A high school student student fatally shot himself during a school fire drill. As WKMG reports, 17-year-old senior Seth Sutherland of Lake Minneola High School posted messages on social media and sent thoughts to loved ones before killing himself on Tuesday.
Authorities are treating the death as a "planned event."
Lake County sheriff's spokesman John Harrell shared, "We have reasons to believe that this was a planned event. [The courtyard near the bus loop] is out in the open, but it was not a very populated and crowded area at that time. It seems like the majority of the student body was on the other side of the building."
Harrell said he doesn't believe any students witnessed or heard the shooting. Sixteen-year-old Isaiah Vargas, however, said that he saw what happened through a window.
"The body was just lifeless. Teachers were running and everything, saw it through the window. Just terrible," Vargas said.
As The New York Post shares, deputies said a classmate discovered the student's body in the school courtyard during the planned fire drill. Sutherland was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
A handgun was found shortly after the shooting, but authorities do not know who owned the gun.
Authorities also said Sutherland posted updates on social media before his death. He sent private messages to his loved ones and also shared a public message on Snapchat that apparently criticized those who he believed contributed to his suicide.
“Rest in peace. F**k all of you who contributed to this,” Sutherland wrote, according to Lake County Sheriff’s Lt. John Herrell.
School officials are now working to help students and faculty through the tragedy.
“We’ll be taking a look at this as a school family, the things we can do differently, and I’m sure the individual families will be doing the same,” district communications officer Sherri Owens said.
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