The gunman was identified as a student at the school by survivors of the shooting.
Nate Mueller, a junior at the school, was having breakfast with three friends when he heard a loud pop like a firecracker about 7:45 .am., he told ABC News.
A friend yelled, "Duck!" and Mueller turned to see the shooter standing by his table. Mueller said he saw the gunman take his second shot.
Mueller said he saw one friend get hit. "He was over the table in a pool of blood," he said. Another pal "was on the floor in a puddle of blood next to him," Mueller said.
A third friend "had not been hit yet as I jumped over him," Mueller said.
Mueller got on the floor and was trying to crawl away when a shot rang out and he felt a bullet graze his ear. He was not badly injured, he said, with just a small red mark left on his ear.
"It was terror. Everything had just gone tunnel vision, like, I need to get out of here," Mueller said. "You see glances of your friends laying all over the place. There's blood, there's people screaming, everybody's just running in different directions and you're just trying to get out. That's all you can do, get out of the school and not look back even though your friends are back there."
Two students were taken by ambulance to Hillcrest Hospital and three were taken by helicopter to MetroHealth Hospital, according to WEWS.
One student later died from the wounds.
"There is one deceased student," Chardon Police Chief Tim McKenna said at a news conference. "That's the sad news for all of us today."
Police have not officially identified the gunman, saying only that he has not yet been charged and that he is a juvenile.
Mueller described the suspect as "a quiet kid. Freshman year he got into a 'Goth' phase and didn't talk to that many people anymore. He never egged anybody on. He just went about his business."
The gunman opened fire with a handgun just before 8 a.m. in the school cafeteria where students were eating breakfast, authorities and witnesses said.
The shooter was chased out of the building by a teacher and later turned himself in to a passerby, authorities said.
The suspect is in custody at Geauga County Safety Center, according to ABC News' Cleveland affiliate WEWS.
"Our prayers go out to the five victims and their families," a choked up School Superintendent Joseph Bergant said at news conference. "It's a horrible tragedy."
Geauga County Sheriff Daniel McClelland praised the reaction to the shooting.
"A prompt entry was made into the school. They went into the school and located the victims. It became readily apparent that the shooter had fled already," McClelland said. "The individual was apprehended some distance from the school and had fled on foot."
The officer said police created a security perimeter to make sure the gunman could not return and a search, including a K-9 unit, was launched for the suspect.
Ohio High School Student Arrested in School Shooting
Parent Teresa Hunt told WEWS that she was texting with her daughter during the lockdown and her daughter said she heard five shots fired in the cafeteria about 7:30 a.m. Her daughter texted that students were scared and that four people had been shot.
Chardon student Evan Erasmus told WEWS that a student had tweeted that he was going to bring a gun to school, but that no one took him seriously.
The Chardon Fire Department was called to the school at about 7:45 a.m. in response to a report of "several people shot," according to Inspector William Crowley of the Chardon Fire Department.
Multiple law enforcement agencies, including a SWAT team, rushed to the school.
The superintendent immediately canceled classes at all schools in the district. Students who were still on school buses were being dropped back off at their homes and parents were called to pick up their children that were already at school.
The Chardon School District sent a voicemail to parents that schools are closed and high school students are being moved to the middle school, according to WEWS.
Parents received the following message:
"As of 9:00 AM the alleged sole CHS gunman is in custody and Chardon High School students are being moved by safety forces to Maple Elementary. Parents or legal guardians can pick up their students up any time. Chardon Middle School students are also being released to parents."
Ohio Gov. John Kasich tweeted around 9:30 a.m., "Pls pray for wounded Chardon HS students, their families, and their community; appears things under control now."
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has eight agents on their way to the scene and they are expected to trace the firearm.
Chardon is a village in Geauga County, about 35 miles east of Cleveland, Ohio.
- Chardon High School