CHARDON, Ohio — The teen gunman suspected of killing three and injuring two others in a shooting at Chardon High School in Ohio on Monday has been identified as Thomas “T.J.” Lane.
An eyewitness told CNN that he saw Lane point a gun directly at a group of students in the cafeteria.
“I looked straight ahead, and I saw a gun pointing at a group of four guys sitting at a table, and he was about two feet away from them,” Danny 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.”
On a mission
Komertz said it appeared Lane targeted the group.
“He was aiming right at them,” he said. “He wasn’t shooting around the cafeteria. He was directly aiming at the four of them.”
Komertz said he ran out the door when the shooting started. As he was running he said he heard two more shots.
“I just can’t believe it. I don’t think it’s real,” he said. “And I just, it kills me that I saw someone hiding, and now that someone is now dead.”
On Tuesday, the AP reported three of the five students who had been shot had died.
The family of Daniel Parmertor, one of the students killed in Monday’s shooting, said they’re shocked by the senseless tragedy. In a statement released by the hospital that treated Parmertor, his family said, “Danny was a bright young boy who had a bright future ahead of him. The family is torn by this loss.”
Student describes suspected shooter
Evan Erasmus, a student at Chardon High School, hid in a classroom during the shooting. He told CNN that he was surprised to learn Lane was the suspected shooter. He added that in middle school and in early high school a number of the victims used to be friends with Lane.
“He was more of a quiet type of kid,” Erasmus said. “He was more of a quiet type of kid. He was really nice, though, if you did talk to him. He came from a broken home. My family knew his a little bit from high school. And he just came from a really broken down home and he was living with his grandparents. I was really shocked when I found out that it was him. Because he was, I mean, he was quiet, but he was one of the nicest kids there. You could talk to him really easily. I mean, he was funny. It was really shocking that it was him.”
Eyewitnesses describe shooting
Suspected shooter’s Facebook postings
Lane’s Facebook page has since been deactivated, but reports say that on Dec. 30, 2011 he posted a status update that ended with the sentence, “Die, all of you.”
According to Mashable, the posting appeared to be a poem or lyrics to a song about a man with no belongings or family who goes on to live in a “castle” which is described as “Lucifer’s Labratory.” The man goes on to destroy the castle and kill its occupants.
After Lane’s Facebook account was deactivated, Mashable posted a transcript from Lane’s December 30 post:
In a time long since, a time of repent, The Renaissance. In a quaint lonely town, sits a man with a frown. No job. No family. No crown. His luck had run out. Lost and alone. The streets were his home. His thoughts would solely consist of “why do we exist?” His only company to confide in was the vermin in the street. He longed for only one thing, the world to bow at his feet. They too should feel his secret fear. The dismal drear. His pain had made him sincere. He was better than the rest, all those ones he detests, within their castles, so vain. Selfish and conceited. They couldn’t care less about the peasents they mistreated. They were in their own world, it was a joyous one too. That castle, she stood just to do all she could to keep the peasents at bay, not the enemy away. They had no enemies in their filthy orgy. And in her, the castles every story, was just another chamber of Lucifer’s Laboratory. The world is a sandbox for all the wretched sinners. They simply create what they want and make themselves the winners. But the true winner, he has nothing at all. Enduring the pain of waiting for that castle to fall. Through his good deeds, the rats and the fleas. He will have for what he pleads, through the eradication of disease. So, to the castle he proceeds, like an ominous breeze through the trees. “Stay back!” The Guards screamed as they were thrown to their knees. “Oh God, have mercy, please!” The castle, she gasped and then so imprisoned her breath, to the shallow confines of her fragile chest. I’m on the lamb but I ain’t no sheep. I am Death. And you have always been the sod. So repulsive and so odd. You never even deserved the presence of God, and yet, I am here. Around your cradle I plod. Came on foot, without shod. How improper, how rude. However, they shall not mind the mud on my feet if there is blood on your sheet. Now! Feel death, not just mocking you. Not just stalking you but inside of you. Wriggle and writhe. Feel smaller beneath my might. Seizure in the Pestilence that is my scythe. Die, all of you.
There have been reports that Lane also posted on Twitter, and may have posted a threatening message prior to the shooter, however if he had a Twitter account, it has been deleted. There have been also been conflicting reports saying that Lane is the young man pointing two pistols at the camera in a photograph circulating on the social media site.
One victim remains in the hospital as of Tuesday evening. Another shooting victim has been released.