Shooting at Forest High School in Marion County: 1 injured
Sheetal Sukhija - Saturday 21st April, 2018
A person was reportedly injured in the shooting at Forest High School
A person who was suspected to have fired a weapon was taken into custody
Residents were asked to avoid the area and parents were asked to pick up their children from a church in Ocala
FLORIDA, U.S. - A massive police response was activated after a student opened fire on a classmate at a Marion County high school in Florida.
On Friday, officials said that the shooting, in which a student shot a classmate at the Marion County high school, came 19 years to the day of the mass shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado.
The Marion County Sheriff's Office said that the shooting took place around 8:30 a.m. Friday at Forest High School at 5000 SE Maricamp Road.
Further, Marion County Schools spokesman Kevin Christian told local reporters that one student was shot in the ankle and was taken to a hospital for treatment.
Officials said that he suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
Meanwhile, revealing details of the attack, Deputies said a school resource officer took the suspected shooter down and placed him in custody.
So far, officials have not revealed the suspected shooter's name and age, but said that the school, which had over 2,300 students in attendance, was immediately placed on lockdown.
Deputies advised citizens to avoid the area in a Facebook post.
Local reports noted that parents were asked to gather at the First Baptist Church of Ocala at 2801 SE Maricamp Road to pick up their children after they were taken to the church in school buses.
Apart from the FBI, law enforcement officers from the Ocala Police Department, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, and the Florida Highway Patrol attended the scene and have launched an investigation.
While the Marion County Fire Rescue set up a triage area for students who needed assistance, authorities cleared classrooms and vehicles.
According to the Sheriff's officials, a SWAT team later conducted a secondary sweep of the school.
In a brief statement, Gov. Rick Scott tweeted that he was briefed on the shooting and offered any state support that Marion County may need.
The shooting reportedly took place on the same day as many schools across the country are holding walkouts to protest gun violence.
Later in the day, Marion County school district released a statement saying that its students will not participate in the walkout.
It said in the statement that students can talk about school tragedies during a dedicated time.
The statement read, "(Today), public high school students in Marion County have the opportunity to exchange ideas and opinions when it comes to school safety. These trades of philosophies are structured around citizenship and responsible civic participation. Instead of walking out of class, Marion County students will constructively use a 30-minute time period to exchange ideas, discuss differing opinions, and offer hard-thought solutions on how our community should address school tragedies like the Parkland, Florida, shooting in February.”
Adding, "Just days after that shooting, Marion County Superintendent Dr. Heidi Maier announced April 20 would offer students a civic opportunity and student-led activities to openly discuss and safely voice their concerns for school safety in today’s world. Marion County’s seven traditional public high school principals have worked with student leaders to tailor activities for their respective campuses, realizing what one campus wants is different than what another campus wants. Schools and students will recognize the difference of opinions in their student bodies during events and activities closed to the public. For safety reasons, students will not be permitted to leave campus during these specific times.”
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