, but students, parents of students and local media said his name was T.J. Lane, which was confirmed by NBC News.

FBI agent Scott Wilson would not comment on a possible motive for the attack.

Prayer vigils will be held at the school and several area churches Monday night for the victims of the shooting.

The injured students were rushed to area hospitals where a boy identified as Daniel Parmentor, 17, died at MetroHealth System in Cleveland. Parmentor, a high school junior, went to a nearby vocational school where he studied computer science, and was waiting in the cafeteria for a bus when the gunman opened fire.

"We are shocked by this senseless tragedy," said a statement from Parmentor's family, provided by MetroHealth. "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."

Ohio officials hold a news conference on the shooting at Chardon High School that left one person dead and four injured.

Two of the wounded were listed in critical condition, and another was in serious condition.

Police Chief Tim McKenna said authorities "have a lot of homework to do yet" in their investigation.

Bob Farinacci, who is representing Lane, read a statement on behalf of his family:

"They want to give their most heartfelt and sincere condolences to the family of the young man who passed and their continuing prayers are with all those who were injured. This is something that could never have been predicted. T.J.'s family has asked for some privacy while they try to understand how such a tragedy could have occurred and while they mourn this terrible loss for their community."

Farinacci added that Lane is a sophomore with "pretty impressive" grades who doubled up on classes this year to graduate by May.

"He pretty much sticks to himself but does have some friends and has never been in trouble over anything that we would know about," Farinacci said. 

Lane attended Lake Academy Alternative School for at-risk students that is operated out of the Lake County Educational Service Center, said Brian Bontempo, superintendent of the Lake County Educational Service Center, which operates the academy.

The Ohio shooting is the worst at a U.S. high school in 11 months and the worst in Ohio since late 2007, according to the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

Suspect in custody following Ohio school shooting

‘In shock’
Panicked students screamed and ran through the halls when gunfire broke out around 7:30 a.m. at the 1,100-student Chardon school, about an hour’s drive east of downtown Cleveland.

Freshman Danny Komertz, 15, said he saw one student who authorities say was killed trying to get under a table to protect himself and shield his face.

Video from WKYC-TV in Cleveland, Ohio, shows the suspect in the Chardon High School shooting being taken into custody.

Komertz described the shooter as an outcast who had apparently been bullied.

Komertz says that there were at least 100 students in the cafeteria at the time and that most fled immediately as shots were fired.

Three of the male students shot were believed to be from Auburn Career Academy, a vocational school with 700 juniors and seniors, taken from 11 surrounding school districts including Chardon High School, Superintendent Maggie Lynch said. 

The Cleveland Plain Dealer identified the wounded students as Joy Rickers, 18, Nick Walczak, 17, Russell King, 17, and Demetrius Hewlin, 16.

The teacher who chased the gunman out of the school was identified by students as Frank Hall, an assistant football coach.

Nate Mueller, a student who said he was sitting in the cafeteria at a table with three of the victims, told WKYC.com that his ear was grazed by one of the bullets as he turned away from the gunman.

“He didn’t say anything the entire time. He took one shot, and then that’s when we looked to see what was happening because it sounded like a firecracker almost, and at that point I looked back, I saw him shoot -- which hit one of my other friends that was sitting at the table with us. And then, as I was turning around ... that’s when he hit me.”

Mueller said the shooting didn't seem real. "It all feels like a movie. ... I am sure tomorrow I’ll be devastated."

Sketchy reports emerge on alleged high school gunman

The gunman, who used a revolver, had been a friend of Mueller's until the end of junior high school. Mueller said at that point the gunman had entered a "gothic" phase.

“He still had friends. He was still a nice kid … we didn’t think he would hurt anybody,” he said.

“He was not like a jock, a popular kid," student Evan Erasmus told Channel 5. “He has friends, but he would be considered the outcast type."

Erasmus told Channel 5 that a student tweeted he was going to bring a gun to school but no one took him seriously. Other reports said it was a text.

Jonathan Sylak, a senior at the high school, said he never saw a text or tweet but had heard about it.

A student at Chardon High School in Ohio, who was grazed by a bullet when a fellow student opened fire in the school cafeteria, tells WKYC-TV he used to be friends with the shooter until he got into a "gothic phase."

 “It is a nice, safe community, and from what we have observed, very little crime... But you never know what is going on in other people’s minds,” Sylak told MSNBC TV.

"I am still in shock,” Sylak said.

 Asked about the connection of the alleged shooter and the victims, Sylak said, “I don’t think it was random.”

“They were definitely targeted, I think,” he said.

‘Distraught’
Heather Ziska, 17, said she was in the cafeteria when she heard popping noises in the hall. She said she recognized the male student as he came into the cafeteria and started shooting.

She said she and several others immediately ran outside, while other friends ran into a middle school and others locked themselves in a teachers' lounge.

"Everybody just started running," said 17-year-old Megan Hennessy, who was in class when she heard loud noises. "Everyone was running and screaming down the hallway."

Police recovered a handgun and gave it to the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for examination, that agency said.

A law enforcement source said the Geauga County sheriff's office and federal agents were executing search warrants in the case, but the official did not provide locations.

"I'm just distraught," Victoria, a Chardon High student, told Fox 8. She said the cafeteria wasn't crowded at the time of the shooting, adding that she knew the shooter, who is a junior.  Victoria said she saw him shoot another student in the back before she and a friend fled the area.

Chardon schools will be closed on Tuesday as a day of reflection following the shooting, Superintendent Joe Bergant said at an afternoon news briefing.

The school system in Chardon has received an excellent rating from the Ohio Department of Education for 10 consecutive years and draws students from a number of surrounding communities.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

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