Lane, a 17-year-old sophomore at nearby Lake Academy, apparently targeted the students he shot in the school cafeteria at random.
But although Lane's name has now become infamous for its association with violence, The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that the shooting suspect has been surrounded by violence for much of his young life.
Geauga County court records show that Lane's father, Thomas Lane Jr., has been arrested multiple times for increasingly violent crimes against women, and may have been abusive towards T.J. as well.
Horrific Crimes Against Women
On more than one occasion, law enforcement warned Thomas Lane Jr. to stay away from T.J. and his mother, who has been identified as Sarah A. Nolan. Between 1995 and 1997, both of Lane's parents charged each other with domestic violence against the other.
After their split, Lane's father was also charged with assaulting a police officer. But he served time in prison for a different offense: trying to suffocate the woman he married after his divorce from Nolan.
Court records detail the attack. Lane's father first held his wife's head under running water, then bashed it into the wall, hard enough to leave a dent in the drywall.
Soon after he went to prison, however, his wife wrote asking that he be released early.
She had divorced Thomas Lane, but said in the letter that he was always a good father to their twin daughters and a son she had before they married, The Plain Dealer reports.
T.J. Lane was a sophomore at Lake Academy Alternative School, an Ohio high school for at-risk youth, many of whom who've struggled with addiction or suffered abuse at home.
He is currently being held at Portage-Geauga Detention facility, and went to a juvenile detention hearing Tuesday afternoon. According to his friends, the suspect lived with his grandparents and has multiple step-siblings.
'Very, very scared.'
Lawyer Bob Farinacc, who is representing Lane, spoke for his client and the Lane family late Monday.
He described the 17-year-old boy as very, very scared and extremely remorseful.
He is a very confused young man right now, Farinacci told WKYC. He's very confused. He is very upset. He's very distraught. ... This is a very scary circumstance that I don't think he could have possibly even foreseen himself in the middle of.
Lane had one prior case in Geauga County Juvenile court two years ago. Officials would not release information on the case, but several at the court said the family's troubles were known to social workers in the county.
Anthony Gracco, Chardon High School junior, said he knew T.J. Lane from playing basketball at school together a few years ago. Lane had always seemed like a happy kid.