CHARDON, Ohio –– The Catholic community “shares the grief of the families and friends of the five victims” of a school shooting Feb. 27 in Chardon, said Bishop Richard G. Lennon of Cleveland.
“We continue to struggle in disbelief with the horrifying nature of the incident and we look to God to bring us peace and comfort,” he said in a statement.
Five students were shot when a teenager opened fire in the cafeteria at Chardon High School in the Cleveland suburbs.
Student Daniel Parmertor, 16, died instantly. A second student, Russell King Jr., 17, was declared brain dead at 1 a.m. Feb. 28, but an Associated Press story said it was unclear if the teen remained on life support. Later that morning, MetroHealth Medical Center reported that a third student, Demetrius Hewlin, 16, who was in critical condition, had died.
The two remaining students wounded by the gunman were being treated at Hillcrest Hospital, but their names were not released.
“We ask for everyone’s prayers in order to bring healing to the families of the victims, to the Chardon community, and to the family of the young man who is reported to be responsible for this terrible tragedy,” said Bishop Lennon.
Police said a 17-year-old male suspected of being the shooter was chased from the school and a short time later arrested about a half a mile away. Authorities would not release his name because he is a juvenile. According to news reports, he was to appear in court the afternoon of Feb. 28, but there was no word on the charges he faced.
The family of the suspect identified him as T.J. Lane in a statement released through a lawyer on a Cleveland television station later that evening. The Lane family said that they were devastated by news of the shooting and extended “heartfelt and sincere condolences” to the victims and their families. The lawyer described the youth as “extremely remorseful.”
Daniel Parmertor was a parishioner at St. Mary’s Church, which is across from the high school. An ecumenical prayer service was scheduled at the church for the evening of Feb. 28.
His family said in a statement that they were “torn by the loss.”
“Danny was a bright young boy who had a bright future ahead of him,” the statement said.
An AP story said that Daniel, a junior, and the other students were in the cafeteria waiting for a bus to take them to a vocational school, when the shooter opened fire with a handgun.