During the National School Walkout Friday, two Florida schools were locked down, one with a live active shooting and the other a false alarm, but the scene there was nonetheless chaotic with hysterical parents storming and jumping a closed and locked gate to the school.
The Marion County Sheriff’s Office said the alleged shooter from Forest High School in Ocala, Fla is Sky Bouche, 19, a former student. One person was injured in the shooting.
Bouche has been charged with Terrorism, Aggravated Assault with a Firearm, Culpable Negligence, Carrying a Concealed Firearm, Possession of a Firearm on School Property, Possession of a Short-Barreled Shotgun, Interference in a School Function and Armed Trespassing on School Property. He is currently being held in the Marion County Jail on no bond.
Meanwhile, at West Port High School, also in Ocala, there was mayhem as students and parents panicked believing there was a shooting there as well.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Police Responded to an ‘Active Shooter on Campus’ at Forest High School in Ocala, Florida. Hero School Resource Officer Had the Suspect in Custody Within 3 Minutes of Shooting
The Marion County Sheriff’s Office and numerous first responders were called to Forest High School on a call of an active shooter on campus. When deputies arrived on scene, they discovered that MCSO School Resource Deputy Jim Long had taken the shooter into custody without incident, a police statement read.
A 17-year-old boy suffered non-life-threatening injuries “when Bouche shot a round through a door,” police said.
An investigation revealed that “Bouche walked on to Forest High School’s campus Friday morning with the intention of causing harm to the students and to invoke fear in the community. Bouche drove to the school and walked on campus with a shotgun concealed in a guitar case. Once inside school grounds, Bouche entered a bathroom and put on a tactical vest and gloves to prepare himself for the shooting. When he exited the bathroom, he shot one round from his sawed-off shotgun through a classroom door, injuring a 17-year old male student,” the MCSO statement read.
Deputy Long heard the gunshot at 8:39 a.m. and had the suspect in custody at 8:42 a.m., police said.
Parents were notified via robo call.
After the shooting, students were transported to a local church to be picked up by parents.
The Ocala schools operations superintendent told local media “the gunman carried a shotgun in a guitar case into the school, by blending in with students” and told reporters the shots were fired at the bottom of a locked classroom door.
2. Police Said Bouche Told Detectives he ‘Felt Ignored’ & Contemplated This & Future Shootings
According to police, Bouche told detectives that he was “planning on conducting some type of shooting on Friday the 13th, but he changed his mind. He then began researching different types of mass shootings and chose to target a school because he thought it would gather more media attention. Bouche also expressed to detectives that he felt ignored, and made statements that he could potentially conduct another shooting in the future.”
In addition to the myriad charges, the MCSO has obtained a Temporary Risk Protection Order on Bouche. Temporary Risk Protection Orders and Risk Protection Orders were created in the new Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act, police explained. If a police officer thinks someone is a danger to themselves or others by possessing a gun, police can get a court’s permission to seize the weapon and prevent them from possessing or purchasing firearms for the duration of the court order.
3. Bouche, 19, While in a Jail, Was Interviewed by a Reporter and Said, ‘I Want to be Put Away’
A reporter said the teenager said he was “mentally ill and never should’ve had a gun.”
“Do you feel you should have had a gun,” the reporter asked. Bouche answered, “No sir. I want to be put away where I can’t hurt anyone.”
WESH 2 News reported Bouche wanted to …”let people know there’s something wrong with me.” He told a reporter, “I got a sawed off shotgun, I put it in a guitar case. I also had a tactical vest filled with shotgun slugs and rounds.”
Bouche said he has been treated for mental health problems before, but said he needed more serious mental health care adding that killing people wasn’t his plan, rather his idea was “…just to really, really scare them.”
Bouche told local media he purchased the gun from someone he’d met online. He said he was sorry about what he did: “Yeah. That’s why I put down the gun. I could’ve kept going.”
4. Meanwhile, at Ocala’s West Port High School 13 Miles Away, There Was Chaos & Confusion When Parents & Police Thought There Was a Shooting There, Too
All Marion County schools were placed on a yellow alert status, but police were seen jumping the fence with weapons drawn at West Port High School in a video where people, including parents, can be heard screaming, crying, begging for information and then ultimately, some deciding to jump and storm a locked gate to the school.
“My son’s in there!”
“It gave me chills watching it. From a parents prospective, I would’ve jumped the fence too to get to my child,” posted a parent on Facebook.
5. Friday Was National School Walkout Day & the 20th Anniversary of the Columbine School Shooting
Saying ‘Enough is enough,’ hundreds of thousands of kids walked out of school Friday in a nationwide protest.
The National School Walkout is a “movement powered and led by students across the country. We’re protesting congressional, state, and local failures to take action to prevent gun violence. America is the only country in the world where so many people are killed by guns, and yet our leaders do nothing about it. In many states it’s more difficult to register to vote than it is to buy a rifle. Apparently to some politicians, a vote is scarier than a gun,” leaders said on the website.
But it wasn’t just a 4/20 day off.
Students around the nation walked out of their classrooms at 10 a.m. at at least more than 2,600 planned events to call attention to “those who lost their lives to gun violence, to talk about the real problems our country is facing, and to find solutions the problems that our leaders have failed to address,” organizers said.
The walkout launched a “forward looking youth movement that has a strategy, a plan for action, and isn’t going away.” The three-pronged goal is to: hold elected officials accountable; promote solutions to gun violence; and demystify and engage students in the political system.”
“Together, we will send a message that we won’t tolerate any more inaction on this issue. And if cowardly politicians fail to act, young people will show them the consequences of letting so many Americans die by voting them out in November,” organizers wrote.