In Florida, Students Suspended for Disarming Gunman

By:  Alex Newman
03/04/2013
       
In Florida, Students Suspended for Disarming Gunman

A Florida teenager was suspended from his high school last week along with two others after forcibly disarming a fellow student who allegedly pointed a loaded gun and threatened to shoot another pupil on a school bus, according to news reports. One of the suspended students, who has not been publicly identified due to safety concerns, said he had “no doubt” that the gunman he helped disarm was planning to kill the intended target.

Three Florida teenagers were suspended from their high school last week after forcibly disarming a fellow student who allegedly pointed a loaded gun and threatened to shoot another pupil on a school bus, according to news reports. One of the suspended students, who has not been publicly identified due to safety concerns, said he had “no doubt” that the gunman he helped disarm was planning to kill the intended target.

The event, which occurred in Fort Meyers, has already triggered nationwide and even international press coverage. It has also sparked debate about statutes purporting to create so-called “gun-free zones” at schools, which critics say make schools into a “magnet” for mass shooters. There are currently two bills in Congress to repeal the controversial 1990 “Gun Free School Zones Act.”

The 15-year-old suspected gunman in the Florida case, apparently a football player, was reportedly arrested by the Lee County Sheriff's Office following the threat and subsequent scuffle, authorities confirmed. At this point, he has been charged with possession of a firearm on school property and assault with a deadly weapon “without intent to kill,” according to a police report about the incident cited in local media reports. The investigation, however, is still underway.

"I think he was really going to shoot him right then and there. Not taking no pity… he was going to shoot him point blank,” one suspended student, 16, told Fox4 in Fort Meyers about the incident, adding that he was confused about why he was being punished for disarming a potential murderer. "It's dumb… How [are] they going to suspend me for doing the right thing?”

Witnesses, including the victim, confirmed that version of events to another local media outlet, ABC-7. According to the victim’s account, he noticed the 15-year-old suspect had a gun on his lap and then made eye contact with him. The suspect then stood up and the two began fighting, the victim told ABC-7.

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Image: giving gun from hand to hand on grey wall background via Shutterstock

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