One student was injured after a suspect opened fire inside a central Florida high school Friday morning. Planned walkouts for the 19th anniversary of the Columbine shooting were canceled for the school district shortly after news of the incident spread.
A school resource officer at Forest High School in Ocala, Florida, first heard what he believed to be a loud “bang” sound at 8:39 a.m., Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods told reporters in a briefing Friday. Nearly three minutes later, the officer located the shooter and was able to take him or her into custody. Woods did not say how the shooter was neutralized, though he added that the shooter offered little resistance. The officer also found a 17-year-old student shot in the ankle.
Woods added that the victim’s injuries were non-life-threatening. There were no other injuries reported in this morning’s incident.
LIVE Press Conference on Forest High School Shooting
Posted by Marion County Sheriff's Office on Friday, April 20, 2018
Woods didn’t offer many additional details about the suspect, but did say it was a 19-year-old non-student. He did not say whether the shooter was a former student of the school, but said the shooting appeared to be “intentional.” The sheriff declined to identify the weapon used in the shooting.
“Although we have come to a safe conclusion, it is still an investigation, and there’s a lot of details that we don’t know,” Woods said.
In an initial update on Facebook, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that the suspect was in custody and that the wounded student was being treated by medics. Forest High School is the second largest school in Marion County with more than 2,000 students.
— Jason Olson (@knightproducer) April 20, 2018
Just arrived at pick up spot where parents are waiting to get heir kids. pic.twitter.com/GrOI3fx6k4
— Vanessa Araiza (@AraizaReport) April 20, 2018
Forest High School had planned on participating in the national walkout and also scheduled a 30-minute discussion on gun violence, WKMG-TV reported, but school walkouts were cancelled district-wide for the county following the shooting.
Later in the morning, shortly after the Forest High SChool situation was contained, there were a report of a possible threat at another high school about 30 minutes away. Authorities have since said the report was “unfounded” and that there was no threat.
The PBS NewsHour will update this story as it develops.