November 17, 2019

Student fatally shoots himself at Florida high school

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LAKE MINNEOLA, Fla. (WESH) – Authorities are investigating a shooting incident at a high school where a student took his own life.

The Lake Minneola High School student shot himself just before 8 a.m. on Tuesday in a courtyard area near the bus loop, according to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO).

The student has been identified as Seth Sutherland, 17, who was a senior at the school.  Investigators said Sutherland sent text messages to his parents and two friends, but there wasn’t enough time to intervene and save him.

According to LCSO deputies, the student fired the weapon around the time of a fire drill. The handgun used was recovered by authorities on the scene.

LCSO Lt. John Herlell says this was never an active shooter situation. The high school and surrounding schools were placed on lockdown after the shooting as a precaution.

Investigators are now determining what caused the shooting, who witnessed it and how the student was able to get a gun onto campus.

“There was a fire drill either immediately before the shooting took place or immediately after,” says Lt. Herlell, “and we’re trying to review security footage to determine exactly when this happened and put together a good clear time frame of how the events unfolded.”

Classes went on as normal Tuesday, but parents were able to ring students home for the day with no penalty for absences.

Grief counseling is available to those who need it.

Those struggling with suicidal thoughts can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 for help.

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