A 17-year-old junior student shot and killed herself with a handgun Wednesday morning at Lake Mary High School, deputies say.
Seminole Sheriff Dennis Lemma says the 11th grader asked her teacher for permission to go to the bathroom just as first period was ending, around 7:48 a.m. About 5 to 10 minutes later, students and teachers in the area heard a single gunshot.
The teenage girl had gone to an isolated area of the auditorium building and fatally shot herself. Two school resource officers and a nurse responded immediately with efforts to aid the student, but they were unsuccessful.
"[It] appears she went out of her way to do it in an area where no one else was at," Lemma says.
The 17-year-old's father has been notified and deputies are currently trying to reach her mother.
Lake Mary High School was placed on a code red lockdown early Wednesday morning as the Seminole County Sheriff's Office responded to the suicide. The lockdown has since been lifted because there's no active threat, and classes have returned to normal. Parents can pick up their students now from Lake Mary High School by entering the campus through the entrance near the football field.
Lemma says grief counselors are at Lake Mary High School to "make sure every person receives the help and support they need."
"Any way you cut it, this is just a horrible, horrible tragedy," the sheriff says. "We have to talk about this. … Society cannot turn a blind eye to mental health, to depression."
Lake Mary High School has canceled all classes tomorrow, March 14, according to a statement released by Seminole County Public Schools Superintendent Walt Griffin and Lake Mary High School Principal Mickey Reynolds.
Athletic and extracurricular activities are also canceled today and tomorrow at Lake Mary High.
"First and foremost, our hearts are truly heavy and we are deeply saddened by the events of today," Griffin and Reynolds say in a statement. "Each and every SCPS family member extend our condolences to the student’s family and to the LMHS family. As always, we are here to support you."
Although classes will be canceled Thursday, grief counselors will remain available on campus at the Media Center from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Counselors will also be at the school on Friday from 9 a.m. to noon.
"Please be assured our SCPS Crisis Team will remain in place as long as necessary," the educators say.
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