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Video: Parents of Ohio victim: He was a ‘great boy’

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    >>> bob and dina are the parents of 16-year-old victim danny parmatur. good morning.

    >> good morning.

    >> what do you want to say about your son danny that's enough for you to be willing to be on national television so soon after his death?

    >> let everybody know that danny was a great boy. he listened. everything he did. he was a happy kid. never caused no trouble. he was just always fun to be around. he always wanted to be by us. making fun of me all the time, that he was taller than me. we just loved him.

    >> dina , i know he was looking forward to going to college. a few weeks ago he landed his first job at a bowling alley and he was supposed to get his first check tomorrow. is that right?

    >> right. yes. yes, that's right, ann. i just want to say quickly, thank you to the community, the nation honestly. we thank you. we can't imagine how everybody's helping us and our family. we have the best family in the world. and to the other victims and their families, our hearts go out to them as well. to answer your question, he got his first job. he was so excited to get that first paycheck. that's all he was talking about. mom, when i get home from school on thursday, can you take me to pick it up? i don't work until saturday, but i need to go. i said, of course. just that first check. this is heartbreaking.

    >> i know you're thinking about burying that first check with him when you have to lay him to rest.

    >> right.

    >> he was friends with both russell and demetrius. can you think of a motive here? did he know t.j. lane very well? is there any reason you can think that he might have been targeted, your son.

    >> no.

    >> absolutely not. i don't think he even knew him.

    >> right.

    >> danny -- no. they are just innocent victims.

    >> right.

    >> i don't know.

    >> yeah -- you know. just a good boy, like we said.

    >> so in terms of what you want to say then about the loss to your community of 5,000, with a loss of three bright young men, what do you want to say to america, to the world about what has happened to chardon, illinois?

    >> you know, like everybody always says, it doesn't happen here. it doesn't happen to me. and it did. i don't know how. i don't think we could get through it without the families and the community and, like i said, people we don't know -- strangers. we went to the vigil last night. it was unbelievable. i did not -- you know, we're in a cloud and we kind of -- i didn't really know what was going on. i thought this is our house and this family and this happened. when i went out and other people and the nation, you know, you guys, nbc. i just didn't know -- i just thought it was us. i can't believe how everybody's so supportive. it's very helpful to see everyone.

    >> our deepest sympathies and i'm sure you will hear from many people, bob and dina in chardon, ohio, not illinois. our deepest sympathies to you

By
TODAY contributor
updated 2/29/2012 9:03:06 AM ET 2012-02-29T14:03:06

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.

TODAY
Danny Parmertor, 17, had just landed a job at a local bowling alley when he was killed in his school cafeteria Monday.

Story: Coach who chased Ohio shooter doesn't feel like a hero

“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
Image: Chardon Ohio Mourns Deadly School Shooting
Jeff Swensen  /  Getty Images
Maria Cochran and Andressa Green of Chardon place flowers on the sign outside Chardon High School.

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.

© 2013 NBCNews.com  Reprints

Photos: Deadly school shooting in Ohio

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  1. Students walk to a memorial remembering the victims of the Chardon High school shootings before returning to school for the first time since the shootings in Chardon, Ohio on Thursday, Mar. 1. Three students were killed and two others wounded by suspect TJ Lane in Monday's shooting rampage at the Ohio high school. (Shannon Stapleton / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Students and parents walk from a memorial remembering the victims of the Chardon High school shootings, as they return to school for the first time since the shootings in Chardon, Ohio Mar. 1. (Shannon Stapleton / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Students and parents gather at a memorial remembering the victims of the Chardon High school shootings before returning to school for the first time since the shootings in Chardon, Ohio on Mar. 1. (Shannon Stapleton / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Maria Cochran and Andressa Green of Chardon place flowers on the sign outside Chardon High School in Chardon, Ohio on Tuesday, Feb. 28. (Jeff Swensen / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. A group of students and parents pray for victims of a school shooting on the square in Chardon, Ohio on Feb. 28. A gunman opened fire inside the Chardon High School cafeteria at the start of the school day Monday. Two of the victims have died and wounding three remain hospitalized. (Mark Duncan / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Alleged gunman TJ Lane is escorted out of the Geauga County Courthouse Annex and into a car by Sheriff deputies after his court appearance on Thuesday, Feb. 28. (Aaron Josefczyk / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Student places a bouquet of roses at the base of the Chardon High School sign on Tuesday, Febr. 28. (Aaron Josefczyk / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Alissa Sully, 17, hugs a friend before a prayer service for victims of a school shooting at Chardon Assembly of God in Chardon, Ohio, on Monday, Feb. 27. (Mark Duncan / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. FBI and local police investigators search for evidence in a rural area of Chardon Township, Ohio, on Monday, Feb. 27. (Mark Duncan / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Students leave Chardon High School in Chardon, Ohio, following the shooting on Monday, Feb. 27. (WKYC via NBC News) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Officers leave Chardon High School on Feb. 27 after a gunman opened fire inside the high school's cafeteria at the start of the school day. (Mark Duncan / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. This image from video shows the alleged gunman being arrested in Chardon, Ohio, on Feb. 27. (WKYC via NBC News) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Chardon middle school student Daniel Kimball is consoled by his older sister, Samantha Kimball, after she picked him up from school following a shooting at Chardon High School on Feb. 27. (David Maxwell / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. A State Police helicopter leaves the scene following a shooting at Chardon High School on Feb. 27. (David Maxwell / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Students leave with parents from Maple Elementary School after a shooting at Chardon High School on Feb. 27. (Tony Dejak / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. Parents wait for news at at Chardon High School on Feb. 27 after the shooting. (John Horton / The Plain Dealer) Back to slideshow navigation
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