Students Were Unable to Stage a Walkout Yesterday Because of a School Shooting

Image: Associated Press

While thousands of students staged walkouts nationwide yesterday to mark the 19th anniversary of the Columbine school shooting tragedy, a 19-year-old reportedly fired a gun at Forest High School in Ocala, Florida. A 17-year-old was hit in the ankle but is in good condition, CNN reports. Minutes after the shooting at around 8:40 AM, a school resource officer, Deputy Jimmy Long, took the shooter into custody “without resistance.”

According to the Washington Post, the shooter, a former student, has been charged with terrorism, aggravated assault with a firearm and possession of a firearm on school property.


In a stark video interview posted by the Ocala Star Banner last night, the shooter said that he has a lot of bipolar and schizophrenic family members who “are violent and scream...on a daily basis.” He claimed that he didn’t see the victim whom he’d shot through a door. He said that he put down his weapon, a sawed-off shotgun, after seeing a girl in the hallway and “gave [himself] to a teacher.”

He calmly stated that on the morning of the shooting, at home, he felt no emotion, simply adrenaline.


“Pretty much all I’m feeling at this time is an adrenaline rush. It’s not anger, it’s not hatred, it’s just an adrenaline rush, I’m about to do something. I spend most of my time in the room I’m getting this rush.”

He said that when walking through the school with the gun, the adrenaline turned to a “disgusting feeling.”


When asked how he’d obtained the gun, he said he’d learned how to get around background checks from a VICE News segment. He claimed that he purchased an unlicensed gun about a week after the Parkland massacre.

A 16-year-old student posted this photo about an hour after the shooting. He captioned it:

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.


When asked if he felt that he should have had a gun, the shooter said no.

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Whitney Kimball

Staff reporter, Gizmodo. wkimball @ gizmodo