Officials were quick to praise Marion County Sheriff’s Deputy Jim Long for his quick actions during Friday’s shooting at Forest High School in Ocala, Florida.
When 19-year-old Sky Bouche, a former student at the school, reportedly pulled a shotgun from a guitar case and fired it into the bottom of a classroom door around 8:42 a.m. Friday morning, Long “did not hesitate – he went right in,” according to Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods.
“And then immediately at 8:42 he was immediately on scene and engaged the activity that was gong on, recognized what we had at that time, and then found the victim,” the sheriff told reporters, “and then within that same timeframe he engaged the shooter.”
“I want to make something clear and I want to assure the Marion County residents, that today they should be proud of their first responders,” Woods said. “Marion County does everything to protect their children.”
The shot wounded one 17-year-old student, who was treated at a local hospital for a non-life threatening ankle injury.
“I just shot through the door,” Bouche told reporters, according CBS.
At which point the suspect reportedly put the gun down and peacefully surrendered to authorities. A Forest High School teacher, Kelly McManis-Panasuk, is also being praised for her role in calmly talking to the shooter until police arrived, the Ocala Star Banner reported.
“His hands were up and he said he wanted to be arrested … ‘I am mentally ill,'” said the teacher. “I asked: ‘Did you shoot a gun?’ He said he did shoot a gun.”
— Nadeen Yanes (@NadeenNews6) April 20, 2018
In another Florida shooting over two months ago, school resource officer Scot Peterson was sharply criticized for taking up a defensive position outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School while Nikolas Cruz slaughtered 17 people.