- Associated Press - Monday, February 27, 2012

CHARDON, Ohio — A teenager described as an outcast at his suburban Cleveland high school opened fire in the cafeteria Monday, killing one student and wounding four others before he was chased from the building by a teacher and captured a short distance away, authorities said.

A student who saw the attack up close said it appeared that the gunman targeted a group of students sitting at a cafeteria table and that the one who was killed was trying to duck under the table.

FBI officials would not comment on a motive. And police Chief Tim McKenna said authorities “have a lot of homework to do yet” in their investigation of the shooting, which sent students screaming through the halls at the start of the school day at 1,100-student Chardon High.

Teachers locked down their classrooms as they had been trained to do during drills, and students took cover as they waited for the all-clear in this town of 5,100 people 30 miles from Cleveland. One teacher was said to have dragged a wounded student into his classroom for protection. Another chased the gunman out of the building, police said.

According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, citing students at the school including one whose ear was grazed by a bullet, the suspect in custody is junior T.J. Lane. Authorities did not officially identify the suspect because he is a juvenile.

Nate Mueller, the student whose ear was grazed, said he was friends with Mr. Lane until the other boy “got into the goth phase.”

According to the Cleveland Examiner, Mr. Lane’s now-deleted Facebook page often ranted about death, God and Lucifer, and had a post late last year saying “Now! Feel death. … Die all of you.”

Danny Komertz, who witnessed the shooting, said the suspected gunman was known as an outcast who had apparently been bullied.

“I looked up and this kid was pointing a gun about 10 feet away from me to a group of four kids sitting at a table,” Mr. Komertz said. He said the gunman fired two shots quickly, and students scrambled for safety. One of them was “trying to get underneath the table, trying to hide, protecting his face.”

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

FBI officials would not comment on a motive for the attack, and Chief McKenna said authorities “have a lot of homework to do yet” in their investigation.

The slain student, Daniel Parmertor, was an aspiring computer repairman who was shot while waiting for the bus for his daily 15-minute ride to a vocational center.

“We are shocked by this senseless tragedy,” his family said in a statement. “Danny was a bright young boy who had a bright future ahead of him.”

Teacher Joe Ricci had just begun class when he heard shots and slammed the door to his classroom, yelling, “Lockdown!” to students, according to Karli Sensibello, a student whose sister was in Mr. Ricci’s classroom.

A few minutes later, Mr. Ricci heard a student moaning outside, opened the door and pulled in student Nick Walczak who had been shot several times, Ms. Sensibello said in an email. Mr. Ricci comforted Mr. Walczak and let him use his cellphone to call his girlfriend and parents, Ms. Sensibello said. She said her sister was too upset to talk.

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