BREAKING: School Shooting at Forest High School in Ocala, Fla
District-wide walkout against gun violence had been planned for today but was canceled before the attack.
Florida has just been hit with another school shooting, making it the 20th attack on a campus the country has had this year. A district-wide walkout against gun violence had been planned for today but was canceled before the attack. The suspect is in custody with thankfully, only injured one student is in the hospital, police said.
Chris Oliver’s 16-year-old son is a Forest student. The boy told his father that the shooting happened near his classroom. According to the boy’s account, the shooter was standing in a hallway and shot at a closed classroom door.
As Forest High students were being bused to First Baptist Church of Ocala to be reunited with their parents, students at some 2,500 schools around the country were walking out of their classrooms as part of the National School Walkout against gun violence.
Today is the 19th anniversary of the Columbine school shooting in Colorado, and across the nation — including Marion County — many high school students are planning to demonstrate in support of gun safety.
Law enforcement said the shooting was called in to authorities at 8:39 a.m. and the gunman was in custody by 8:42 a.m. EST. The student was shot in the ankle at Forest High School and transported to a hospital with a wound not considered life threatening, said Kevin Christian, Marion Public Schools spokesman. The victim is 17.
28 years ago the Democrats created these gun-free death zones, let’s not forget that. And they want to create more and more. Florida Gov. Rick Scott tweeted he was briefed on the shooting.
I was just briefed by @MCSOFlorida Sheriff Billy Woods on today’s shooting in Ocala. I have also spoken with @EducationFL Commissioner Pam Stewart and @FDLEPIO Commissioner Rick Swearingen. I’ve offered any state support to Marion County they may need.
— Rick Scott (@FLGovScott) April 20, 2018
“Forest High was to participate, according to a Thursday post on the school’s Twitter account. School walkouts were canceled districtwide in Marion County after the Forest High shooting.
Forest High, which was ranked as one of the best high schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, has about 2,100 students, who along with staff have been bussed away from the school, to clear the area and transport them to safety while the gunman was at large. Officers have now confirmed that they have the shooter in custody.
School shooting at my school, this crap is terrifying…. Praying for everyone. There was actually a scheduled walkout today. It becomes super real when it's your school. pic.twitter.com/Kafx9qvMWn
— RoboKast (@RoboKast) April 20, 2018
One student from Forest High School in Ocala, Florida has been injured from the shooting and thankfully, there have been no deaths in this attack. A gunman opened fire on campus today, Friday, April 20, in the morning as students were arriving at school. The single victim was hit in the ankle by the shooter’s gunfire.
The Washington Post reports the chaos that ensued as the gunman opened fire:
The father of a witness to the shooting told the newspaper that the shooter was standing in the hallway and shot at a classroom door that was shut — then dropped the weapon, ran and tried to hide.
Authorities took the suspect into custody shortly after. The person’s identity was not released, and investigators have not given details about a suspected motive.
FLORIDA SCHOOL SHOOTING: This is a LIVE press conference from Ocala, Florida where officials will provide an update on this morning's shooting at a high school [NOTE: we do not have control of this feed]
Posted by WSOC-TV on Friday, April 20, 2018
The shooting at a public high school prompted panic in the city of nearly 60,000 people. Parents rushed to the school to pick up rattled children, only to be directed elsewhere by sheriff’s deputies.
According to CNBC, “police say the suspected shooter is also a student at the school.”
CNN reports: A student was wounded and a suspect is in custody after a shooting Friday morning at a high school in Ocala, Florida, according to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.
“The fact that it happened on this day, in a way, reinforces what we are trying to get across,” said Ryan Servaites, a high school freshman in Parkland, Florida, where 17 students and teachers were gunned down in February. “This happens. It is an issue. We see more people dying. Children are being hurt.”
Forest High was to participate in the walkout, according to a Thursday post on the Ocala school’s Twitter account.
Tomorrow we will be participating in the student led civic demonstration. This voluntary event will take place during CAT period with an announcement releasing students that wish to participate. Any student not wanting to participate will remain in their CAT period class.???
— Forest High School (@FHS_WildcatLife) April 19, 2018
Among the law enforcement agencies on the Forest campus are the Ocala Police Department, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, the Florida Highway Patrol and the FBI. They divided into teams that cleared all buildings, vehicles and the parking lot area. Marion County Fire Rescue also set up an on-campus triage area for any student who needs assistance.
School district spokesman Kevin Christian sent a recorded message to parents by phone Friday morning, notifying them of what happened and urging them to avoid the Forest campus, 5000 S.E. Maricamp Road.