The parents of an Ohio school shooting victim remembered their son as a vibrant teen who was excited to claim the first paycheck from his new after-school job.
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Danny Parmertor, 16, died along with Demetrius Hewlin, 16, after fellow student TJ Lane opened fire in the cafeteria of Chardon High School with a .22 caliber handgun on Monday. Russell King Jr., 17, has been declared brain-dead.Video: Parents of Ohio victim: He was a ‘great boy’ (on this page)
Two other classmates were wounded by Lane, 17, a student at a nearby vocational school, who confessed to the shooting Tuesday. He was ordered to remain in custody and is expected to be formally charged on Thursday while Chardon prepares for three funerals.Explain school shootings, but empower kids at same time
Danny Parmertor had recently landed a job at a bowling alley and was looking forward to picking up his first paycheck. His parents are considering burying it with him.
“He was so excited to get that first paycheck,’’ Dina told TODAY's Ann Curry Wednesday. “It was all he was talking about. It’s just heartbreaking.’’
“(Danny) was a happy kid,’’ said Bob Parmertor. “(He) never caused no trouble, and he was always fun to be around. We just loved him.’’
Danny was studying computer networking at a nearby vocational school in the mornings before going to Chardon High School and hoped to go to college, possibly Ohio State.'Oh, my God': 911 calls from school shooting
After being shot, he was airlifted to a nearby hospital. His mother, on her way home from work, frantically called his cell phone when she heard there had been a shooting at the school. When the Parmertors arrived at the hospital, doctors were still trying to save Danny with ventilation tubes and CPR. He was declared brain-dead shortly after.
While Lane’s motives remain unknown, the prosecution believes it was an act of a mentally unstable teenager.
“He chose his victims at random,’’ Geauga County prosecutor David Joyce told reporters. “This is not about bullying. This is not about drugs. This is someone who is not well.’’
An Associated Press report Tuesday indicated that King, one of Parmertor and Hewlin's good friends, was friends with Lane’s ex-girlfriend. Other students in the cafeteria believed Lane opened fire on that table for a reason. Parmertor’s parents don’t feel their son was targeted.Story: Student in school shooting: ‘I went into panic mode’
“I don’t think he knew (Lane),’’ Bob Parmertor said. “They’re just innocent victims.’’
Bob Parmertor remembered his son's playfulness — ribbing his dad because he'd grown taller than him. Dina was thankful for the outpouring of support from the Chardon community of 5,000 as well as across the nation.Prosecutor: Gunman at school fired randomly
“Like everyone always says, ‘It doesn’t happen here,’’’ Dina said. “'It doesn’t happen to me,’ and it did. I don’t think we could get through it without the families, the community and people we don’t know, strangers.
“We’re in a cloud, and I didn’t really know what was going on. I just thought it was us. I can’t believe how everybody is so supportive. It’s very helpful.’’Slideshow: Deadly school shooting in Ohio (on this page)
One of the shooting victims, Joy Rickers, 18, has returned home from the hospital to her family, thanks in part to the actions of fellow student Travis Carver. He delivered first aid to Rickers before emergency medical technicians arrived. The other surviving victim, Nick Walczak, 17, remains in the hospital.
“To the other victims and their families, our hearts go out to them as well,’’ Dina Parmertor said.
Lane was brought to the courthouse in Chardon Tuesday wearing a bulletproof vest and appeared close to tears. He was overheard telling family members in court, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry.’’
While he is considered a minor in Ohio, Lane will most likely be tried as an adult.
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